September Affair (1951)

91, 103-104 or 106 mins | Romance | 1 February 1951

Director:

William Dieterle

Writer:

Robert Thoeren

Producer:

Hal B. Wallis

Cinematographer:

Charles Lang Jr.

Editor:

Warren Low

Production Designers:

Hans Dreier, Franz Bachelin

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was September . In a letter included in the Hal Wallis Collection at the AMPAS Library, writer Robert Thoeren protested about not being listed as co-author of the story in the screen credits. After reading their contract, Paramount responded that they had no legal obligation to credit him as co-author, despite Thoeren's claims that he did co-write the story. However, even though the final prints of the film had already been distributed, producer Hal Wallis notified the Academy and the Screen Writers' Guild to credit Thoeren as co-author, and instructed the Paramount publicity department to bill him as such in all advertising.
       According to a LAT news item, Ann Todd was initially considered for the lead, and information in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library reveals that William Wyler was considered as director. The running time listed in the Var review for the Venice, Italy premiere was 91 minutes. Additional scenes were shot after the Italian opening and added to the film before the U.S. release. Exteriors were shot on location in and around Rome, Florence, Naples, Pompeii and Capri, Italy, and featured various historical Italian landmarks. Walter Huston, who is heard singing "September Song" during the picture, made the number a hit in the 1939 Broadway play Knickerbocker Holiday , and according to a ParNews item, re-recorded it for this film. Huston died shortly before September Affair was ... More Less

The working title of this film was September . In a letter included in the Hal Wallis Collection at the AMPAS Library, writer Robert Thoeren protested about not being listed as co-author of the story in the screen credits. After reading their contract, Paramount responded that they had no legal obligation to credit him as co-author, despite Thoeren's claims that he did co-write the story. However, even though the final prints of the film had already been distributed, producer Hal Wallis notified the Academy and the Screen Writers' Guild to credit Thoeren as co-author, and instructed the Paramount publicity department to bill him as such in all advertising.
       According to a LAT news item, Ann Todd was initially considered for the lead, and information in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library reveals that William Wyler was considered as director. The running time listed in the Var review for the Venice, Italy premiere was 91 minutes. Additional scenes were shot after the Italian opening and added to the film before the U.S. release. Exteriors were shot on location in and around Rome, Florence, Naples, Pompeii and Capri, Italy, and featured various historical Italian landmarks. Walter Huston, who is heard singing "September Song" during the picture, made the number a hit in the 1939 Broadway play Knickerbocker Holiday , and according to a ParNews item, re-recorded it for this film. Huston died shortly before September Affair was released. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Jun 50
p. 127, 195.
Box Office
21 Oct 1950.
---
Film Daily
18 Oct 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Nov 49
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Nov 49
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Aug 50
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Sep 50
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
13 Aug 1948.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
21 Oct 50
p. 538.
New York Times
2 Feb 51
p. 19.
Variety
6 Sep 50
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Hal Wallis' Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Asst to prod
WRITERS
From a story by
Contr wrt
Contr to scr constr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Fill-in dir of photog
European photog
Asst cam European photog
Cam op
Gaffer
Grip
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Ed supv
Asst cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
Ward
MUSIC
Solo piano recordings by
Mus score
Mus instructor
Concert scene cond
VISUAL EFFECTS
European backgrounds
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Asst prod mgr
Casting
Casting
Pub
Scr supv
Stage eng
Cable man
SOURCES
MUSIC
Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Preludes Nos. 13 and 15 by Frédéric Chopin.
SONGS
"September Song," music and lyrics by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
September
Release Date:
1 February 1951
Premiere Information:
Venice, Italy film festival showing: 25 August 1950
Rome, Italy opening: 14 September 1950
Production Date:
Italian unit: 1 August--31 August 1949
1st unit: 1 November--15 December 1949
Addl scenes: 19 December 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
3 February 1951
Copyright Number:
LP705
Duration(in mins):
91, 103-104 or 106
Length(in feet):
9,431
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14305
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In Rome, Italy, concert pianist Manina Stuart and manufacturing tycoon David Lawrence pick up airline tickets at the same office, but take no notice of each other. Manina and David coincidentally meet later aboard the same U.S.-bound flight, and when the plane lands in Naples because of engine trouble, Manina and David go off sightseeing together. David, who is estranged from his wife Catherine, and Manina, who is single, are delighted by each other's company. When they miss their plane by a few moments, they decide to stay in Naples for a few days. After sightseeing in Pompeii and Capri, David admits that he was traveling alone because he had lost his identity and become unfamiliar with his family after working so many years building his turbine factory. Although Manina and David fall in love, Manina insists they remain platonic friends, and David admits that Catherine, who had initially agreed to his request for a divorce, recently sent him a letter saying she had changed her mind. The next day, David and Manina prepare to return to the United States and are stunned to read a newspaper account about their previous flight, which went down in the Mediterranean. When they see that their names are listed among those presumed dead, David and Manina realize that they have been given a second chance at happiness. David and Manina rent a villa in Florence, and agree to give up their respective careers in order to be together. In the United States, meanwhile, Catherine and her son, David, Jr., mourn David's passing, and their attorney, Charles Morrison, informs Catherine that just prior to the plane accident, David made a ... +


In Rome, Italy, concert pianist Manina Stuart and manufacturing tycoon David Lawrence pick up airline tickets at the same office, but take no notice of each other. Manina and David coincidentally meet later aboard the same U.S.-bound flight, and when the plane lands in Naples because of engine trouble, Manina and David go off sightseeing together. David, who is estranged from his wife Catherine, and Manina, who is single, are delighted by each other's company. When they miss their plane by a few moments, they decide to stay in Naples for a few days. After sightseeing in Pompeii and Capri, David admits that he was traveling alone because he had lost his identity and become unfamiliar with his family after working so many years building his turbine factory. Although Manina and David fall in love, Manina insists they remain platonic friends, and David admits that Catherine, who had initially agreed to his request for a divorce, recently sent him a letter saying she had changed her mind. The next day, David and Manina prepare to return to the United States and are stunned to read a newspaper account about their previous flight, which went down in the Mediterranean. When they see that their names are listed among those presumed dead, David and Manina realize that they have been given a second chance at happiness. David and Manina rent a villa in Florence, and agree to give up their respective careers in order to be together. In the United States, meanwhile, Catherine and her son, David, Jr., mourn David's passing, and their attorney, Charles Morrison, informs Catherine that just prior to the plane accident, David made a large withdrawal from his account for an Italian woman named Maria Salvatini. Although Catherine admits that her marriage was in trouble, she is now distraught because she will never know if David was returning because he loved her, or merely to fulfill their marriage contract. Although David and Manina live in idyllic happiness, Manina's piano mentor, Maria, believes they are selfish and cowardly. She nevertheless remains close to Manina and disburses David's money as needed. Catherine decides to vacation in Italy with David, Jr., and goes to see Maria, believing that she was the "other woman." Manina is present when Catherine arrives and is disturbed when Catherine reveals that she feels responsible for David's death because he was returning to her when his plane crashed. Neither Maria nor Manina reveal the truth, but David, Jr. recognizes Manina from the newspaper reports about the accident, and later he and Catherine realize that David must be alive and living with Manina. Catherine's only response to the news of David's betrayal is joy that he is safe. David launches a project to create a dam for an arid Italian countryside, but is soon forced to abandon the idea because it would mean revealing that he is alive. Manina sees his disappointment and goes to see Catherine, but finds only David, Jr. in their hotel room. David, Jr. tells Manina that he and his mother know the truth and are returning home. He then gives her a letter for his father, who he bitterly insists no longer exists. That night, David reads the letter in which Catherine has written that she will grant him a divorce. Freed by this news, David renews his dam project, while Manina accepts a New York concert date, and prepares to return to the United States with David. Although Manina is glad to return to her career, she harbors a sense that her relationship may not survive the change. Back home, David thanks Catherine for her compassion and reveals that he is confused. Although Manina's Carnegie Hall performance of Rachmaninoff's Concerto Number 2 is a success, she books a flight for South America, where she is scheduled to play, and informs David that their pasts are too real to ignore. Unable to endure a love built on deception, Manina leaves David at the airport. +

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.