The Big Store

Synopsis: The Phelps Department Store is about to be sold by its new part owner, Tommy Rogers with the permission of Martha Phelps, the dowager co-owner. The current manager doesn't want this as the irregularities in the books will show up. When an attempt is made on Tommy's life, Martha enlists the worst private eye in the world to protect him, Wolf J. Flywheel.
Genre: Comedy, Musical
Director(s): Charles Reisner
Rotten Tomatoes:
83 min

See? That's the way to play it.

Someday, you all gonna be big musicians

just like me, but you gotta practice.

Not on this piano.

Hey, you can't take this piano. She belongs

to the professor. He's upstairs, sick.

Go on, play something soft.

You're breaking my heart.

Come on, Joe.

- Hey, wait. Please, please.

My friend Tommy Rogers, he's gonna

be here right away. He'll fix everything.

Who's Tommy Rogers?

- You don't know Rogers, the singer?

Never heard of him.

- You never heard of him?

Let me show you who's Tommy Rogers.

That's his picture. Look at what he say.

"The late Hiram Phelps wills half

interest in his department store...

to his protg, Tommy Rogers. "

You mean a guy like that

would come to a joint like this?

What do you mean, "joint"?

Tommy get his start right here.

Hi, Ravelli.

- Hey, Tommy.

Where's the professor?

I brought that money for him.

You see? - Hey, what's

going on around here?

I had orders to take this piano.

We thought the place was closing up.

Closing up? Why, I'm gonna tear this

place down and build a real conservatory.

Now, what did I tell you? Conservatory.

- Excuse me, Mr. Rogers. Come on, Joe.

You hear that, kids?

A new conservatory.

A new conservatory!

Hooray for Tommy!

I'll build a conservatory we'll be proud of,

stained-glass windows, a real auditorium...

and we'll have soundproof

practice rooms.

That's fine. When do we start?

As soon as I sell my share

of the Phelps store.

You gonna sell the store?

- Sure.

What do I know about department stores?

I'm a musician. That's my business.

I want kids like these to have

the same opportunity that I've had.

Hey, let's go upstairs and

tell the professor. - Sure.

Come on.

See you later.

- So long.

Now, you kids practice

till I come back.

But remember,

no woogie-boogie.

Get working on those books,

Sutton, or we'll be in trouble.

You think Rogers will

sell, Mr. Grover?

He'll try. And if any real businessman

gets a look at our figures, we're sunk.

Get going on those books.

We haven't much time.

Yes, sir. I'll do my best.

Can you trust that guy? His sister works

in the music department and runs with Rogers.

She won't run with him long.

- Why?

If Tommy Rogers disappears,

his share of the store reverts to

Martha Phelps, the old man's sister.

So what?

Well, there'll be a society wedding.

Martha will make a stunning bride and

I rather fancy myself as a bridegroom.

And complete owner of

the Phelps store? - Naturally.

Now, can you arrange

the necessary disappearance?

I didn't bring Butch along for company.

- Yeah, I know what to do.

And make it look

like one of those accidents.

Sure, boss. You know me.

- Now, don't bungle it. Get going.

Will you keep a secret?

- Sure, even from me.

I think I found buyers for the store.

- Who and for how much?

The price hasn't been settled but it's

the Hastings brothers, the big store owners.

The deal looks pretty set. Tell

the professor to start looking at plans.

I better not leave you. From now on,

you and me is gonna be insufferable.

Hey, turn on the lights.

Turn on the lights.

Second floor.

Oh, help.

- What happened?

Tommy, what happened?

I don't know. Something happened.

I didn't see nothing wrong. The lights

went off and went right on again.



Are you all right, Tommy?

I mean, Mr. Rogers.

Excuse me, just a minute, please.

Why, Mr. Rogers, what's the trouble?

Just a little bump.

Somebody's elbow, I guess.

First the lights go out, then Tommy.

- Let me help.

No, I'm all right. - You'd better

see your aunt right away.

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Sid Kuller

Sid Kuller (27 October 1910 New York City, New York – 16 September 1993 in Sherman Oaks, California) was an American comedy writer, producer and lyricist/composer, who concentrated on special musical material, gags and sketches for leading comics. He collaborated with Ray Golden and Hal Fimberg on the screenplay of the Marx Brothers' vehicle The Big Store, for which he also supplied the lyrics to the musical climax, "The Tenement Symphony". Earlier in their careers, Kuller and Golden wrote comedy songs and special material for the Ritz Brothers. Although he wrote prodigiously and with facility throughout his life, Kuller admitted, "The creation of comedy is a painful experience". more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Big Store" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 18 May 2021. <>.

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