A Likely Story (1947)

88-89 mins | Romantic comedy | 16 April 1947

Director:

H. C. Potter

Writer:

Bess Taffel

Producer:

Richard H. Berger

Cinematographer:

J. Roy Hunt

Editor:

Harry Marker

Production Designers:

Albert D'Agostino, Feild Gray

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

According to HR , Alexander Kenedi's original screen story was titled "Never Say Die," which also was the film's working title. Months after the close of production, HR announced that the title had been changed from A Likely Story to The Fascinating Nuisance . A Likely Story was the first RKO film for producer Richard H. Berger, the former manager-director of the St. Louis Municipal Opera Company. Star Bill Williams and Barbara Hale announced their engagement during the course of filming and were billed in HR as "RKO's new starring team." In 1949, they made their only other RKO co-starring feature, The Clay Pigeon (see above entry). The fourth and last film in which the long-married couple appeared together was the 1975 picture The Giant Spider Invasion ... More Less

According to HR , Alexander Kenedi's original screen story was titled "Never Say Die," which also was the film's working title. Months after the close of production, HR announced that the title had been changed from A Likely Story to The Fascinating Nuisance . A Likely Story was the first RKO film for producer Richard H. Berger, the former manager-director of the St. Louis Municipal Opera Company. Star Bill Williams and Barbara Hale announced their engagement during the course of filming and were billed in HR as "RKO's new starring team." In 1949, they made their only other RKO co-starring feature, The Clay Pigeon (see above entry). The fourth and last film in which the long-married couple appeared together was the 1975 picture The Giant Spider Invasion . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Apr 1947.
---
Daily Variety
16 Apr 1947.
---
Film Daily
16 Apr 47
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jun 45
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jan 46
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jan 46
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Mar 46
p. 22.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 46
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jul 46
p. 2.
Independent Film Journal
16 Mar 46
p. 50.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 Apr 1947.
---
Variety
16 Apr 47
p. 8.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Cy Shindell
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Suggested by a story by
Contr to dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Never Say Die
A Fascinating Nuisance
Release Date:
16 April 1947
Production Date:
late January--early April 1946
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 April 1947
Copyright Number:
LP1068
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
88-89
Length(in feet):
7,984
Country:
United States
PCA No:
11456
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

While traveling to New York by train, Bill Baker, a recently discharged serviceman, meets Vickie North, an aspiring artist from Wisconsin, her young brother Jamie and Louie, a gangster. When Bill cheerfully admits to Louie that he "just got out" after serving as a "tommy gunner," Louie, who spent the entire war in jail, assumes that the wide-eyed veteran is a fellow racketeer and invites him to seek employment with his boss, Tiny McBride. Bill also confesses to Louie that he is a hypochondriac with a hyperactive imagination and suffers from dizzy spells. While roughhousing in his seat with Jamie, Bill is accidentally knocked out by Vickie's falling painting case. Bill wakes up alone in a New York hospital ward and overhears two doctors, standing just outside his bed screen, discussing a patient's fatal heart condition. Concluding that he is the unfortunate soul who only has two weeks to live, Bill leaves the hospital in a daze. Bill then goes to Tiny's bar and, believing that excitement will quicken his death, tries to provoke Louie and the rest of the rough crowd to fight with him. The gangsters, however, refuse to fight, and a despondent Bill is about to jump from the nearest bridge when he becomes dizzy and scared. At that moment, Vickie passes by and, assessing the situation, lectures him about not giving up on life. Taken with the sincere artist, Bill kisses her impetuously and is knocked out by a passing truck driver, who mistakes him for a masher. Bill then wakes up in Vickie's Greenwich Village apartment, where he is made a virtual prisoner by a concerned Vickie ... +


While traveling to New York by train, Bill Baker, a recently discharged serviceman, meets Vickie North, an aspiring artist from Wisconsin, her young brother Jamie and Louie, a gangster. When Bill cheerfully admits to Louie that he "just got out" after serving as a "tommy gunner," Louie, who spent the entire war in jail, assumes that the wide-eyed veteran is a fellow racketeer and invites him to seek employment with his boss, Tiny McBride. Bill also confesses to Louie that he is a hypochondriac with a hyperactive imagination and suffers from dizzy spells. While roughhousing in his seat with Jamie, Bill is accidentally knocked out by Vickie's falling painting case. Bill wakes up alone in a New York hospital ward and overhears two doctors, standing just outside his bed screen, discussing a patient's fatal heart condition. Concluding that he is the unfortunate soul who only has two weeks to live, Bill leaves the hospital in a daze. Bill then goes to Tiny's bar and, believing that excitement will quicken his death, tries to provoke Louie and the rest of the rough crowd to fight with him. The gangsters, however, refuse to fight, and a despondent Bill is about to jump from the nearest bridge when he becomes dizzy and scared. At that moment, Vickie passes by and, assessing the situation, lectures him about not giving up on life. Taken with the sincere artist, Bill kisses her impetuously and is knocked out by a passing truck driver, who mistakes him for a masher. Bill then wakes up in Vickie's Greenwich Village apartment, where he is made a virtual prisoner by a concerned Vickie and Jamie. When Bill, who has said nothing about his "condition," tells Vickie that he finds her abstract paintings "interesting," she becomes incensed and storms off to attend a street art exhibit. Bill and his romantic competitor, insurance salesman Phil Bright, try to attract attention to Vickie's paintings, but fail. Truly upset, Vickie abandons her exhibit, but confesses to Jamie, who protested their move to New York, that she has no money for a return trip to Wisconsin. After Phil proposes unsuccessfully to Vickie, Bill reveals his situation to Louie and Tiny, and asks Tiny to give him $5,000 in exchange for being named the benficiary on his army life insurance policy. When Tiny learns that the policy is to be paid out in small installments, he angrily rejects the offer, but then suggests a plan whereby he will buy a private insurance policy through a crooked agent that will pay $100,000 upon Bill's death. Bill hesitates, but is soon talked into participating by the persuasive gangsters. Phil, who enjoys the worst sales record in his company, is then chosen as the agent, and he is convinced by Louie to join the scheme. Still certain he is about to die, Bill convinces Louie to pose as an art dealer and buy some of Vickie's paintings with the $5,000 he received from Tiny. When an ecstatic Vickie declares she is staying in New York, however, Bill feels compelled to tell her the truth about Louie. Vickie at first refuses to believe him, but eventually realizes that Jamie belongs back in Wisconsin and makes plans to return. Now in love with Bill, Vickie invites him to Wisconsin, but he insists he must stay in New York. After they enjoy a fun-filled day at the beach, Bill confesses to Vickie that he loves her, but angers her when he turns down her proposal without explanation. Tiny, meanwhile, is growing impatient with Bill and hires his enormous bouncer, Smoky, to fight him in a boxing match. After the fit Bill easily defeats Smoky, Louie tries to exhaust Bill to death through intense exercise. When that fails, Louie forces Bill at gunpoint to a doctor's office and, upon learning the truth about Bill's robust health, drives him to Tiny's. Following them there are Vickie and Jamie, to whom Bill has written a confessional letter. To Bill and Louie's surprise, Tiny welcomes Bill and reveals that he loves Vickie's paintings. When Vickie learns that Tiny is using her art to scare his drunken customers into ordering more alcohol, however, she grabs her paintings and rushes with Jamie to the train station. Bill pursues her there, but is knocked out once again when Vickie angrily hits him with her painting case. At the hospital, Bill proposes to a still upset Vickie, who then learns that Tiny is naming her the beneficiary of Bill's policy on condition she marry him and allow him to keep her paintings. As they drive back to the train station, Vickie finally accepts Bill's proposal with a kiss. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.