Kitty Foyle (1940)

105 mins | Drama | 27 December 1940

Director:

Sam Wood

Writer:

Dalton Trumbo

Producer:

David Hempstead

Cinematographer:

Robert de Grasse

Editor:

Henry Berman

Production Designer:

Van Nest Polglase

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The opening credits feature a subtitle describing the film as The Natural History of a Woman . The film then opens with a brief, silent prologue set in 1900, depicting the life of women and the development of the "white-collar girl" of 1940. According to a news item in HR , RKO originally wanted William Wyler to direct this film. The writing credits were changed several times during the production of the picture. Although onscreen credits attribute the screenplay to Dalton Trumbo and additional dialogue to Donald Ogden Stewart, SAB credits Stewart with "substantial contribution to screenplay construction"; HR production charts credit him with screenplay, and RKO records contained in the UCLA Theater Arts Library credit him with continuity. SAB also adds Robert Ardrey as "substantial contributor to treatment" and studio records credit him with continuity.
       Modern sources note that Stewart's screenplay was considered "unshootable" by RKO and rewritten by Trumbo, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the picture. Studio records also add L. Noble as director for some scenes, but he is not credited onscreen, in SAB or reviews, and his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Other news items in HR note that RKO unsuccessfully tried to hire Dennis Morgan away from Warner Bros., to which he was under contract, because of his performance as Wyn Strafford. RKO moved up the release date of this film to qualify it for the 1940 Academy Awards. Ginger Rogers won Best Actress for her work, and Sam Wood was nominated for Best Direction. The film ... More Less

The opening credits feature a subtitle describing the film as The Natural History of a Woman . The film then opens with a brief, silent prologue set in 1900, depicting the life of women and the development of the "white-collar girl" of 1940. According to a news item in HR , RKO originally wanted William Wyler to direct this film. The writing credits were changed several times during the production of the picture. Although onscreen credits attribute the screenplay to Dalton Trumbo and additional dialogue to Donald Ogden Stewart, SAB credits Stewart with "substantial contribution to screenplay construction"; HR production charts credit him with screenplay, and RKO records contained in the UCLA Theater Arts Library credit him with continuity. SAB also adds Robert Ardrey as "substantial contributor to treatment" and studio records credit him with continuity.
       Modern sources note that Stewart's screenplay was considered "unshootable" by RKO and rewritten by Trumbo, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the picture. Studio records also add L. Noble as director for some scenes, but he is not credited onscreen, in SAB or reviews, and his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Other news items in HR note that RKO unsuccessfully tried to hire Dennis Morgan away from Warner Bros., to which he was under contract, because of his performance as Wyn Strafford. RKO moved up the release date of this film to qualify it for the 1940 Academy Awards. Ginger Rogers won Best Actress for her work, and Sam Wood was nominated for Best Direction. The film was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Sound Recording. In 1941, Lux Radio Theater performed a version of Kitty Foyle featuring the film's stars. Television versions were performed on NBC in 1950, ABC in 1954 and CBS in 1955. The story was featured as a daytime NBC serial in 1958. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
17 Dec 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
23 Dec 40
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Apr 40
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 40
p. 9
Hollywood Reporter
25 Oct 40
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Nov 40
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Dec 40
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Dec 40
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
23 Dec 40
pp. 1-4.
Motion Picture Herald
21 Dec 40
p. 41.
New York Times
9 Jan 41
p. 27.
Variety
18 Dec 40
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Contr to trmt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Kitty Foyle by Christopher Morley (New York, 1939).
MUSIC
"I'll See You in My Dreams," music and lyrics by Isham Jones.
SONGS
"Happy Days Are Here Again," music and lyrics by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen
"Want a Girl?" composer undetermined.
DETAILS
Release Date:
27 December 1940
Production Date:
26 August--26 October 1940
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
27 December 1940
Copyright Number:
LP10228
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
105
Country:
United States
PCA No:
6639
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On a snowy eve, Kitty Foyle, an executive at Delphine Detaille's fashion house, is confronted with a choice that will change the course of her life: to marry Mark Eisen, a young, sincere doctor, or to sail away with Wyn Stafford, with whom she has been in love for years and who has just re-entered her life. As she wrestles with her conscience, Kitty thinks back to her youth in Philadelphia: young Kitty gawks at the society "Main Liners" and dreams of her Prince Charming, disregarding the advice of her father, who warns her against trying to go out of her class. Five years later, Kitty meets her prince in the person of wealthy Wyn Strafford, who is so charmed by the girl that he offers her a job at his fledgling magazine. The two fall in love, but Wyn does not have the courage to break from his life in Philadelphia's Main Line society. After her beloved father's death, Kitty goes to New York, where she begins to date Mark while she still longing for Wyn. Wyn finally comes for Kitty and the two are married, but when he takes her home, his family wants to "remake" her and she rebels. Kitty forces Wyn to make a choice, but he remains a prisoner of his family's money and position and the marriage is annulled. Kitty returns to New York, where she learns in rapid succession that she is pregnant and that Wyn is to marry a Philadelphia socialite. Kitty's plans to rear the child by herself come to an abrupt end when the infant dies in childbirth. Several years later, Kitty returns to Philadelphia ... +


On a snowy eve, Kitty Foyle, an executive at Delphine Detaille's fashion house, is confronted with a choice that will change the course of her life: to marry Mark Eisen, a young, sincere doctor, or to sail away with Wyn Stafford, with whom she has been in love for years and who has just re-entered her life. As she wrestles with her conscience, Kitty thinks back to her youth in Philadelphia: young Kitty gawks at the society "Main Liners" and dreams of her Prince Charming, disregarding the advice of her father, who warns her against trying to go out of her class. Five years later, Kitty meets her prince in the person of wealthy Wyn Strafford, who is so charmed by the girl that he offers her a job at his fledgling magazine. The two fall in love, but Wyn does not have the courage to break from his life in Philadelphia's Main Line society. After her beloved father's death, Kitty goes to New York, where she begins to date Mark while she still longing for Wyn. Wyn finally comes for Kitty and the two are married, but when he takes her home, his family wants to "remake" her and she rebels. Kitty forces Wyn to make a choice, but he remains a prisoner of his family's money and position and the marriage is annulled. Kitty returns to New York, where she learns in rapid succession that she is pregnant and that Wyn is to marry a Philadelphia socialite. Kitty's plans to rear the child by herself come to an abrupt end when the infant dies in childbirth. Several years later, Kitty returns to Philadelphia to open a branch of the Delphine Detaille fashion house and has a chance encounter with Wyn's wife and son. Finally, as Kitty ponders her past, she decides that there is only one future for her, and she leaves to marry the waiting Mark. +

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.