The Amazing Mr. Williams (1939)

80 mins | Comedy-drama | 23 November 1939

Full page view
HISTORY

A working title for this film was The Incredible Mr. Williams . The file for the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library indicates that the PCA, after reading the script, urged Columbia to remove the following from the picture: the dialogue, "I got a little apartment just around the corner," and "Me! In drag!"; the expression "sex maniac"; the goosing gag of "Kenny" striking a match on another actor's rear; details of the safe robbery, including the fake cardboard front of the safe, the covering up of license plates of the cars and references to the wearing of gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints. In addition, the PCA demanded the "careful handling" of the female impersonation scenes, and insisted that there be "absolutely no suggestion of a 'pansy' flavor or 'pansy' gags of any kind." The PCA also requested that a scene showing a male actor buying women's clothes be "handled in good taste, omitting the display of the more intimate feminine ... More Less

A working title for this film was The Incredible Mr. Williams . The file for the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library indicates that the PCA, after reading the script, urged Columbia to remove the following from the picture: the dialogue, "I got a little apartment just around the corner," and "Me! In drag!"; the expression "sex maniac"; the goosing gag of "Kenny" striking a match on another actor's rear; details of the safe robbery, including the fake cardboard front of the safe, the covering up of license plates of the cars and references to the wearing of gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints. In addition, the PCA demanded the "careful handling" of the female impersonation scenes, and insisted that there be "absolutely no suggestion of a 'pansy' flavor or 'pansy' gags of any kind." The PCA also requested that a scene showing a male actor buying women's clothes be "handled in good taste, omitting the display of the more intimate feminine garments." More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
18 Nov 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 Nov 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Sep 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Oct 39
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Nov 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
21 Nov 39
p. 7.
Motion Picture Herald
25 Nov 39
p. 43, 47
New York Times
19 Jan 40
p. 15.
Variety
3 Jan 40
p. 40.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Edward S. Brophy
Lorna Gray
Jane Barnes
Jennifer Gray
Richard Scott
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd eng
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Incredible Mr. Williams
Release Date:
23 November 1939
Production Date:
late August--mid October 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
26 November 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9251
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
80
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5744
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Kenny Williams, a homicide detective, realizes that his job is interfering with his love life as everytime he makes a date with his sweetheart Maxine Carroll, the mayor's secretary, he has to cancel it because of an important case. Tired of being neglected, Maxine tries to convince Kenny to switch jobs. She resorts to desperate means when she reports Kenny to his superior, Captain McGovern, after he shows up for a date handcuffed to a prisoner he was supposed to have escorted to jail. When Kenny learns that Maxine influenced McGovern's decision to threaten him with suspension for refusing to accept an assignment requiring him to impersonate a woman in order to trap a lady killer, Kenny takes the job just to spite her. One night, Maxine goes out to look for Kenny and is attacked by the killer just as Kenny is ready to pounce on him. After the attack, Maxine finally succeeds in convincing Kenny to quit the police force, but on the day of their wedding, Kenny finds himself back in the fray when a bank is held up and a night watchman is killed. A coloring book found at the scene of the crime leads to the arrest of a man named Stanley, and although Stanley protests that he was forced to open the bank vault while another man shot the night watchman, he is found guilty. Kenny believes Stanley to be innocent and while delivering Stanley to prison, he notices a powder burn on the back of his coat, evidence that could substantiate his innocence. Pulling Stanley from the train, Kenny races to Maxine's apartment and persuades ... +


Kenny Williams, a homicide detective, realizes that his job is interfering with his love life as everytime he makes a date with his sweetheart Maxine Carroll, the mayor's secretary, he has to cancel it because of an important case. Tired of being neglected, Maxine tries to convince Kenny to switch jobs. She resorts to desperate means when she reports Kenny to his superior, Captain McGovern, after he shows up for a date handcuffed to a prisoner he was supposed to have escorted to jail. When Kenny learns that Maxine influenced McGovern's decision to threaten him with suspension for refusing to accept an assignment requiring him to impersonate a woman in order to trap a lady killer, Kenny takes the job just to spite her. One night, Maxine goes out to look for Kenny and is attacked by the killer just as Kenny is ready to pounce on him. After the attack, Maxine finally succeeds in convincing Kenny to quit the police force, but on the day of their wedding, Kenny finds himself back in the fray when a bank is held up and a night watchman is killed. A coloring book found at the scene of the crime leads to the arrest of a man named Stanley, and although Stanley protests that he was forced to open the bank vault while another man shot the night watchman, he is found guilty. Kenny believes Stanley to be innocent and while delivering Stanley to prison, he notices a powder burn on the back of his coat, evidence that could substantiate his innocence. Pulling Stanley from the train, Kenny races to Maxine's apartment and persuades her to steal from the mayor's office the bottle that had served as evidence during the trial. The bottle leads Kenny to Reagan, the real criminal, whom he captures at the racetrack. After Stanley is exonerated, Maxine is awarded with the title of special deputy for her help in capturing Reagan, and she and Kenny are married. On their honeymoon night, Maxine insures their privacy by cutting the telephone wires, but when an officer arrives at their home summoning all special deputies to the station, Maxine makes a cheerful and hasty exit. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.