Private Affairs (1940 film)

Private Affairs is a 1940 film comedy starring Nancy Kelly, with a supporting cast including Hugh Herbert, Roland Young, and Robert Cummings. The movie was directed by Albert S. Rogell.

Private Affairs
Directed byAlbert S. Rogell
Based onOne of the Boston Bullertons
by Walton Green
StarringNancy Kelly
Hugh Herbert
Roland Young
Robert Cummings
Montagu Love
CinematographyMilton R. Krasner
Distributed byUniversal
Release date
CountryUnited States


Amos Bullerton from Boston is the first in a long line of Patrician aristocrats to marry a commoner, which makes his father, Noble, furious and prompts him to remove Amos from his will. Amos takes up residence in New York and starts working as a stock broker.

After fifteen years in New York without any contact with his family, Amos is visited by his young daughter Jane. She is coming to New York to get his approval of dumping her current aristocratic fiancé Herbert Stanley. Instead she is determined to marry Jimmy Nolan, a law clerk working for her grandfather Noble. Amos runs out of luck and has to partner up with a taxi driver when he is too much in debt and cannot pay his fare. He "hires" the driver, Angus McPherson to get rid of the debt. He is hired by a dubious stock broker named George Gilkin, who wants to use Amos' last name for a profit. Amos is tricked use his last name to draw new clients to his business. Amos is left in charge of the firm's new Boston branch, and has to return home after years of exile.

Soon enough he finds that the Bullerton name isn't quite as helpful as he had imagined. Jimmy comes up with the idea to throw a big welcome-home party to give the illusion of Noble's support for hs long lost son. Jimmy plans to drive Noble to the party without the old man knowing where he is headed. When Noble shows up at the party the stock indeed rises, but Gilkin is anxious to drive the price of the stock down again, eager to make a profit if his own. When Amos and Angus find out about Gilkin's plans, they pursue him on hus way back to New York, to stop him from spreading ill-fated rumors about the Bullertons at the stock market.

After passing numerous obstacles, Amos manages to prevent Gilkin's return to New York and locks him up in a small town somewhere in New England where he can't do any harm. Jane finally marries her beloved Jimmy and Amos reconciles with his father.[1]



It was known as One of the Boston Bullertons, the title of the magazine story on which it was based. Universal announced the film in March 1940.[2][3][4] Filming took place in April 1940.[5][6]

It was retitled Private Affairs in May.[7]


  1. "Private Affairs". Turner Classic Movies.
  2. McGuire Plans to Star Colbert for Artists: Los Angeles Times 28 Mar 1940: 8.
  3. By DOUGLAS W CHURCHILL Special to THE NEW,YORK TIMES. (1940, May 10). SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  4. McGuire Plans to Star Colbert for Artists: Basserman Subject Set 20th Casts Newcomer Break Looms for Hogan Taylor to Play Lawyer Bari, Nolan Will Team Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 28 Mar 1940: 8.
  5. "United States Court of Appeals For the Ninth Circuit - Cummings vs Universal 1944". Internet Archive. p. 565.
  6. McCarey Yarn Planned for Irene Dunne, Grant Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]06 Apr 1940: 12.
  7. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD New York Times 10 May 1940: 30.
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