The Fan (1949)

79 mins | Drama | May 1949

Full page view
HISTORY

Warner Bros., which had produced an earlier version of Oscar Wilde's play directed by Ernst Lubitsch (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.2946), announced in May 1946 that it would make a second version starring Bette Davis. However, according to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, Fox bought the rights to the Wilde play from Warner Bros. in Oct 1947, through a third party, for $25,000. The play was in the public domain in the U.S. but was protected in Great Britain and most of Europe until Dec 1950. The studio announced that Gene Tierney would play Lady Windermere, but she bowed out due to pregnancy. Actors Eric Noonan, Terry Kilburn and Tempe Pigott are listed as appearing in the film by the CBCS but were not in the print viewed. Wilde's play was also filmed in Britain in 1916 with Netta Westcott as Lady Windermere, in Mexico in 1944 with Susana Guízar, and in Germany in 1935 with Hanna Waag, directed by Heinz Hilpert. In Argentina, Dolores Del Rio and Fernando Lamas starred in the 1948 Luis Saslavsky version, Historia de una mala mujer ... More Less

Warner Bros., which had produced an earlier version of Oscar Wilde's play directed by Ernst Lubitsch (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.2946), announced in May 1946 that it would make a second version starring Bette Davis. However, according to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, Fox bought the rights to the Wilde play from Warner Bros. in Oct 1947, through a third party, for $25,000. The play was in the public domain in the U.S. but was protected in Great Britain and most of Europe until Dec 1950. The studio announced that Gene Tierney would play Lady Windermere, but she bowed out due to pregnancy. Actors Eric Noonan, Terry Kilburn and Tempe Pigott are listed as appearing in the film by the CBCS but were not in the print viewed. Wilde's play was also filmed in Britain in 1916 with Netta Westcott as Lady Windermere, in Mexico in 1944 with Susana Guízar, and in Germany in 1935 with Hanna Waag, directed by Heinz Hilpert. In Argentina, Dolores Del Rio and Fernando Lamas starred in the 1948 Luis Saslavsky version, Historia de una mala mujer .

More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Apr 1949.
---
Daily Variety
31 Mar 49
p. 4.
Film Daily
7 Apr 49
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jul 48
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Aug 48
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 49
p. 3, 5
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
2 Apr 49
p. 4557.
New York Herald Tribune
16 May 1946.
---
New York Times
2 Apr 49
p. 12.
Variety
6 Apr 49
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward dir
Cost des
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
Diction adv
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde (London, 20 Feb 1892).
AUTHOR
MUSIC
Waltz from the ballet Coppélia by Léo Delibes
"The New Annen Polka" by Johann Strauss II.
DETAILS
Release Date:
May 1949
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 2 April 1949
Production Date:
early July--mid August 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 April 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2329
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
79
Length(in feet):
7,131
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13226
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In London, in 1949, elderly Mrs. Erlynne is attending an auction when she recognizes one of the items being offered, a Regency period fan, as belonging to her. It had been in storage for many years and is being sold as unclaimed property from a blitzed building. The auctioneer informs Mrs. Erlynne that if she can find another party who can vouch that the fan is hers, she can have it. Anxious to reclaim the fan, Mrs. Erlynne goes to see Lord Robert Darlington, who does not remember her at first. To jog his memory, she tells him that she has seen the fan that once belonged to the now-deceased Lady Margaret Windermere, with whom Lord Darlington was very much in love. As they walk together, Mrs. Erlynne shows Lord Darlington where they first met, a shop that in 1899 was a jewelers called Warrington's. Mrs. Erlynne then recounts the day in 1899 when in desperation, she came to the shop to sell her earrings. While she is there, she overhears Lord Arthur Windermere, who is accompanied by Lord Darlington and their friend, Cecil Graham, ordering that a fan he has purchased for his wife be inscribed with her name and birthdate. After they leave, Mrs. Erlynne tells the jeweler that Lord Windermere gave him the wrong date for his wife's birthday. When Lord Windermere returns to confirm this, Mrs. Erlynne tells him that she knew the correct date from reading the newspaper society columns. Later that day, however, Margaret comments to her husband that there has been no mention of her upcoming birthday ball in the newspapers. Back in the present, Lord Darlington seeks refuge from Mrs. Erlynne ... +


In London, in 1949, elderly Mrs. Erlynne is attending an auction when she recognizes one of the items being offered, a Regency period fan, as belonging to her. It had been in storage for many years and is being sold as unclaimed property from a blitzed building. The auctioneer informs Mrs. Erlynne that if she can find another party who can vouch that the fan is hers, she can have it. Anxious to reclaim the fan, Mrs. Erlynne goes to see Lord Robert Darlington, who does not remember her at first. To jog his memory, she tells him that she has seen the fan that once belonged to the now-deceased Lady Margaret Windermere, with whom Lord Darlington was very much in love. As they walk together, Mrs. Erlynne shows Lord Darlington where they first met, a shop that in 1899 was a jewelers called Warrington's. Mrs. Erlynne then recounts the day in 1899 when in desperation, she came to the shop to sell her earrings. While she is there, she overhears Lord Arthur Windermere, who is accompanied by Lord Darlington and their friend, Cecil Graham, ordering that a fan he has purchased for his wife be inscribed with her name and birthdate. After they leave, Mrs. Erlynne tells the jeweler that Lord Windermere gave him the wrong date for his wife's birthday. When Lord Windermere returns to confirm this, Mrs. Erlynne tells him that she knew the correct date from reading the newspaper society columns. Later that day, however, Margaret comments to her husband that there has been no mention of her upcoming birthday ball in the newspapers. Back in the present, Lord Darlington seeks refuge from Mrs. Erlynne at his tailors, but she invades the fitting room and continues her story: His curiosity piqued, Lord Windermere visits Mrs. Erlynne at her hotel, but she refuses to reveal how she knows his wife's birthdate and explains to him that she is trying to break into London society to find a husband. Later, Mrs. Erlynne is invited to a fencing tournament by Lord Augustus Lorton. Before the contest is interrupted by rain, Lord Darlington makes overtures to Margaret. Soon after the tournament, Lord Windermere learns that Mrs. Erlynne has leased a house in his name. When she informs him that she plans to become Lord Lorton's wife, Lord Windermere tells her that she is the most outrageously brazen woman he has ever met. Emboldened by rumors about Lord Windermere and Mrs. Erlynne, Lord Darlington continues attempts to seduce Lady Windermere. Eventually the Duchess of Berwick informs Lady Windermere of her husband's involvement with Mrs. Erlynne but she at first refuses to believe it. A doubt-filled Lady Windermere finally examines her husband's checkbook, where she discovers records of several payments to Mrs. Erlynne. Lord Windermere tries to explain that he has done nothing wrong, but Margaret swears to find a way to hurt him for what he has done. The next day, Lord Windermere tells Mrs. Erlynne that, due to all the gossip, she will have to leave London. However, while he is with Mrs. Erlynne, an invitation to the ball arrives from Margaret. Lord Windermere, knowing the true identity of Mrs. Erlynne, gives her a check for £10,000. Back in the present, Mrs. Erlynne reveals to Lord Darlington that Margaret was her daughter but Lord Windermere was the only one who knew her secret because in order to appear young, she could not admit to having a grown daughter. Mrs. Erlynne then continues her story: At the ball, after Mrs. Erlynne introduces herself to Lady Windermere, Lord Darlington tells Margaret that he is in love with her and wants her to leave with him. When Mrs. Erlynne dances with Lord Windermere, telling him that she has practically snared Lord Lorton, Lady Windermere leaves the ball and goes alone to Lord Darlington's house. Mrs. Erlynne follows her and advises her to go back to her husband, assuring her that Lord Windermere has been writing checks on behalf of Lord Lorton, who has been trying to conceal his relationship with Mrs. Erlynne from his sister, the Duchess of Berwick. When Lord Darlington returns home with Lord Windermere, Lord Lorton and Cecil Graham for a drink, the women hide. The men soon discover Margaret's fan, and Lord Windermere accuses Lord Darlington of having an affair with his wife. Margaret escapes and Mrs. Erlynne claims the fan is hers, thus implicating herself in an affair with Lord Darlington and ruining her prospects with Lord Lorton. The next morning, Lady Windermere goes to visit Mrs. Erlynne to thank her for her sacrifice and Mrs. Erlynne says that she can repay her by being silent. After telling Mrs. Erlynne that her father died of a broken heart after her mother "died," Margaret leaves without discovering that Mrs. Erlynne is her mother. Mrs. Erlynne decides to stay in London and tears up the check Lord Windermere gave her. Later, Margaret sends her a bouquet of roses and the fan. Back at the tailors' shop, Lord Darlington invites Mrs. Erlynne to dine with him, and they leave to collect the fan from the auction house. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.