Call Me Mister (1951)

95-96 mins | Musical | February 1951

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The CATS . The following cadence chant is heard over the opening credits: "Sound off, one two, sound off, three four. Cadence count, one two three four, one two three four. Betty Grable's on the loose, Dan Dailey's neck is in a noose. So settle down folks here we go! Strike up the band, on with the show! And sound off!" According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, Arnold B. Horwitt collaborated with Arnold M. Auerbach on two of the sketches appearing in the original stage revue. It is unlikely that Horwitt's material was used for the film, however. Studio records also indicate that Marion Turk, E. Edwin Moran, Wanda Tuchock and John Larkin worked on early drafts of the screenplay, but the extent of their contribution to the completed picture has not been determined.
       According to an Oct 1947 HR news item, George Jessel was originally set to produce the picture, which was to star Rex Harrison and Peggy Cummins. Studio records note that Mark Stevens was first signed to play "Johnny Comstock," Don Hicks was cast as "Pvt. Stewart" and Thurston Hall was set to play "Gen. Steele." None of those actors appear in the completed film, however. HR news items indicate that shooting on the film's musical numbers may have begun in early Jun 1950. Music score writer Leigh Harline was borrowed from RKO for the production. Contemporary sources note that background footage was shot on location in Tokyo, Japan, and that a newsroom scene was ... More Less

The working title of this film was The CATS . The following cadence chant is heard over the opening credits: "Sound off, one two, sound off, three four. Cadence count, one two three four, one two three four. Betty Grable's on the loose, Dan Dailey's neck is in a noose. So settle down folks here we go! Strike up the band, on with the show! And sound off!" According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, Arnold B. Horwitt collaborated with Arnold M. Auerbach on two of the sketches appearing in the original stage revue. It is unlikely that Horwitt's material was used for the film, however. Studio records also indicate that Marion Turk, E. Edwin Moran, Wanda Tuchock and John Larkin worked on early drafts of the screenplay, but the extent of their contribution to the completed picture has not been determined.
       According to an Oct 1947 HR news item, George Jessel was originally set to produce the picture, which was to star Rex Harrison and Peggy Cummins. Studio records note that Mark Stevens was first signed to play "Johnny Comstock," Don Hicks was cast as "Pvt. Stewart" and Thurston Hall was set to play "Gen. Steele." None of those actors appear in the completed film, however. HR news items indicate that shooting on the film's musical numbers may have begun in early Jun 1950. Music score writer Leigh Harline was borrowed from RKO for the production. Contemporary sources note that background footage was shot on location in Tokyo, Japan, and that a newsroom scene was shot in the offices of the Los Angeles Daily Mirror . Call Me Mister marked the screen debut of actor Paul Burke (1926--2009). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
27 Jan 1951.
---
Daily Variety
24 Jan 51
p. 3.
Film Daily
25 Jan 51
p. 12.
Harrison's Reports
27 Jan 1951.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Oct 47
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Oct 47
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 50
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
9 May 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jun 50
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 50
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 50
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Aug 50
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 50
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Aug 50
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Oct 50
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Oct 50
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Oct 50
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Oct 50
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Oct 50
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Oct 50
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jan 51
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
10 Feb 1951.
---
Motion Picture Daily
24 Jan 1951.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
27 Jan 51
pp. 689-90.
New York Times
1 Feb 51
p. 21.
Variety
24 Jan 51
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
William Edwards
George Offerman
William Mauch
Henry Kruse
Mitzie Uehlein
Beverly Jordan
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Loc dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Props
COSTUMES
Ward dir
Men's ward
Women's ward
MUSIC
Mus dir
Incidental mus
Vocal arr
Vocal arr
Vocal arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Special photog eff
DANCE
Dances staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup
Betty Grable's hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Army tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Asst prod mgr
Unit mgr
Dial dir
Scr clerk
Casting
Casting
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Suggested by the musical Call Me Mister by Harold J. Rome and Arnold M. Auerbach (New York, 18 Apr 1946).
MUSIC
"South America, Take It Away" and "Military Life (The Jerk Song)" by Harold J. Rome
"There's Yes! Yes! in Your Eyes," music by Joseph H. Santly
"The Army Air Corps Song" by Robert Crawford.
SONGS
"I Just Can't Do Enough for You, Baby," "Japanese Girl Like American Boy" and "Love Is Back in Business," music and lyrics by Mack Gordon and Sammy Fain
"Lament to the Pots and Pans," music and lyrics by Jerry Seelen and Earl K. Brent
"Going Home Train" and "Call Me Mister," music and lyrics by Harold J. Rome
+
SONGS
"I Just Can't Do Enough for You, Baby," "Japanese Girl Like American Boy" and "Love Is Back in Business," music and lyrics by Mack Gordon and Sammy Fain
"Lament to the Pots and Pans," music and lyrics by Jerry Seelen and Earl K. Brent
"Going Home Train" and "Call Me Mister," music and lyrics by Harold J. Rome
"I'm Gonna Love That Guy (Like He's Never Been Loved Before)," music and lyrics by Frances Ash
"Military Life," music and lyrics by Harold J. Rome, revised lyrics by Jerry Seelen
"Opening title cadence chant," lyrics by Jeff Alexander.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The CATS
Release Date:
February 1951
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 31 January 1951
Los Angeles opening: 9 February 1951
Production Date:
26 June--late August 1950
addl seq October 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
31 January 1951
Copyright Number:
LP811
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
95-96
Length(in feet):
8,621
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14722
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After Japan surrenders at the end of World War II, American soldiers anxiously await their transfer back to the United States. Among the men stationed at Camp Zama in Tokyo is former dancer Staff Sgt. Shep Dooley, who attempts to sell his tap shoes on the black market. During his outing, Shep runs into his estranged wife and former partner, Kay Hudson, who is now a member of the Army organization C.A.T.S.: The Civilian Actress Technicians Service. Although she is initially pleased to see Shep after their three-year separation, Kay quickly remembers that she left him because of his womanizing and tells him that they are through. Later, after Kay and her pal, Billie Barton, appear in a show in Tokyo, Kay learns that two C.A.T.S. volunteers are needed to organize a musical revue for the troops in remote Kyoto. Not realizing that Shep is scheduled to return to the United States soon, Kay hopes to escape his attentions by going to Kyoto. The next day, at their new post, Kay and Billie are frustrated in their attempts to secure forty soldiers to help them mount the show until Capt. Johnny Comstock of the engineering company assigns them a platoon. Johnny is enamoured of the lovely Kay, but she is distracted from his attentions by the sudden arrival of Shep. Kay reluctantly admits that she still loves Shep, although their romance encounters difficulties when he is accidentally locked in the women's barracks overnight and therefore is late returning to Tokyo. When he arrives back at Camp Zama, Shep learns that his comrades sailed for home that day, and he is now considered AWOL. Fearful ... +


After Japan surrenders at the end of World War II, American soldiers anxiously await their transfer back to the United States. Among the men stationed at Camp Zama in Tokyo is former dancer Staff Sgt. Shep Dooley, who attempts to sell his tap shoes on the black market. During his outing, Shep runs into his estranged wife and former partner, Kay Hudson, who is now a member of the Army organization C.A.T.S.: The Civilian Actress Technicians Service. Although she is initially pleased to see Shep after their three-year separation, Kay quickly remembers that she left him because of his womanizing and tells him that they are through. Later, after Kay and her pal, Billie Barton, appear in a show in Tokyo, Kay learns that two C.A.T.S. volunteers are needed to organize a musical revue for the troops in remote Kyoto. Not realizing that Shep is scheduled to return to the United States soon, Kay hopes to escape his attentions by going to Kyoto. The next day, at their new post, Kay and Billie are frustrated in their attempts to secure forty soldiers to help them mount the show until Capt. Johnny Comstock of the engineering company assigns them a platoon. Johnny is enamoured of the lovely Kay, but she is distracted from his attentions by the sudden arrival of Shep. Kay reluctantly admits that she still loves Shep, although their romance encounters difficulties when he is accidentally locked in the women's barracks overnight and therefore is late returning to Tokyo. When he arrives back at Camp Zama, Shep learns that his comrades sailed for home that day, and he is now considered AWOL. Fearful of being arrested and desiring to return to Kay, Shep forges official orders sending him back to Kyoto to help her stage the revue. Johnny continues to pursue Kay, although she warns him that she is in love with someone else. Kay resumes dating Shep and begins rehearsals of the show. Shep, meanwhile, is desperate to retrieve his orders from the orderly sergeant before it is discovered that they are forgeries. With the aid of Pfc. Stanley Popopolis, Shep sneaks into the sergeant's office but winds up trapped in the closet and misses a date with Kay. The next day, Kay furiously rejects Shep's apology but once again relents and offers him one last chance to prove that he has changed. Hoping to remove Shep as a rival, Johnny orders him to pull guard duty that night, and although Johnny has a change of heart about the subterfuge, the damage is done and Shep again stands Kay up. The next day, Johnny proposes to Kay but she gently turns him down. Shep visits her soon after and admits to her that he is AWOL and in Kyoto under phony orders, but Kay, believing that he is lying, sends him away. The next evening, as the show is about to begin, Johnny informs Kay that Shep has been arrested for leaving her quarters after hours, as the women's barracks are off-limits to male personnel. Johnny also reveals that Shep did perform guard duty, and Kay, realizing that Shep has told her the complete truth, begs Johnny to obtain his release so that he may perform in the show. When the MPs bring Shep to the theater, however, Stanley misunderstands their presence and reveals that Shep is AWOL. The problem is solved, however, when it is discovered that Shep's paperwork was processed with the rest of his company when they were transferred to the United States and released from duty. Because Shep is no longer in the Army, he cannot be AWOL, and he is released to appear in the show. Shep and Kay then sing together happily, secure in the knowledge that they have a bright future together. +

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.