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Pett and Pott (1934)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Two suburban families: the Petts and the Potts, live next door to each other. Mrs Pott idles decadently in her room, reading a sexually provocative book. In contrast, Mrs Pett tends to her children in an exaggeratedly idyllic manner. We are then introduced to Mr Pott and Mr Pett, and see them exit adjacent doors: Mr Pott is a debt-collector, Mr Pett is a solicitor. As they travel in a train carriage amongst identical looking working men, a cut to a newspaper shows a story of 'another suburban burglary'. Back in suburbia, Mrs Pett carries out transactions and personal calls on a telephone; Mrs Pott, by contrast, prefers to invest her money in a maid. The maid starts to take over the household in Mr Pott's absence and orders Mrs Pott to do the shopping whilst she invites a friend round. The maid and her friend begin to steal from the Potts' household, but the noise that they make arouses the Petts' daughter, who calls the police. Eventually the maid and her friend are caught, and in court the Potts are condemned for their decadent behaviour, whilst the Petts - and the telephone - are praised.