Vivacious Lady (1938)

90 mins | Comedy | 13 May 1938

Director:

George Stevens

Producer:

George Stevens

Cinematographer:

Robert de Grasse

Editor:

Henry Berman

Production Designer:

Van Nest Polglase

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Production on this film began in Apr 1937, according to HR news items and production charts. When James Stewart became ill after four days of shooting and then had to leave to star in M-G-M's Benefits Forgot , the project was shelved until mid-Dec 1937. Although George Stevens continued as director, some cast members were replaced in the production, including Fay Bainter and Donald Crisp. According to HR , after Stewart's departure, RKO considered replacing him with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. HR also announced that James Ellison and Fairbanks were competing for the same role. RKO borrowed Stewart from M-G-M for the production. One Jan 1938 HR production chart lists Kay Van Riper as a co-screenwriter with Anne Morrison Chapin, who is credited by the SAB as a treatment writer. Riper's contribution to the final film has not been determined. One reviewer advised exhibitors to screen this film before booking it, as he feared that younger, impressionable viewers might forget that "Francey" and "Peter" were married. Robert de Grasse received an Academy Award nomination for his photography on the production. Although Hugh McDowell, Jr. is credited on screen as sound recorder, James Wilkinson, the head of RKO's sound department, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound. Modern sources add the following actors to the cast: Maurice Black ( Head waiter ), June Eberling ( Girl on bus ), Marvin Jones ( Boy on bus ), Bobby Barber ( Italian ), Ray Mayer and George Chandler ( Men on train ), Harry Campbell, June Johnson, Kay Sutton, Phyllis Fraser, Edgar Dearing, Helena Grant, ... More Less

Production on this film began in Apr 1937, according to HR news items and production charts. When James Stewart became ill after four days of shooting and then had to leave to star in M-G-M's Benefits Forgot , the project was shelved until mid-Dec 1937. Although George Stevens continued as director, some cast members were replaced in the production, including Fay Bainter and Donald Crisp. According to HR , after Stewart's departure, RKO considered replacing him with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. HR also announced that James Ellison and Fairbanks were competing for the same role. RKO borrowed Stewart from M-G-M for the production. One Jan 1938 HR production chart lists Kay Van Riper as a co-screenwriter with Anne Morrison Chapin, who is credited by the SAB as a treatment writer. Riper's contribution to the final film has not been determined. One reviewer advised exhibitors to screen this film before booking it, as he feared that younger, impressionable viewers might forget that "Francey" and "Peter" were married. Robert de Grasse received an Academy Award nomination for his photography on the production. Although Hugh McDowell, Jr. is credited on screen as sound recorder, James Wilkinson, the head of RKO's sound department, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound. Modern sources add the following actors to the cast: Maurice Black ( Head waiter ), June Eberling ( Girl on bus ), Marvin Jones ( Boy on bus ), Bobby Barber ( Italian ), Ray Mayer and George Chandler ( Men on train ), Harry Campbell, June Johnson, Kay Sutton, Phyllis Fraser, Edgar Dearing, Helena Grant, Vivian Reid, Vernon Dent, Kathleen Ellis, June Horne, Dorothy Johnson, Phoebe Terbell, Robert Wilson, Stanley Blystone and Barbara Pepper. In addition, modern sources credit Mel Berns with make-up and John Miehle with still photography. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
30 Apr 38
p. 3.
Film Daily
5 May 38
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Apr 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Apr 37
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 37
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
5 May 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Oct 37
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Dec 37
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jan 38
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Mar 38
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 38
p. 2.
Motion Picture Daily
9 May 38
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
15 Jan 38
p. 29.
Motion Picture Herald
7 May 38
p. 36.
New York Times
3 Jun 38
p. 17.
Variety
4 May 38
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Pandro S. Berman in charge of production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Contr to trmt
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dresser
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
Orch arr
SOUND
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Vivacious Lady" by I. A. R. Wylie in Pictorial Review (Oct 1936).
SONGS
"You'll Be Reminded of Me," words and music by George Jessel, Jack Meskill and Ted Shapiro, vocal arrangement by Roger Edens.
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 May 1938
Production Date:
mid April 1937
mid December 1937--5 March 1938
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
13 May 1938
Copyright Number:
LP8083
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3330
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When Peter Morgan, a young botany professor from Old Sharon, New York, goes to Manhattan on orders from his father to bring back his wayward cousin Keith, he instead falls in love with Francey, a high-spirited nightclub singer. After a day of starry-eyed courtship, Francey and Peter marry, but are unable to consumate the union on the train to Old Sharon. The couple then must face Peter's domineering, conservative father when they arrive at the university town. Upon seeing blonde Francey at the train station, Mr. Morgan immediately assumes that she is Keith's lover and refuses to discuss her with his son. Afraid of upsetting his heart-troubled mother, Peter decides to tell his parents and Helen, his snobbish fiancée, about his marriage at the school prom and sends Francey off to stay with Keith in his bachelor apartment. Posing as a botany student, Francey shows up at the prom with Keith, but before Peter can bring his parents and new wife together, Francey is taunted into a hair-pulling brawl with the jealous Helen. Worried about his cousin's penchant for womanizing, Peter tells Francey to leave Keith's place, and she moves into a women-only apartment building. Finally, Peter manages to tell his father about Francey, and after the initial shock of the news wears off, he condemns the marriage. In the wake of her husband's fury, Mrs. Morgan falls ill. The next day, however, having been told by Helen that Francey has seduced her son, Mrs. Morgan goes to confront Francey in her apartment and happily learns the truth. Mr. Morgan arrives and orders Francey to divorce Peter, but Mrs. Morgan revolts ... +


When Peter Morgan, a young botany professor from Old Sharon, New York, goes to Manhattan on orders from his father to bring back his wayward cousin Keith, he instead falls in love with Francey, a high-spirited nightclub singer. After a day of starry-eyed courtship, Francey and Peter marry, but are unable to consumate the union on the train to Old Sharon. The couple then must face Peter's domineering, conservative father when they arrive at the university town. Upon seeing blonde Francey at the train station, Mr. Morgan immediately assumes that she is Keith's lover and refuses to discuss her with his son. Afraid of upsetting his heart-troubled mother, Peter decides to tell his parents and Helen, his snobbish fiancée, about his marriage at the school prom and sends Francey off to stay with Keith in his bachelor apartment. Posing as a botany student, Francey shows up at the prom with Keith, but before Peter can bring his parents and new wife together, Francey is taunted into a hair-pulling brawl with the jealous Helen. Worried about his cousin's penchant for womanizing, Peter tells Francey to leave Keith's place, and she moves into a women-only apartment building. Finally, Peter manages to tell his father about Francey, and after the initial shock of the news wears off, he condemns the marriage. In the wake of her husband's fury, Mrs. Morgan falls ill. The next day, however, having been told by Helen that Francey has seduced her son, Mrs. Morgan goes to confront Francey in her apartment and happily learns the truth. Mr. Morgan arrives and orders Francey to divorce Peter, but Mrs. Morgan revolts and decides to leave her husband. Having revealed that she has been feigning her heart attacks, Mrs. Morgan leaves Old Sharon on the same train as a depressed, discouraged Francey. The two women and their husbands are soon reunited on the train after Peter successfully challenges his father's authority and convinces him that love is more important than either image or career. +

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.