Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Grand Bounce

I like to recommend shorts when they show up on the TCM schedule, since there aren't any other movie channels showing these old shorts, and some of them can be just as interesting as the feature films between which they're placed. Tomorrow morning at about 7:00, you have the chance to watch The Grand Bounce, on after Street of Women, which starts at 6:00 AM and runs 59 minutes.

The plot is fairly simple: a man, in ordre to pay off his gambling debts, writes a check for $1,000, hence the "grand" in the title. A thousand bucks was quite a bit for 1937. And, unsurprisingly, the guy doesn't have a thousand dollars in his bank account for the check to clear, hence the "bounce" in the title. But it's a holiday weekend, so our hero has three days to find the money and deposit it in the bank before the payee can try to cash the check.

Meanwhile, the payee has some debts of his own. He doesn't have the cash to cover those debts, but he will when he cashes our hero's check, assuming of course that the check clears. But if he just signs the check over to the person to whom he owes the debt, presumably his hands will be clean: he paid a debt in good faith, and it's not he who wrote the check in the first place. Not that it would work out that way in real life of course. So while we have our hero trying to get the check to clear, we've got a bad check being passed around, uncashed, from one creditor to another to another. Boy is there going to be a mess when they finally try to cash the darn thing.

Let's just say that The Grand Bounce has an ending that theoretically leaves everybody to live happily ever after, at least if they don't keep racking up debts they can't pay off. Maybe they should just engage in a little quantitative easing instead, like Edmund Gwenn in Mister 880. It's all a theme that's handled reasonably well for a one-reeler, although it does get a bit tedious before the ending: yeah, we get the point.

Perhaps the most interesting thing is that Jacques Tourneur directed, back in the early part of his career when he was doing shorts to try to make a name for himself. Tourneur would later go on to direct such well-known pictures as Cat People and Out of the Past.

I could not find any indication that The Grand Bounce has made it to DVD as an extra anywhere.

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