1933 was the fourth year of the Great Depression that would last until the huge spending to build shipa and airplanes for the Second World War pulled the economy out of the dumper. The motion picture industry was churning out stories now known as 'Poverty Row' pictures, many of which were what we would later call ‘rags to riches’ tales, involving characters that are caught in the depths of poverty who struggle against all odds and end up on the sunny side of the street.
As our adventure opens we are at the city dump, where a kindly lady and her young daughter live. They have a shanty built with discarded wood and other items from the trash. Sarah Padden is Aggie Specks, the Duchess of the Dump. She commands a crew of men to pick through the trash to find items that could be sold. She sells them and pays the men who help her search for discarded treasures.
One of the men wants to marry Sarah, but Joe Kummer, a burly trash truck driver, tells the man that the Duchess of the Dump will never marry the man, and he knows why. He knows a secret about Aggie’s past that no one else knows, and he ain’t talking.
When the crabby millionaire businessman who owns a factory next to the dump dies, the Duchess of the Dump inadvertently mentions that her young daughter should inherit his fortune. Aggie tells a newspaper reporter that her young daughter is the illegitimate daughter of the wealthy businessman.
Directed by Richard Thorpe
The Actors: Sarah Padden, Otis Harlan, Gloria Shea