Please Believe Me (1950)

86 or 88 mins | Romance, Comedy | 12 May 1950

Director:

Norman Taurog

Producer:

Val Lewton

Cinematographer:

Robert Planck

Editor:

Ferris Webster

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Daniel B. Cathcart

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

According to a Feb 1949 LAT news item, Van Johnson was orginally to star in this picture with Deborah Kerr. Jul 1949 HR production charts also list Johnson's name, and a 25 Jul 1949 M-G-M News item notes that filming had begun with Johnson. By early Aug, however, Johnson's name had been replaced with that of Mark Stevens, who portrayed the character "Matthew Kinston" in the film. Although an Apr 1949 HR news item notes that Matthew Rapf was to work as Val Lewton's assistant, the extent of his contribution to the released film has not been determined. Please Believe Me was Lewton's first and only production for M-G-M. It also marked Robert Walker's return to the screen after an extended absence due to a six-month confinement in a sanitarium following a nervous breakdown. For more information on Walker, please see the entry above for One Touch of Venus . According to a modern source, M-G-M was so pleased with the film's script that they considered raising the budget and starring June Allison as "Alison Kirbe," but Lewton fought to keep Kerr on the ... More Less

According to a Feb 1949 LAT news item, Van Johnson was orginally to star in this picture with Deborah Kerr. Jul 1949 HR production charts also list Johnson's name, and a 25 Jul 1949 M-G-M News item notes that filming had begun with Johnson. By early Aug, however, Johnson's name had been replaced with that of Mark Stevens, who portrayed the character "Matthew Kinston" in the film. Although an Apr 1949 HR news item notes that Matthew Rapf was to work as Val Lewton's assistant, the extent of his contribution to the released film has not been determined. Please Believe Me was Lewton's first and only production for M-G-M. It also marked Robert Walker's return to the screen after an extended absence due to a six-month confinement in a sanitarium following a nervous breakdown. For more information on Walker, please see the entry above for One Touch of Venus . According to a modern source, M-G-M was so pleased with the film's script that they considered raising the budget and starring June Allison as "Alison Kirbe," but Lewton fought to keep Kerr on the film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
11 Mar 1950.
---
Daily Variety
9 Mar 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
10 Mar 50
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Apr 49
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 49
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 49
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Mar 50
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Apr 50
p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
7 Feb 1949.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
11 Mar 50
p. 221.
New York Times
12 Jun 50
p. 19.
Variety
11 Mar 50
p. 12.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Paul E. Burns
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITER
Story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set des
COSTUMES
Miss Kerr's cost
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec supv
MAKEUP
Hair styles designed by
Makeup created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Script supv
Grip
DETAILS
Release Date:
12 May 1950
Premiere Information:
Norfolk and Richmond, Va openings: 15 April 1950
Production Date:
mid July--late August 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
8 March 1950
Copyright Number:
LP2944
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
86 or 88
Length(in feet):
7,806
Country:
United States
PCA No:
14078
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In London, Alison Kirbe, an unassuming young Englishwoman, receives word that Hank Wadburn, a lonely old soldier she befriended during the war, has died and left her his Texas ranch. Unaware that Wadburn's worthless land is littered with tumbleweed and little else, Alison sets sail for America with dreams of commanding a cattle empire. One of Alison's fellow passengers is Terence Keath, a gambler heavily in debt to casino owner Lucky Reilly, who, bankrolled by Reilly, poses as a millionaire to troll the shipboards in search of a rich wife. Believing that Alison is a wealthy heiress, Terry sets his sights on her. Also attracted to Alison is millionaire playboy Jeremy Taylor. Jeremy is accompanied by his attorney, Matthew Kinston, whose sole mission in life seems to be saving his client from breach of promise suits. To impress Alison, Terry arranges for her to be installed in a first class stateroom. When Alison protests, Terry claims that Wadburn was an old family friend and promises to allow her to pay him back once she receives her inheritance. After leaving Alison's luxurious quarters, Terry confers with Vincent Maran, the sleazy attorney whom Reilly has dispatched to make certain that Terry will repay him by marrying a rich heiress. At dinner that evening, both Matt and Jeremy vie for Alison's attentions, but she rejects them both. The next morning, as Terry begins his courtship of Alison, he is interrupted by Matt. To outsmart his watchdog, Jeremy strolls by with a beautiful woman on his arm, thus drawing Matt's attention away from Alison. After Matt leaves to rescue his client, Jeremy approaches Alison and ... +


In London, Alison Kirbe, an unassuming young Englishwoman, receives word that Hank Wadburn, a lonely old soldier she befriended during the war, has died and left her his Texas ranch. Unaware that Wadburn's worthless land is littered with tumbleweed and little else, Alison sets sail for America with dreams of commanding a cattle empire. One of Alison's fellow passengers is Terence Keath, a gambler heavily in debt to casino owner Lucky Reilly, who, bankrolled by Reilly, poses as a millionaire to troll the shipboards in search of a rich wife. Believing that Alison is a wealthy heiress, Terry sets his sights on her. Also attracted to Alison is millionaire playboy Jeremy Taylor. Jeremy is accompanied by his attorney, Matthew Kinston, whose sole mission in life seems to be saving his client from breach of promise suits. To impress Alison, Terry arranges for her to be installed in a first class stateroom. When Alison protests, Terry claims that Wadburn was an old family friend and promises to allow her to pay him back once she receives her inheritance. After leaving Alison's luxurious quarters, Terry confers with Vincent Maran, the sleazy attorney whom Reilly has dispatched to make certain that Terry will repay him by marrying a rich heiress. At dinner that evening, both Matt and Jeremy vie for Alison's attentions, but she rejects them both. The next morning, as Terry begins his courtship of Alison, he is interrupted by Matt. To outsmart his watchdog, Jeremy strolls by with a beautiful woman on his arm, thus drawing Matt's attention away from Alison. After Matt leaves to rescue his client, Jeremy approaches Alison and finds that all she wants to talk about is Matt. At pool side, all three bachelors compete for Alison. Later, when Vincent appears, posing as Terry's valet, Matt recognizes the sleazy attorney and begins to suspect that Alison may be involved in a scheme to fleece his client. Infuriated by Matt's suspicions, Alison brags about her inheritance and borrows money from Terry to buy Jeremy a gift. When the boat docks, Alison decides to stay in New York for a week before continuing on to Texas. Upon returning to his office, Matt initiates an investigation into Alison's ranch. When Alison asks Terry for a loan to pay for her hotel room, Terry sends Vincent to inspect her property and then requisitions Reilly for more money. To evaluate his investment, Reilly instructs Terry to bring Alison to his club that night. When Matt sees Terry, Jeremy and Alison at the gaming tables, he accuses her and Terry of trying to lure Jeremy into losing a lot of money. When Jeremy laughs at his suspicions, Matt apologizes to Alison and Reilly, impressed, advances Terry more money. Later, Matt and Alison share a private kiss on the balcony, leaving both Jeremy and Terry incredulous that she could be interested in a penniless attorney. In Texas, Vincent surveys the vast wasteland that makes up Alison's inheritance and faints, while in New York, Jeremy takes Alison shopping at Terry's expense. Upon discovering that Alison's land is worthless, Matt is convinced that she is out to swindle Jeremy. Summoning Alison to his office, Matt accuses her of being a grifter and produces a telegram describing the hopeless state of her ranch. Deeply offended, Alison relates the story of how Hadburn, a lonely old soldier, tried to repay her kindness by bequeathing his only possession to her, then she storms out of his office. Afterward, Vincent visits Alison at her hotel room, reports on her property and then informs her of Terry's business deal with Reilly and his impending peril at the angry Reilly's hands. Devising a scheme to repay Reilly, Alison sends Terry to Jeremy to ask him to purchase from Alison a family heirloom, a Persian rug. When Jeremy gladly writes a check for several times the rug's true value, Alison tears up the check, then runs into the street to hail a cab. With her three suitors in pursuit, Alison goes to Reilly's club and offers to pay off Terry's debt over time. After telling off Reilly, Alison leaves and Terry, followed by Matt and Jeremy, arrive to save her honor. After Jeremy hands Reilly a check for Terry's entire debt, the three rush back to Alison's hotel room. When all three propose at once, Alison enthusiastically accepts Matt's offer. +

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

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