The Tenderfoot (film)

The Tenderfoot is a 1932 American Pre-Code comedy film directed by Ray Enright and written by Earl Baldwin, Monty Banks and Arthur Caesar. The film stars Joe E. Brown, Ginger Rogers, Lew Cody, Vivien Oakland, Robert Greig and Ralph Ince. The film was released by Warner Bros. on May 23, 1932. It is based on Richard Carle's 1903 play The Tenderfoot, and George S. Kaufman's 1925 play The Butter and Egg Man.[1][2]

The Tenderfoot
Directed byRay Enright
Produced byBryan Foy
Screenplay byEarl Baldwin
Monty Banks
Arthur Caesar
Based on
The Tenderfoot
1903 play
StarringJoe E. Brown
Ginger Rogers
Lew Cody
Vivien Oakland
Robert Greig
Ralph Ince
CinematographyGregg Toland
Edited byOwen Marks
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • May 23, 1932 (1932-05-23)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States

The play was first adapted to film The Butter and Egg Man in 1928. It was remade as Dance Charlie Dance (1937) and An Angel from Texas (1940), and enough of the plot elements were worked into Hello, Sweetheart (1935) and Three Sailors and a Girl (1953) to warrant a credit for Kaufman's play as a basis of those scripts. An Angel from Texas was directed by Ray Enright, who also directed The Tenderfoot. Enright and Brown worked together on five pictures.[3]


Calvin Jones (Joe E. Brown), a naive cowboy from Texas, comes to New York City, determined to take care of his mother by investing his life savings in a Broadway show. He is duped by producers Lehman (Lew Cody) and McLure into buying a 49-percent interest in their new show, a surefire flop.

Lehman's beautiful secretary, Ruth Weston (Ginger Rogers), catches the shy cowboy's eye. Jones makes up his mind to produce the play by himself after Lehman and McLure close it out of town. When he can't pay for proper costumes, his star actress quits, so Ruth goes on in her place.

Although the play is a drama, it is so poorly done that the audience mistakes it for a comedy. The laughter makes it a surprise comedy hit. Jones and Ruth make a big profit, get married and decide to live in Texas.



  1. "The Tenderfoot (1932) - Overview". Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  2. Hall, Mordaunt (1932-05-23). "Movie Review - The Tenderfoot - Joe E. Brown in a Boisterous Film Conception of the Stage Comedy, "The Butter and Egg Man."". Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  3. "The Tenderfoot (1932) - Articles -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
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