Biography of a Bachelor Girl (1935)

80, 82 or 84-85 mins | Comedy-drama | 4 January 1935

Director:

Edward H. Griffith

Writer:

Anita Loos

Cinematographer:

James Wong Howe

Editor:

William S. Gray

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Biography of a Bachelor . A DV pre-release news item notes that some filming took place on location at Lake Arrowhead, CA. According to the file for the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, an M-G-M reader who attended the opening of S. N. Behrman's play noted that the story was "suitable for Norma Shearer." In Jun 1933, the Hays Office warned M-G-M producer E. J. Mannix that the story contained "one dangerous element, in the various affairs which the heroine is portrayed as having indulged in." The Hays Office reiterated its objection to the characterization of "Marion" in Jul 1934, stating that she is "a woman who has gained considerable notoriety through a succession of affairs with men. Such a characterization is, of course, unacceptable under the Code." Thalberg reportedly responded to the Hays Office complaints by agreeing to "add lines from Marion indicating that she regrets her loose life; a line definitely establishing that she and Kurt do not sleep together in the mountain cabin...[and] a line for an earlier scene in which she implies that gossip about her is exaggerated." At the time of the film's release, the Hays Office received a letter from the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae expressing the organization's outrage over the inclusion of the following line in the film: "Of course you were always interesting, even fornicationally." Joseph Breen of the Hays Office reacted quickly to the letter and stated: "We were astounded when we read this letter....It [the film] was witnessed by four of our staff, none of whom caught the line at ... More Less

The working title of this film was Biography of a Bachelor . A DV pre-release news item notes that some filming took place on location at Lake Arrowhead, CA. According to the file for the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, an M-G-M reader who attended the opening of S. N. Behrman's play noted that the story was "suitable for Norma Shearer." In Jun 1933, the Hays Office warned M-G-M producer E. J. Mannix that the story contained "one dangerous element, in the various affairs which the heroine is portrayed as having indulged in." The Hays Office reiterated its objection to the characterization of "Marion" in Jul 1934, stating that she is "a woman who has gained considerable notoriety through a succession of affairs with men. Such a characterization is, of course, unacceptable under the Code." Thalberg reportedly responded to the Hays Office complaints by agreeing to "add lines from Marion indicating that she regrets her loose life; a line definitely establishing that she and Kurt do not sleep together in the mountain cabin...[and] a line for an earlier scene in which she implies that gossip about her is exaggerated." At the time of the film's release, the Hays Office received a letter from the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae expressing the organization's outrage over the inclusion of the following line in the film: "Of course you were always interesting, even fornicationally." Joseph Breen of the Hays Office reacted quickly to the letter and stated: "We were astounded when we read this letter....It [the film] was witnessed by four of our staff, none of whom caught the line at all." The film was sent back for a second review to find the line in question, but no such line was found. Instead, Breen suggested that the following line spoken by Ann Harding to Edward Everett Horton was misunderstood: "You used to be quite a nice boy--even fun occasionally." A Prudential Playhouse version of S. N. Behrman's play, entitled Biography , was broadcast on 10 Oct 1950 on the CBS television network. The teleplay was directed by Donald Davis and starred Gertrude Lawrence and Kevin McCarthy. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
2 Aug 34
p. 4.
Daily Variety
24 Aug 34
p. 4.
Daily Variety
30 Aug 34
p. 2.
Daily Variety
18 Sep 34
p. 3.
Daily Variety
15 Dec 34
p. 3.
Film Daily
18 Dec 34
p. 8.
Film Daily
9 Jan 35
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Dec 34
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
8 Sep 34
p. 31.
Motion Picture Herald
29 Dec 34
p. 59.
New York Times
2 Mar 35
p. 18.
Variety
6 Mar 35
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
WRITERS
Addl dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Biography by S. N. Behrman (New York, 12 Dec 1932).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Biography of a Bachelor
Release Date:
4 January 1935
Production Date:
2 August--20 September 1934
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
26 December 1934
Copyright Number:
LP5223
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
80, 82 or 84-85
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
411
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Richard Kurt, a managing editor at a large magazine, is determined to have Bohemian artist Marion Forsythe's autobiography published, and takes a two thousand dollar advance to her to convince her that he is serious. Richard meets the gregarious artist, who has just arrived from Europe, in her ocean liner cabin. He soon learns that Marion's social schedule is so busy that she cannot remember his name from one moment to the next. As Marion flits around her room juggling the demands of her brother-in-law Feydak, the press and a process server, who has come to collect an outstanding debt, Richard tries to distract the celebrity long enough to put forth his proposal, but only manages to voice his contempt for the ways of flighty Bohemians. In the face of destitution and the repossession of her belongings, Marion agrees to Richard's offer. When Slade, the fiancée of senatorial candidate Leander Nolan, comes across a newspaper article announcing the arrival of Marion, Leander's childhood flame, she relates the news to Leander, but he feigns disinterest. Later, the candidate secretly visits Marion, who, at first sight, does not recognize him, to resolve a quarrel they had in Knoxville, Tennessee, their home town, many years earlier. Uninterested in such trivial matters, Marion offers to paint Leander's portrait, which she feels would be a necessary monument to his vanity and senatorial aspirations. Leander and Richard take an immediate dislike to each other, and Richard disparages Marion's tolerance of the shifty political windbag. Fearing that Marion's book would reveal too much of his past with her, Leander desperately tries to stop the book's publication, even offering Marion ... +


Richard Kurt, a managing editor at a large magazine, is determined to have Bohemian artist Marion Forsythe's autobiography published, and takes a two thousand dollar advance to her to convince her that he is serious. Richard meets the gregarious artist, who has just arrived from Europe, in her ocean liner cabin. He soon learns that Marion's social schedule is so busy that she cannot remember his name from one moment to the next. As Marion flits around her room juggling the demands of her brother-in-law Feydak, the press and a process server, who has come to collect an outstanding debt, Richard tries to distract the celebrity long enough to put forth his proposal, but only manages to voice his contempt for the ways of flighty Bohemians. In the face of destitution and the repossession of her belongings, Marion agrees to Richard's offer. When Slade, the fiancée of senatorial candidate Leander Nolan, comes across a newspaper article announcing the arrival of Marion, Leander's childhood flame, she relates the news to Leander, but he feigns disinterest. Later, the candidate secretly visits Marion, who, at first sight, does not recognize him, to resolve a quarrel they had in Knoxville, Tennessee, their home town, many years earlier. Uninterested in such trivial matters, Marion offers to paint Leander's portrait, which she feels would be a necessary monument to his vanity and senatorial aspirations. Leander and Richard take an immediate dislike to each other, and Richard disparages Marion's tolerance of the shifty political windbag. Fearing that Marion's book would reveal too much of his past with her, Leander desperately tries to stop the book's publication, even offering Marion money to discontinue her plans, but she insists on finishing her memoirs. Richard, appalled at the candidate's attempt at bribery, hopes that the book will ruin his chances of winning an election, and taunts Leander by pretending to have read the scandalous references to her old flame. Realizing that Marion is offered little privacy in her home, Richard decides to take her to a secluded cabin at Moose Lake, Maine, where she can write in peace. Again, Richard discounts Marion's Bohemian lifestyle, criticizing her superficial and casual manner, but soon finds that he has become enamored with her, despite her flaws. Meanwhile, Leander discovers Marion's whereabouts and seeks her out to make her realize how much unhappiness she has caused him. At the same time, the suspicious, jealous bride-to-be, Slade, follows him there and chaos ensues. In the confusion, the dejected Leander confesses that he is afraid of his fiancée and deeply in love with Marion. Leander proposes marriage to Marion, but she tells him that she has fallen in love with Richard. When Marion threatens to leave Richard forever unless he tells her that he loves her, he admits that he is uncomfortable with expressing his feelings toward her, but then admits that he is indeed in love with her. +

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

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