On this very day in 1938, 75 years ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences met for the 10th time to honor the films of 1937. There was still no television to compete with but that also meant no televised ceremony. Which is too bad really because how great would it be to see one of Oscar's very oddest anecdotes happening "live"? According to legends, though the legends conflict either an Alice Brady impostor or a impostor Brady representative accepted the trophy which was never recovered! Drama. What then? Either the statue was replaced 12 days later or the more dramatic the statue was never replaced. This much is true: Brady, the second winner of this then brand new category, died a year and a half later at only 47 years of age.
In Old Chicago
Alice Brady plays the matriarch of the O'Leary clan (anniversary aside, since we're approaching St. Patrick's Day, it felt like appropriate viewing). After the father dies in a dumb luck tragedy on the way to the big city in 1854, dragged to his death by runaway horses, widowed Brady raises her three sons alone in the rapidly rising city described in the title cards as "a fighting, laughing, aggressive American city". Within seconds of arriving she makes a name for herself as a talented laundry woman.
Two of her sons become major power players, one an honest crusading lawyer (Don Ameche), the other a charming playboy (gorgeous Tyrone Power) with a taste for money and women of questionable provenance.
Yes, by all means Tyrone, find a reason to get your shirt off...