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Bought 1931 Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Archie Mayo
Written byAdaptation & dialogue:
Charles Kenyon
Raymond Griffith
Based onJackdaw's Strut
by Harriet Henry
Starring Constance Bennett
Cinematography Ray June
Edited by George Marks
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • August 22, 1931 (1931-08-22)(US)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$425,000 [1]
Box office$777,000 [1]

Bought is a 1931 American Pre-Code drama film produced and released by Warner Bros. and directed by Archie Mayo. The movie stars Constance Bennett and features Ben Lyon, Richard Bennett and Dorothy Peterson. It is based on the 1930 novel Jackdaw's Strut by Harriet Henry.


Warner Bros. paid Bennett an all-time high salary of $30,000 a week for her work in this film. [2] [3]


Raised in poverty by a never-married mother, Stephanie Dale resents her mother's working-class sensibilities. Dreaming of a rich lifestyle Stephanie gets a job modeling as a modiste shop. Executive David Meyer notices her and is immediately attracted to her. One day Stephanie returns home to find that her mother has died. She moves out and finds an apartment in a good location for meeting celebrities. David and Stephanie get involved and his wealth allows her to indulge in luxuries. They share an interest in books, but she's put off by his age, clothes, and manners. Young, handsome Nick Amory is also interested in Stephanie, but she prefers David's wealth and interests.

One day David notices a photograph of Stephanie's mother and realizes that he is her father—but keeps this information secret as he helps his daughter meet wealthy socialites. At one of the many parties she attends, she meets Charles Carter Jr., immediately falls in love, and tells David she plans to marry Charles. When Nick finally gets a raise he proposes to Stephanie, but she rejects him.

All is going well as Stephanie and Charles plan their wedding—until Charles discovers that Stephanie's parents were never married. He promptly cancels the wedding. This makes Stephanie realize how shallow society people truly are. One day she receives a book from David and visits him to apologize for her past regrettable behavior. While she is browsing through his library, she discovers that Nick has been waiting there to see her. They reconcile and Stephanie finally learns that David is her father. The film ends with David arranging his daughter's wedding to Nick. [3]


The film survives intact and has been broadcast on television and cable. It was transferred on to 16mm film by Associated Artists Productions in the 1950s for broadcast on television. [*note, not in Catalog of Holdings from 1978]


Royal Theater in Kansas City showing the film. Royal Theater. Kansas City - NARA - 283799.tif
Royal Theater in Kansas City showing the film.

Cast notes:

Box office

According to Warner Bros the film earned $598,000 domestic and $179,000 foreign. [1]

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  1. 1 2 3 Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 11 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  2. Hirschhorn, Clive. (1979) The Warner Bros. Story p.106 ISBN   0-517-53834-2
  3. 1 2 3 Bought at the American Film Institute Catalog 1893-1993