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Wide Open

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Wide Open (1930) starring Edward Everett Horton, Louise Fazenda, E. J. Ratcliffe, Vera Lewis, Louise Beavers
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Wide Open (1930) starring Edward Everett Horton, Louise Fazenda, E. J. Ratcliffe, Vera Lewis, Louise Beavers

Wide Open is a delightful farce about a timid office worker (Edward Everett Horton). His inventive ideas win him promotion and the boss’ daughter (Patsy Ruth Miller)

Cast of characters

  • Edward Everett Horton (Top Hat) as Simon Haldane. The nervous, shy, quiet protagonist. He’s absent-minded, a push-over, who’s quite content with his life. Until Doris enters his life. Agatha & her mother try to cajole him into marriage … But he avoids that. After all, he doesn’t love Agatha. Doris, however, becomes another story. Moreover, he clearly understands what’s wrong at work. And, how to fix it. If only management would listen to him …
  • Patsy Ruth Miller (The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923) as Julia Faulkner (“Doris“). Doris is an absolute delight. She sneaks into Simon’s home on a pretense. And proceeds to turn his orderly world upside down. She’s exactly what he needs. Despite himself, he starts falling in love with this strange, unorthodox woman. To her surprise, she starts returning his affection.
  • Louise Fazenda as Agatha Hathaway. Agatha’s not a bad person, and not a villainess. She simply wants to be loved … And married. And she chooses Simon. Whether he likes it or not!
  • Vera Lewis as Agatha’s Mother. A shrew, who will back her daughter up at anything.
  • T. Roy Barnes (It’s a Gift) as Bob Wyeth. The obnoxious salesman at the Faulkner Phonograph Company. He picks on Simon at every opportunity …. Until the worm turns!
  • E. J. Ratcliffe as Trundle. The general manager, who keeps shooting down Simon’s ideas. Ideas that could save the company.
  • Louise Beavers (Holiday Inn) as Easter. Simon’s cleaning woman, and a bit of a mother hen.
  • Frank Beal as Faulkner. President of the company, who suspects Trundle of robbing them. But, how to examine the books without Trundle’s knowledge? Well, Simon takes them home every night to work on them …

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Editorial review of Wide Open courtesy of

This pre-Code caper put comic-relief titan Edward Everett Horton in a most unusual position – romantic leading man! Thankfully, for Horton’s sake and ours, the filmmaker’s wisely chose to fill the role of his leading lady with the amazing Louise Fazenda, who even gets the chance to sing the blues! Timid, fluttery, cat-loving confirmed bachelor Simon Haldane (Horton) is used to having his excellent ideas ignored by his abusive boss Trundle (E. J. Ratcliffe) while being pursued against his will by coworker Agatha (Fazenda), but one dark and stormy night turns his life upside down. While Simon is confronted by Agatha’s matrimony-demanding mother (Vera Lewis), a young lass takes shelter in his apartment, unbeknownst to him. And she happens to be undressed…Louise Beavers adds some sanity as Simon’s maid, Easter.

Funny movie quotes from Wide Open

Simon Haldane (Edward Everett Horton): Easter is a servant, not a season.

Easter (Louise Beavers): Did you want something, Mr. Simon?

Simon Haldane (Edward Everett Horton): Yes, Easter. Put the cat out.

Easter (Louise Beavers): [looks at Agatha and her mother] Which one, sir?

Simon Haldane (Edward Everett Horton): Easter, never get married.
Easter (Louise Beavers): Yes, sir.
Simon Haldane (Edward Everett Horton): You are married, aren’t you?
Easter (Louise Beavers): Yes, sir.
Simon Haldane (Edward Everett Horton): Well, don’t do it again.

Doris (Patsy Ruth Miller): I’m in too much trouble.
Simon Haldane (Edward Everett Horton): That’s a good thing. Women have been causing trouble for too long, its about time they had some of their own.

Doris (Patsy Ruth Miller): I need a strong man to protect me.
Simon Haldane (Edward Everett Horton): I’m not a strong man! Don’t you have that idea!

I’m not a doctor, I’m a saxophone player.

Bob Wyeth (T. Roy Barnes): You think I’m afraid of you?
Simon Haldane (Edward Everett Horton):You should be!
Bob Wyeth (T. Roy Barnes): Afraid of a worm like you?
Simon Haldane (Edward Everett Horton):The worm has turned!

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