The Bigamist (1953)

79-80 mins | Drama | December 1953

Director:

Ida Lupino

Writer:

Collier Young

Producer:

Collier Young

Cinematographer:

George Diskant

Production Designer:

James Sullivan

Production Company:

Filmakers Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The opening title credits read "Edmond O'Brien as The Bigamist ." The 26 Jun 1953 HR production chart credits Dick Harris as editor, but his name was replaced by Stanford Tischler in later charts. The extent of Harris' contribution to the final film, if any, has not been determined. A 27 Mar 1953 news item noted that actress-director Ida Lupino was co-writing the screenplay with writer-producer Collier Young; however, her contribution to the final screenplay has not been confirmed. According to a 30 Oct 1953 news item, the production budget was $175,000, and both Lupino and actress Joan Fontaine deferred their salaries. As noted in the LAT review Lupino was formerly married to Young, who was married to Fontaine at the time of filming. Although the Var review refers to the actor playing "Ricky" as Mac McKim, he is listed in all other reviews as Sam McKim.
       Edmund Gwenn, who plays "Mr. Jordan," is mentioned by name during a Hollywood celebrity bus tour taken by the Edmond O'Brien and Ida Lupino characters. The tour driver, pointing to a house in Beverly Hills, refers to its owner as Edmund Gwenn, the star of A Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street.
       Lupino's character lives in a boarding house in the 400 block of S. Grand Avenue on Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles. ... More Less

The opening title credits read "Edmond O'Brien as The Bigamist ." The 26 Jun 1953 HR production chart credits Dick Harris as editor, but his name was replaced by Stanford Tischler in later charts. The extent of Harris' contribution to the final film, if any, has not been determined. A 27 Mar 1953 news item noted that actress-director Ida Lupino was co-writing the screenplay with writer-producer Collier Young; however, her contribution to the final screenplay has not been confirmed. According to a 30 Oct 1953 news item, the production budget was $175,000, and both Lupino and actress Joan Fontaine deferred their salaries. As noted in the LAT review Lupino was formerly married to Young, who was married to Fontaine at the time of filming. Although the Var review refers to the actor playing "Ricky" as Mac McKim, he is listed in all other reviews as Sam McKim.
       Edmund Gwenn, who plays "Mr. Jordan," is mentioned by name during a Hollywood celebrity bus tour taken by the Edmond O'Brien and Ida Lupino characters. The tour driver, pointing to a house in Beverly Hills, refers to its owner as Edmund Gwenn, the star of A Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street.
       Lupino's character lives in a boarding house in the 400 block of S. Grand Avenue on Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
31 Oct 1953.
---
Daily Variety
23 Oct 1953
p. 3.
Harrison's Reports
7 Nov 1953
p. 178.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 1953.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 May 1953.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 1953
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jul 1953
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 1953
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Oct 1953
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Oct 1953.
---
Los Angeles Daily News
8 Feb 1954.
---
Los Angeles Times
14 Feb 1954.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
2 Jan 1954
p. 2125.
Variety
28 Oct 1953
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
From an orig story by
From an orig story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus comp and dir
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
SONGS
"It Wasn't the Stars That Thrilled Me," music and lyrics by Matt Dennis and Dave Gillam.
DETAILS
Release Date:
December 1953
Production Date:
26 June--mid July 1953 at Republic Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Filmakers Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
24 November 1953
Copyright Number:
LP5608
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
79-80
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16677
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In San Francisco, California, Harry Graham shows discomfort as he signs an application allowing an investigation of his life so that he and his wife Eve may adopt a son. As Harry’s deep-freezer business takes him frequently to Los Angeles on sales calls, the adoption agency’s investigator, Mr. Jordan, also checks Harry’s references there. Jordan learns that while former employers praise Harry, the people in his own office think he is anti-social. The secretary is unable to locate a hotel where Harry is a registered guest, and Jordan’s curiosity is further piqued upon finding a letter opener engraved with the name “Harrison Graham.” Jordan goes to the address listed in the telephone book for that name and finds Harry at home with another wife and a baby. Harry confesses that he has been leading a double life and reveals that when he and Eve discovered they could not have children four years earlier, she put all her energy into their business. As a result, Harry felt estranged from his wife. He reflects that his current problems began on a Sunday eight months earlier: Harry takes a bus tour of the homes of Hollywood stars and meets Phyllis Martin, who is sitting across the aisle from him. Although Phyllis initially rejects his attempts at conversation, by the end of the tour she takes him to the Canton Café, where she works as a waitress. Harry walks Phyllis home that night, but does not expect to see her again. In San Francisco, his wish for a weekend alone with Eve is thwarted by the dinner party she has thrown for their attorney, Tom Morgan, ... +


In San Francisco, California, Harry Graham shows discomfort as he signs an application allowing an investigation of his life so that he and his wife Eve may adopt a son. As Harry’s deep-freezer business takes him frequently to Los Angeles on sales calls, the adoption agency’s investigator, Mr. Jordan, also checks Harry’s references there. Jordan learns that while former employers praise Harry, the people in his own office think he is anti-social. The secretary is unable to locate a hotel where Harry is a registered guest, and Jordan’s curiosity is further piqued upon finding a letter opener engraved with the name “Harrison Graham.” Jordan goes to the address listed in the telephone book for that name and finds Harry at home with another wife and a baby. Harry confesses that he has been leading a double life and reveals that when he and Eve discovered they could not have children four years earlier, she put all her energy into their business. As a result, Harry felt estranged from his wife. He reflects that his current problems began on a Sunday eight months earlier: Harry takes a bus tour of the homes of Hollywood stars and meets Phyllis Martin, who is sitting across the aisle from him. Although Phyllis initially rejects his attempts at conversation, by the end of the tour she takes him to the Canton Café, where she works as a waitress. Harry walks Phyllis home that night, but does not expect to see her again. In San Francisco, his wish for a weekend alone with Eve is thwarted by the dinner party she has thrown for their attorney, Tom Morgan, and a potential client, Carl Forbes. When they are alone later on, Harry remarks that he and Eve have only been together for six days in the previous month, but Eve is too tired to take interest in his suggestion that they take a vacation together. A disillusioned Harry renews his friendship with Phyllis but when his birthday arrives, he cancels plans to go out with Phyllis because he realizes he is falling in love with her. Phyllis comes to Harry’s hotel room unexpectedly, and after her obvious affection changes his mind, they spend the evening together. The next day, Harry returns home where he finds Eve packing for a trip to Florida because her father has suffered a heart attack. Before her plane takes off, Eve apologizes for her behavior during the previous four years, and they agree to adopt a child. Harry remains in San Francisco to look after the office, but when Eve does not return for an extended period, he travels to Los Angeles on business. Harry learns that Phyllis has quit her job and that she is pregnant with his child, conceived on the night of his birthday. Harry is torn by his responsibilities, but after Eve informs him that her father has died and she will remain longer in Florida to help her mother, he proposes to Phyllis. Phyllis is fiercely independent and initially refuses on the grounds that she does not want Harry to feel forced into marriage. However, Harry assures her that he is in love with her, and because she also loves him, she accepts his proposal. Harry returns to San Francisco to find that Eve is home and has begun adoption proceedings. He then concludes that he should wait to tell her about Phyllis until after the adoption is legal. Harry’s double life continues, until one night when Eve surprises him with a visit in Los Angeles for their eighth wedding anniversary. Eve’s suspicions are aroused when Ricky, a young man on the street, asks Harry for a ride home. However, Harry explains Ricky’s request by saying that his hotel is near Ricky’s house, and that he often dines with the family. The next morning after Eve departs, Harry goes home to Phyllis and their son Daniel. Phyllis is furious because Ricky’s mother told her that Harry was seen with another woman. She throws Harry out, and Harry is relieved that he will now be able to end his double life. However, the next day, Phyllis changes her mind and they return home together. This brings Harry to the present. Although Jordan initially considered calling the police, he now calls a taxi and leaves. His conscience troubled, Harry writes a farewell note to Phyllis and goes to San Francisco, where he also bids farewell to Eve and turns himself over to the authorities. In a courtroom, Tom pleads for mercy as a judge considers Harry’s bigamy. The judge weighs Harry’s decent intentions against the criminality of his actions, and points out that it is unlikely that either wife will wait for Harry. The judge then adjourns court for the next week, when he will pass sentence on Harry. As Phyllis and Eve watch, Harry is led away by police. +

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

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