You Can’t Buy Everything (1934): Pre-Code Romantic Drama, Starring May Robson

Charles Reisner directed You Can’t Buy Everything, a pre-Code drama, starring May Robson, Jean Parker and Lewis Stone.

Reportedly, the main character of Hannah Bell (played by May Robson) was inspired by Hetty Green, known as the miserly “Witch of Wall Street.”

Spanning two decades, the story begins in 1893 New York, when Mrs. Hannah Bell takes her son Donny to a charitable medical clinic, offering false information in order to avoid paying. However, her friend Kate Farley (Mary Forbes) visits the clinic (which she supports) and recognizes Donny, making Hannah pay for the boy’s treatment.

May Robson as Mrs. Hannah Bell
Jean Parker as Elizabeth “Beth” Burton Bell
Lewis Stone as John Burton
Mary Forbes as Kate Farley
Reginald Mason as Dr. Lorimer
William Bakewell as Donny “Don” Bell as a man
Tad Alexander as Donny Bell as a boy
Walter Walker as Josiah Flagg
Reginald Barlow as Tom Sparks
Claude Gillingwater as Asa Cabot


Directed by Charles Reisner (and Sandy Roth)
Written by Dudley Nichols, Lamar Trotti, Zelda Sears, Eve Greene
Music by William Axt
Cinematography: Leonard Smith
Edited by Ben Lewis
Distributed by MGM
Release date: January 26, 1934
Running time: 82 minutes


TCM showed the movie April 2, 2020.