Love Is Better Than Ever (1952)

80-82 mins | Romantic comedy | 14 March 1952

Director:

Stanley Donen

Producer:

William H. Wright

Cinematographer:

Harold Rosson

Editor:

George Boemler

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Gabriel Scognamillo

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

Actress Elinor Donahue's surname was misspelled "Donohue" in the onscreen cast credits. According to HR news items, portions of Love Is Better Than Ever were shot on location in New York City in mid-Nov 1950. As noted in other news items, Broadway actor Dan Foster made his feature debut in the film and that George Metkovitch, who potrayed the mythical New York Giants player "Cahoogit", was a prominent Pacific Coast League baseball player. Although a 2 Jan 1951 HR news item noted that Gene Kelly, who makes a brief appearance as himself in the picture, was also acting as a technical advisor on the dancing school segments, his capacity as an advisor was unofficial.
       A "Rambling Reporter" column in HR on 4 Mar 1952 noted that Columbia, the studio for which Larry Parks made the successful The Al Jolson Story and Jolson Sings Again would "warily" monitor the success of Love Is Better Than Ever to see if they should rerelease the two Jolson pictures. Parks, who had appeared as a friendly witness before HUAC, and admitted to having once belonged to the Communist Party, made only two additional films, both shot in England, Cross-Up (1955, see above) and Freud (1962, see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ). ... More Less

Actress Elinor Donahue's surname was misspelled "Donohue" in the onscreen cast credits. According to HR news items, portions of Love Is Better Than Ever were shot on location in New York City in mid-Nov 1950. As noted in other news items, Broadway actor Dan Foster made his feature debut in the film and that George Metkovitch, who potrayed the mythical New York Giants player "Cahoogit", was a prominent Pacific Coast League baseball player. Although a 2 Jan 1951 HR news item noted that Gene Kelly, who makes a brief appearance as himself in the picture, was also acting as a technical advisor on the dancing school segments, his capacity as an advisor was unofficial.
       A "Rambling Reporter" column in HR on 4 Mar 1952 noted that Columbia, the studio for which Larry Parks made the successful The Al Jolson Story and Jolson Sings Again would "warily" monitor the success of Love Is Better Than Ever to see if they should rerelease the two Jolson pictures. Parks, who had appeared as a friendly witness before HUAC, and admitted to having once belonged to the Communist Party, made only two additional films, both shot in England, Cross-Up (1955, see above) and Freud (1962, see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Feb 1952.
---
Daily Variety
5 Feb 1952
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Feb 1952
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Nov 1950
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Dec 1950
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jan 1951
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jan 1951
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jan 1951
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jan 1952
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 1952
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Mar 1952
p. 2.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Feb 1952
p. 1230.
New York Times
3 Mar 1952
p. 17.
New York Times
4 Mar 1952
p. 23.
Variety
6 Feb 1952
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Paul DeCorday
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Elizabeth Taylor's cost
MUSIC
Mus dir and background score
Mus arr
SOUND
Rec supv
MAKEUP
Hair styles des
Makeup created by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Itsy, Bitsy Spider," traditional, additional lyrics by Earl K. Brent.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
14 March 1952
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 3 March 1952
Production Date:
early December 1950--late January 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
25 December 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1472
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
80-82
Length(in feet):
7,280
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15119
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Broadway agent Jud Parker is perfectly happy with being single, living at the Astor Hotel and spending more time at Smittie’s bar than his office. Jud refuses new clients because he does not want to work too hard and is annoyed when he has to go to New Haven for the dancing Dean Brothers. After quickly settling the Deans’s dispute with a theater owner, Jud meets Anastasia Macaboy, a young woman who owns a dancing school and wants to buy one of the Deans’s routines. Although Jud is attracted to “Staci,” when she introduces her mother, he quickly leaves. A few days later, Staci goes to New York to attend a conference for dance instructors, but her mother must stay home because of a sprained ankle. Staci intends to keep a close watch on the conniving Mrs. Levoy and her daughter, Pattie Marie, who are planning to start a competing dancing school. When Staci runs into Jud in the elevator of the Astor, she accepts his invitation for lunch, then agrees to miss the afternoon’s convention activities to see her first baseball game, in which Jud’s beloved New York Giants are playing. After dinner at 21 and a night of dancing, Staci is infatuated with Jud and spends the rest of the week seeing him instead of attending the convention. She ignores messages from her mother, who finally telephones Mrs. Levoy for information. During Staci’s last night in New York, she confesses to Jud that she is in love with him and is shattered when he tells her he likes being single and thinks they should end things ... +


Broadway agent Jud Parker is perfectly happy with being single, living at the Astor Hotel and spending more time at Smittie’s bar than his office. Jud refuses new clients because he does not want to work too hard and is annoyed when he has to go to New Haven for the dancing Dean Brothers. After quickly settling the Deans’s dispute with a theater owner, Jud meets Anastasia Macaboy, a young woman who owns a dancing school and wants to buy one of the Deans’s routines. Although Jud is attracted to “Staci,” when she introduces her mother, he quickly leaves. A few days later, Staci goes to New York to attend a conference for dance instructors, but her mother must stay home because of a sprained ankle. Staci intends to keep a close watch on the conniving Mrs. Levoy and her daughter, Pattie Marie, who are planning to start a competing dancing school. When Staci runs into Jud in the elevator of the Astor, she accepts his invitation for lunch, then agrees to miss the afternoon’s convention activities to see her first baseball game, in which Jud’s beloved New York Giants are playing. After dinner at 21 and a night of dancing, Staci is infatuated with Jud and spends the rest of the week seeing him instead of attending the convention. She ignores messages from her mother, who finally telephones Mrs. Levoy for information. During Staci’s last night in New York, she confesses to Jud that she is in love with him and is shattered when he tells her he likes being single and thinks they should end things without “hearts and flowers.” Although Staci tries to convince him otherwise, when they reach the Astor, Mrs. Macaboy is waiting in Staci’s room and sends Jud away. Back in New Haven, the love-sick Staci cannot stop thinking about Jud. When she begins to use baseball terminology to explain the hopelessness of her situation, her impressed father offers advice, saying that she needs to find Jud’s weakness. Some time later, one of Jud’s pals gives him a New Haven newspaper containing an announcement of his engagement to Staci. Furious, Jud immediately goes to New Haven to confront her, and brings along his actor friend, Hamlet, who pretends to be his lawyer. The contrite Macaboys swear that they had never dreamed the announcement would be seen in New York, and Staci explains their plan to stop the gossip being spread about her by the Levoys by announcing her engagement. Then, after the gossip died down, she would tell people that she broke the engagement because Jud did not want her to continue working. Jud is charmed by the embellishments of her plan and, after she lies that she no longer is in love with him, he offers to return the following week to help with the ruse. When Jud returns, he spends the day with Staci and her mother, dutifully going to the dancing school, and Staci tells everyone that they are getting married after the school’s upcoming recital. That evening, Staci apologizes to Jud for how tough the day had been and starts to massage his shoulder. When she turns out the lights, however, and they start to kiss, Jud says that she is trying to trap him and they argue. After insisting that he likes the single life, she angrily calls him a “flesh peddler,” and he walks out. After a New York columnist questions whether the now-broken engagement was ever real, Staci finds that gossip has increased and many parents are taking their children out of her school. In desperation, she goes to see Jud at Smittie’s, where he has been drinking alone, causing his friends to call him a “torchy guy.” Staci explains that the gossip will not stop unless she is the one to break the engagement, as originally planned. Instead of being sympathetic, Jud angrily tells her that he is now “stuck” on her and wants to get “unstuck” as soon as possible. Staci then proposes a wager: if the slumping Giants lose the game being played that day, he will come with her to the school’s recital and stage their breakup fight; if the Giants win, she will never see him again. They watch the game on television, and the Giants win in the ninth inning. Staci then graciously admits defeat and goes home. On the day of the recital, Jud shows up, claiming that he is no longer stuck on Staci. Mr. Macaboy tells Staci that Jud is there and advises her to “throw him a curve” if she wants to keep him. As the recital progresses, Staci seems too busy to talk with Jud and intimates that she is moving to Long Beach, California. As he tries to find out what she is talking about, he gets pushed onstage and falls through a trap door. When Staci finds him, he is angry, but tells her that she is going to marry him. After admitting to each other that they are both stuck, they kiss, to the delight of Mr. Macaboy. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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