Count Your Blessings (1959)

101-102 mins | Romantic comedy | April 1959

Director:

Jean Negulesco

Writer:

Karl Tunberg

Producer:

Karl Tunberg

Cinematographers:

George Folsey, Milton Krasner

Editor:

Harold F. Kress

Production Designers:

William A. Horning, Randall Duell, Don Ashton

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of the film was The Blessing . According to an Aug 1951 DV news item, British producer Alexander Korda engaged writer Nancy Mitford to do a treatment based on an idea he supplied. Dissatisfied with the resulting treatment, Korda approved of Mitford's request to turn the work into a novel, which became The Blessing . A May 1954 LAT news item stated that Korda maintained rights to the property through 1954 and intended to produce the film. A HR news item announced that M-G-M purchased the film rights in Mar 1956. According to a HR item in Jan 1958, Sidney Franklin was assigned to co-produce the film with Karl Tunberg, who would write the screenplay to be directed by Franklin. In Jun 1958, Franklin left M-G-M after many years with the studio, and Jean Negulesco took over as director. The film was shot on location in London and ... More Less

The working title of the film was The Blessing . According to an Aug 1951 DV news item, British producer Alexander Korda engaged writer Nancy Mitford to do a treatment based on an idea he supplied. Dissatisfied with the resulting treatment, Korda approved of Mitford's request to turn the work into a novel, which became The Blessing . A May 1954 LAT news item stated that Korda maintained rights to the property through 1954 and intended to produce the film. A HR news item announced that M-G-M purchased the film rights in Mar 1956. According to a HR item in Jan 1958, Sidney Franklin was assigned to co-produce the film with Karl Tunberg, who would write the screenplay to be directed by Franklin. In Jun 1958, Franklin left M-G-M after many years with the studio, and Jean Negulesco took over as director. The film was shot on location in London and Paris. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
6 Apr 1959.
---
Daily Variety
1 Aug 1951.
---
Daily Variety
3 Apr 59
p. 3.
Film Daily
6 Apr 59
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Mar 1956.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Nov 1957
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jan 1958
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jun 1958
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jun 1958
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Aug 1958
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Nov 1958
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Apr 59
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
15 May 1954.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
4 Apr 59
p. 212.
New York Times
24 Apr 59
p. 23.
Variety
8 Apr 59
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
Rec supv
MAKEUP
Hair styles
Makeup
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Blessing by Nancy Mitford (London, 1951).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Blessing
Release Date:
April 1959
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 23 April 1959
Production Date:
late August--mid November 1958 in Metro-Golden-Mayer Studios, Boreham Wood, Elstree, England
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
2 March 1959
Copyright Number:
LP13008
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
Photographic lenses by Panavision
Duration(in mins):
101-102
Length(in feet):
9,164
Length(in reels):
13
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19155
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In World War II London, Grace Allingham returns home from work at the Red Cross to find French Air Force captain Charles-Edouard de Valhubert awaiting her. Although Charles has come to deliver a message from Grace’s beau, officer Hugh Palgrave, upon seeing Grace he is immediately captivated. Against her better judgment, Grace agrees to dine with Charles that evening and is startled when, after dining, he proposes. Claiming they do not know one another, Grace refuses, but when Charles asks to spend time with her, Grace shows him London over the next several days. Won over by Charles’s persistent French charm, Grace tells her father, Sir Conrad, she intends to accept Charles’ proposal. Three days into their countryside honeymoon, however, Charles reveals that he has been called back to duty and Grace vows to embroider a rug for him while he is gone. Several months later, Grace learns that Charles has been shot down, captured and imprisoned, but Sir Conrad receives assurances that he is uninjured. Soon afterward, Grace has a son whom she names Sigismond. When Sigi is nearly a year old, Grace receives a visit from Charles’s uncle, the Duc de St. Cloud, who brings news that Charles has escaped from prison and rejoined his outfit. Relieved, Grace continues work on her embroidered rug. When the war ends, however, Charles does not return home, preferring to continue fighting with French forces in various parts of the world. As the years pass and Charles travels from war to war, Grace grows increasingly disappointed and lonely, despite Hugh’s constant visits. When Sigi is eight years ... +


In World War II London, Grace Allingham returns home from work at the Red Cross to find French Air Force captain Charles-Edouard de Valhubert awaiting her. Although Charles has come to deliver a message from Grace’s beau, officer Hugh Palgrave, upon seeing Grace he is immediately captivated. Against her better judgment, Grace agrees to dine with Charles that evening and is startled when, after dining, he proposes. Claiming they do not know one another, Grace refuses, but when Charles asks to spend time with her, Grace shows him London over the next several days. Won over by Charles’s persistent French charm, Grace tells her father, Sir Conrad, she intends to accept Charles’ proposal. Three days into their countryside honeymoon, however, Charles reveals that he has been called back to duty and Grace vows to embroider a rug for him while he is gone. Several months later, Grace learns that Charles has been shot down, captured and imprisoned, but Sir Conrad receives assurances that he is uninjured. Soon afterward, Grace has a son whom she names Sigismond. When Sigi is nearly a year old, Grace receives a visit from Charles’s uncle, the Duc de St. Cloud, who brings news that Charles has escaped from prison and rejoined his outfit. Relieved, Grace continues work on her embroidered rug. When the war ends, however, Charles does not return home, preferring to continue fighting with French forces in various parts of the world. As the years pass and Charles travels from war to war, Grace grows increasingly disappointed and lonely, despite Hugh’s constant visits. When Sigi is eight years old, Charles returns to London where Grace greets him coolly. After ascertaining that Grace has remained faithful to him over the years, Charles is startled to find that his son has become a very proper English boy. Later that evening, Charles is dismayed to find that, because of Sigi’s nightmares about the war, Grace allows him to sleep with her. Forced to spend the night in the guest room, Charles declares that before moving the family to Paris, he and Grace will take a much-belated honeymoon, alone in Biarritz. At Grace’s insistence, Sigi later joins his parents but, sensitive to the fact that Charles is bothered by his presence, remains anxious and, soon, comes down with the measles. When Grace spends all her time tending him, Charles grows annoyed, then frustrated when he, too, gets the measles. When they arrive in Paris, Grace and Sigi are startled to discover that the Valhuberts are an old, extremely wealthy family. Grace is also disconcerted when Charles receives a number of belated wedding presents, all from women. Charles blithely admits that he knew many women in his worldly travels, but reassures Grace by stating that she is the woman he decided to marry. That evening in their antique-filled bedroom, Charles is horrified to find Grace’s homemade rug. Hurt by his reaction, Grace accuses her husband of being spoiled and selfish, which offends Charles. When Nanny interrupts to report that the kitchen staff have given Sigi wine with his dinner, Charles storms out of the house. In exasperation he goes to the apartment of his longtime mistress, Albertine and sulks over Grace’s unreasonable and very British expectations. A few days later, a placated Grace attends the ballet with Charles, but is disturbed when Charles acknowledges Albertine in the audience. Unsettled, Grace asks Charles the next morning about Albertine and when he admits he continues to see her occasionally, Grace is outraged. Put off by Grace’s response, Charles insists he is merely helping Albertine through a difficult financial time. After Sigi finds Grace crying and Charles departing in anger again, Sigi tells the Duc that he prefers being English to French. The Duc attempts to calm Grace, suggesting that the English take romance too seriously, but Grace sadly states she believes that women are a hobby for Charles. The Duc assures Grace that since she has provided Charles with Sigi, the other women will never seriously matter. Despite Grace’s misgivings, the Duc advises her not to try to change Charles, but rather to learn to think like a French woman. The Duc then takes Grace to one of the family’s fourteenth century homes, which has been turned into a museum. There, Grace spots Charles and confronts him in a room with another woman. Back at home, Grace rails against Charles, despite his insistence that the woman was his secretary. Certain that he is lying, Grace returns home to London with Sigi and tells Sir Conrad that she wants an immediate divorce. Meanwhile, Sigi learns from a friend that divorce means the children must go back and forth between parents. Feeling that he has contributed to his parents’ separation, Sigi decides to disrupt Charles and Grace’s attempts to contact one another, which allows the divorce proceedings to continue. When Sigi returns to Paris, Charles guiltily lavishes money and attention on him, hoping to win his son’s affections, despite his very British character. Sigi is delighted when he returns to London and receives equal amounts of attention from Grace, who has started dating Hugh. In Paris, the Duc advises Charles that ultimately Sigi is being harmed by going back and forth between his parents and he should consider his son’s welfare. When Sigi returns to France, Charles tells him that he has decided that Sigi will remain with Grace permanently. Distressed, Sigi runs away and Charles calls Grace. When she arrives later that afternoon, Sigi has still not been found. While arguing, Charles and Grace realize that Sigi has interfered with their attempts to reach one another and they realize that Sigi has maneuvered to keep them apart so he might enjoy their attentions. The police then contact the Valhuberts to tell them Sigi has been located in a local square. Going to the square, Charles and Grace are startled, then amused to find their son pontificating atop a statue about the injustice of his situation. Realizing they both want to remain together as a very French family, Grace and Charles make up. +

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

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