Watching 1939: No Place to Go (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film:  No Place to Go (1939)

Release date:  Sept. 23, 1939

Cast:  Dennis Morgan, Gloria Dickson, Fred Stone, Sonny Bupp, Aldrich Bowker, Charles Halton, Georgia Caine, Frank Faylen, Dennie Moore, Bernice Pilot, Greta Meyer (uncredited), Tommy Bupp (uncredited),

Studio:  Warner Bros.

Director:  Terry O. Morse

Plot: Joe Plummer (Morgan) worries about his father Andrew (Stone) who lives in an old soldier’s home. Joe worries about his father and invites him to live with him and his wife. However, Joe’s wife, Trudy (Dickson) isn’t as keen on the idea.

1939 Notes:
• Dennis Morgan was in five films released in 1939. In 1939, he switched from the name Richard Stanley to “Dennis Morgan,” which is what he is billed as here.
• Gloria Dickson was in six films released in 1939.

Other trivia: 
• Adapted from Edna Ferber’s short story “Old Man Minick,” which published in Woman’s Home Companion in June 1922. The story was made into a play “Minick”
• Brothers Sonny Bupp and Tommy Bupp co-star in the film
• Other versions of the story include: Welcome Home (1925) and The Expert (1932)

Fred Stone, Dennis Morgan, Gloria Dickson, Charles Halton and Georgia Caine in “No Place to Go.”

My review: Searching for the “1939 feature”:
Dennis Morgan would become one of the top male stars at Warner Bros. But in 1939, he was still growing his acting career.

Before becoming “Dennis Morgan,” he performed under his real name Stanley Morner and then the stage name Richard Stanley. But in 1939, he changed it to Dennis Morgan. “No Place to Go” (1939) was Morgan’s second film with his new (and lasting) name.

“No Place to Go” (1939) is a simple but sad little story. It takes a glimpse at the treatment of elderly parents. Joe Plummer, played by Dennis Morgan, worries about his father living at a veteran’s home. Though his father, Andrew Plummer played by Fred Stone, seems content at the home with his friends, he moves in with his son and daughter-in-law believing they need his help. The father finds that his son doesn’t need his help, and resented by his daughter-in-law Trudy, played by Gloria Dickson. All of the hired help also quits because of the father’s meddling in the kitchen.

Joe and Trudy also feel that they can’t go out with their friends, or they have issues inviting over business partners because of their father.

The only friend Andrew finds is a young boy (Sonny Bupp) who needs a grandfather figure.

While Dennis Morgan and Gloria Dickson are the stars of the film, Fred Stone as the father is the real star of this film.

While “No Place to Go” (1939) is a small movie of 1939 running at 56 minutes, it is an important social story on the treatment of the elderly.

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