It Started with Eve (1941)

90 mins | Comedy | 26 September 1941

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Almost an Angel and It Started with Adam . This film was originally scheduled to begin production in Mar 1941, but was delayed until May 1941 due to the extended honeymoon of star Deanna Dubin and her husband, Vaughan Paul. An undated HR news item found at the AFI Library includes Universal contract player Elaine Morey in the cast, but her appearance in the released film could not be confirmed. HR production charts for early Jun 1941 include Richard Carle in the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. NYT reported in Jul 1946 that this was one of the first American films to be shown to German civilians upon the conclusion of World War II.
       It Started with Eve was the last Universal film made by noted producer Joe Pasternak, who signed a long-term contract with M-G-M prior to its production. Hans Kraly's screen story for the film was the basis for two other pictures: a 1964 Universal film called I'd Rather Be Rich , starring Sandra Dee, Maurice Chevalier, Robert Goulet and Andy Williams, directed by Jack Smight and co-written by Norman Krasna (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ; F6.2356); and a 1973 German production, Oh Jonathan, Oh Jonathan , starring Heinz Ruehmann, Peter Fricke and Franziska Oehme, written and directed by Franz Peter Wirth. In 1956, the NBC network broadcast a Lux Video Theatre version of Kraly's story, also titled It Started with Eve , starring Thomas Mitchell, David Janssen and Joan Sinclair, and ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Almost an Angel and It Started with Adam . This film was originally scheduled to begin production in Mar 1941, but was delayed until May 1941 due to the extended honeymoon of star Deanna Dubin and her husband, Vaughan Paul. An undated HR news item found at the AFI Library includes Universal contract player Elaine Morey in the cast, but her appearance in the released film could not be confirmed. HR production charts for early Jun 1941 include Richard Carle in the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. NYT reported in Jul 1946 that this was one of the first American films to be shown to German civilians upon the conclusion of World War II.
       It Started with Eve was the last Universal film made by noted producer Joe Pasternak, who signed a long-term contract with M-G-M prior to its production. Hans Kraly's screen story for the film was the basis for two other pictures: a 1964 Universal film called I'd Rather Be Rich , starring Sandra Dee, Maurice Chevalier, Robert Goulet and Andy Williams, directed by Jack Smight and co-written by Norman Krasna (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ; F6.2356); and a 1973 German production, Oh Jonathan, Oh Jonathan , starring Heinz Ruehmann, Peter Fricke and Franziska Oehme, written and directed by Franz Peter Wirth. In 1956, the NBC network broadcast a Lux Video Theatre version of Kraly's story, also titled It Started with Eve , starring Thomas Mitchell, David Janssen and Joan Sinclair, and directed by Cal Kuhl. For their work on t Started with Eve , Hans Salter and Charles Previn were nominated for an Academy Award for Achievement in Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture), but lost to Ray Heindorf and Heinz Roemheld for Yankee Doodle Dandy . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4 Oct 1941.
---
Daily Variety
29 Sep 41
p. 3.
Daily Variety
2 Apr 56
p. 12.
Film Daily
30 Sep 41
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jan 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Apr 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 May 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jun 41
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jun 41
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Aug 41
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Aug 41
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 41
p. 3.
Life
20 Oct 1941.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Aug 41
p. 205.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
4 Oct 41
p. 297.
New York Times
3 Oct 41
p. 27.
New York Times
14 Jun 1942.
---
New York Times
23 Jul 1946.
---
Variety
1 Oct 41
p. 9.
Variety
29 Jul 1964.
---
Variety
30 May 1973.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Henry Koster Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus score
Vocal coach
SOUND
[Sd] tech
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit pub wrt
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Lord's Prayer," music by Albert Hay Malotte, words traditional
"Clavelitos," Spanish words and music by Joaquin Valverde, English lyrics by Mrs. M. T. E. Sandwith
"When I Sing," adapted from the Sleeping Beauty ballet by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, new lyrics by Samuel Lerner
+
SONGS
"The Lord's Prayer," music by Albert Hay Malotte, words traditional
"Clavelitos," Spanish words and music by Joaquin Valverde, English lyrics by Mrs. M. T. E. Sandwith
"When I Sing," adapted from the Sleeping Beauty ballet by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, new lyrics by Samuel Lerner
"Goin' Home," music adapted from Symphony No. 5 in E Minor ( From the New World ) by Antonín Dvorák, lyrics by William Arms Fisher
"Viene la conga," words and music by Valdesti.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Almost an Angel
Release Date:
26 September 1941
Production Date:
27 May--early September 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
9 October 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10752
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90
Length(in feet):
8,120
Country:
United States
PCA No:
7728
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At the city desk of the New York Daily Star Press , editors prepare the headline story, "Jonathan Reynolds Dies." At the home of the billionaire, meanwhile, his son Johnny, Jr. returns from Mexico City. Dr. Harvey tells Johnny that his father is near death, and his last wish is to meet Johnny's fiancée, Gloria Pennington. Johnny goes to Gloria's hotel and is told that both Gloria and her mother have gone out for the evening. Desperate, Johnny asks hat check girl Anne Terry to pretend to be Gloria. She does so and Jonathan takes an immediate liking to her. The next day, Jonathan awakes feeling refreshed and frisky, and, seemingly recovered, he demands to see Anne. Dr. Harvey warns Johnny that the shock of learning Anne's true identity could be fatal to his father, so Johnny is forced to continue the deception. Johnny snatches Anne away from the railway station, where she was planning to take a train back to Shelbyville, Ohio, having given up on her operatic career in New York. Back at the Reynolds' home, Johnny is surprised by the arrival of the real Gloria and her mother. While Johnny tries to explain things to Gloria, Anne learns that Jonathan has close ties to major opera figures, and convinces him to throw a party, at which she plans to demonstrate her voice. Later, Johnny contrives to tell his father that he and "Gloria" have split up, then introduce the real Gloria as his new girl friend. Anne begs him to wait until after her party, but he refuses, saying that he cannot have all ... +


At the city desk of the New York Daily Star Press , editors prepare the headline story, "Jonathan Reynolds Dies." At the home of the billionaire, meanwhile, his son Johnny, Jr. returns from Mexico City. Dr. Harvey tells Johnny that his father is near death, and his last wish is to meet Johnny's fiancée, Gloria Pennington. Johnny goes to Gloria's hotel and is told that both Gloria and her mother have gone out for the evening. Desperate, Johnny asks hat check girl Anne Terry to pretend to be Gloria. She does so and Jonathan takes an immediate liking to her. The next day, Jonathan awakes feeling refreshed and frisky, and, seemingly recovered, he demands to see Anne. Dr. Harvey warns Johnny that the shock of learning Anne's true identity could be fatal to his father, so Johnny is forced to continue the deception. Johnny snatches Anne away from the railway station, where she was planning to take a train back to Shelbyville, Ohio, having given up on her operatic career in New York. Back at the Reynolds' home, Johnny is surprised by the arrival of the real Gloria and her mother. While Johnny tries to explain things to Gloria, Anne learns that Jonathan has close ties to major opera figures, and convinces him to throw a party, at which she plans to demonstrate her voice. Later, Johnny contrives to tell his father that he and "Gloria" have split up, then introduce the real Gloria as his new girl friend. Anne begs him to wait until after her party, but he refuses, saying that he cannot have all of New York thinking she is Gloria. At dinner the next night, Johnny tells his father that he and Anne have broken up. Anne then bursts into the room, throwing herself at Johnny and begging his forgiveness. Johnny is forced by his father to accept her apology, but insists that she give him on a kiss. Jonathan goes upstairs to leave the two "love birds" alone, but he manages to overhear their arguing and learns the truth. Gloria and her mother then arrive, but when they see Anne and the lipstick on Johnny's mouth, they depart angrily. Anne goes upstairs to tell Jonathan the truth, but when he pretends to be sick, she says nothing. The night of the party arrives, and Jonathan is back to his old self. Johnny arrives with Gloria and her mother, and tells his father that Anne has a headache, and will not be attending. Jonathan calls Anne, and she demands that he leave her alone. Undaunted, he goes to Anne's apartment and tells her that he knows all, but insists she go out with him one last time. The two go to a fancy nightclub, where they are photographed by newspaper photographers, drink "Reynold's specials" and dance the "Conga." When Johnny and Dr. Harvey arrive, Anne throws her drink in Johnny's face, then leaves. The next day, once again Johnny stops Anne at the railway station, telling her that his father has had another attack. Back at the Reynolds' home, Jonathan reveals that he was faking once more and that Dr. Harvey is the sick one. Finally, as they chase and pinch each other around the living room, Johnny and Anne admit their true feelings for each other. Jonathan watches with amusement, then heads upstairs, smoking one of his forbidden cigars. +

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.