You may remember Paul Fix as the Marshal on The Rifleman television show, or you may remember him from some of his hundreds of appearances in cowboy westerns. He was one of the actors whose face you recognize, and whose voice you recognize, but you just can’t remember his name. He was usually a critical character in the story, but seldom the focus of the story.
Wilhelm Fix and his wife immigrated to New York from the Black Forest of Germany, and Wilhelm was a wealthy master brewer of fine beer until his death. His son Peter Paul Fix was born in 1901, and grew up on the estate that also housed the family brewery.When Peter Paul was a teenager his father died, the brewery was closed, and America was entering the First World War, so Peter Paul joined the Navy. After the war he lived with his sister in Zanesville, Ohio and married his Ohio sweetheart.
Peter Paul Fix had no idea what he wanted to do for a living, but he did know that he didn’t like the cold snowy Ohio winters, so he and his young bride went to sunny California and by chance settled in Hollywood. He became friends with another fellow looking for work named Clark Gable, and the two of them were hired to act in a touring group putting on plays up and down the California coast.
This led to that and they both discovered the motion picture business. In 1931 Paul Fix appeared in a movie starring Loretta Young and John Wayne. He must have been a natural-born actor, because even though he only had a small part in the movie, Loretta Young suggested that he chat with John Wayne and give him some acting tips. John Wayne and Paul Fix became fast friends, and it was Fix who suggested that John Wayne develop a unique screen trademark, and suggested a unique ‘rolling walk’ that became Wayne’s trademark gait.
John Wayne became much more famous than Paul Fix, but Wayne included Fix in as many of his movies as he could, and Paul Fix once remarked that John Wayne was often too generous, just like Wayne’s father.
In this adventure, a very young Paul Fix is the new husband of the leading lady, Vivian Tobin. He comes from a wealthy Fifth Avenue family, and she was an actress on Broadway. His mother will do whatever is necessary to separate them, especially now that they have a little baby boy. His wealthy mother thinks that an actress is an unfit mate for her son, and an unfit mother for her grandson. Poor Paul Fix, stuck in the middle. He has Mother-in-law with money and attitude, a Wife with a past, and will soon meet a murdering gangster. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Director: Charles Lamont
Stars: Vivian Tobin, Dickie Moore, Cora Sue Collins