You Gotta Stay Happy (1949)

100 mins | Romantic comedy | January 1949

Director:

H. C. Potter

Writer:

Karl Tunberg

Producer:

Karl Tunberg

Cinematographer:

Russell Metty

Editor:

Paul Weatherwax

Production Designer:

Alexander Golitzen

Production Company:

Rampart Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film's opening credits are presented in animated form. Caricatures of stars Joan Fontaine and James Stewart, as rendered by Walter Lantz, are included in the sequence. Karl Tunberg's onscreen credit reads: "Produced and written for the screen by Karl Tunberg." Fontaine and Universal executive producer William Dozier were married at the time of production. Dozier and Fontaine formed Rampart Productions together, and selected You Gotta Stay Happy as a starring vehicle for Fontaine. Fontaine was pregnant during the film's production, giving birth to a baby girl a few months after principal photography was completed.
       Like Stewart, who was a pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War II, director H. C. Potter was an experienced flyer. According to studio publicity material, Stewart wore his actual Air Corps flight jacket during much of the film. You Gotta Stay Happy was the first of several films in which Stewart played a pilot. Publicity material also notes that a practical C-47 ex-army plane was installed on one of the studio sound stages for use in the picture. Some scenes in the film were shot in New York and Chicago, and at the Newark, NJ airport, Slick Air Freight Terminal, according to news items and publicity. Although HR announced that Frank Skinner was to score the picture, Daniele Amfitheatrof is credited onscreen with the score. Fontaine and Stewart reprised their screen roles for a 17 Jan 1949 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the ... More Less

The film's opening credits are presented in animated form. Caricatures of stars Joan Fontaine and James Stewart, as rendered by Walter Lantz, are included in the sequence. Karl Tunberg's onscreen credit reads: "Produced and written for the screen by Karl Tunberg." Fontaine and Universal executive producer William Dozier were married at the time of production. Dozier and Fontaine formed Rampart Productions together, and selected You Gotta Stay Happy as a starring vehicle for Fontaine. Fontaine was pregnant during the film's production, giving birth to a baby girl a few months after principal photography was completed.
       Like Stewart, who was a pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War II, director H. C. Potter was an experienced flyer. According to studio publicity material, Stewart wore his actual Air Corps flight jacket during much of the film. You Gotta Stay Happy was the first of several films in which Stewart played a pilot. Publicity material also notes that a practical C-47 ex-army plane was installed on one of the studio sound stages for use in the picture. Some scenes in the film were shot in New York and Chicago, and at the Newark, NJ airport, Slick Air Freight Terminal, according to news items and publicity. Although HR announced that Frank Skinner was to score the picture, Daniele Amfitheatrof is credited onscreen with the score. Fontaine and Stewart reprised their screen roles for a 17 Jan 1949 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the story. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
6 Nov 1948.
---
Daily Variety
28 Oct 48
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 Oct 48
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Mar 48
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Apr 48
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 48
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Apr 48
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 48
p. 6, 10
Hollywood Reporter
7 May 48
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
13 May 48
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jul 48
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 48
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Aug 48
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Oct 48
pp. 3-4.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Nov 48
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Oct 48
p. 4358.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
30 Oct 48
p. 4365.
New York Times
2 May 1948.
---
New York Times
5 Nov 48
p. 29.
Variety
3 Nov 48
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITER
Wrt for the screen by, Wrt for the scr by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Miss Fontaine's gowns by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Co-ordinator of prod
Unit prod mgr
Scr supv
Grip
ANIMATION
Animation seq
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the serial story "You Gotta Stay Happy" by Robert Carson in The Saturday Evening Post (3 Apr--8 May 1948).
AUTHOR
MUSIC
"Turkey in the Straw," traditional.
SONGS
"You Gotta Stay Happy," words by Jack Brooks, music by Dan Alexander.
DETAILS
Release Date:
January 1949
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 4 November 1948
Production Date:
4 May--12 July 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Rampart Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
16 November 1948
Copyright Number:
LP1944
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
100
Length(in feet):
9,008
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13351
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Moments before she is to marry stuffy Henry Benson, New York heiress Diana "Dee Dee" Dillwood complains to her uncle and guardian, Ralph Tutwiler, that she is having second thoughts. Having gone through six previous broken engagements with Dee Dee, Ralph and psychologist Dr. Blucher advise her to stop doubting herself and "plunge into it" with Henry. Dee Dee agrees, but as soon as she and Henry arrive at the Hampshire Hotel to start their honeymoon, she panics. When Dee Dee tells Henry she has made a mistake, Henry declares that he will not be humiliated and lunges for her. Wearing a dressing gown, Dee Dee runs from their room and hides in the neighboring wedding suite, which is being occupied by pilot and airline owner Marvin Payne. Dryly presuming that she is a "lost lamb," Marvin, who is staying at the hotel courtesy of night manager Dick Hebert, agrees to allow Dee Dee to spend the night in the suite. The over-excited Dee Dee, now calling herself Dottie Blucher, then asks the exhausted Marvin for a sleeping pill, and he phones Dick to have one delivered. Dick's suspicions are aroused when he sees that Marvin is sleeping on the couch and searches the suite. Dee Dee has hidden herself, however, and Dick leaves, satisfied that no "hanky-panky" is going on. Early the next morning, Marvin's business partner and co-pilot, Bullets Baker, shows up and finds Dee Dee still knocked out by the pills. Marvin explains the situation, and as they have a scheduled flight to fly, he and Bullets try frantically to wake Dee Dee, but finally are caught by Dick. ... +


Moments before she is to marry stuffy Henry Benson, New York heiress Diana "Dee Dee" Dillwood complains to her uncle and guardian, Ralph Tutwiler, that she is having second thoughts. Having gone through six previous broken engagements with Dee Dee, Ralph and psychologist Dr. Blucher advise her to stop doubting herself and "plunge into it" with Henry. Dee Dee agrees, but as soon as she and Henry arrive at the Hampshire Hotel to start their honeymoon, she panics. When Dee Dee tells Henry she has made a mistake, Henry declares that he will not be humiliated and lunges for her. Wearing a dressing gown, Dee Dee runs from their room and hides in the neighboring wedding suite, which is being occupied by pilot and airline owner Marvin Payne. Dryly presuming that she is a "lost lamb," Marvin, who is staying at the hotel courtesy of night manager Dick Hebert, agrees to allow Dee Dee to spend the night in the suite. The over-excited Dee Dee, now calling herself Dottie Blucher, then asks the exhausted Marvin for a sleeping pill, and he phones Dick to have one delivered. Dick's suspicions are aroused when he sees that Marvin is sleeping on the couch and searches the suite. Dee Dee has hidden herself, however, and Dick leaves, satisfied that no "hanky-panky" is going on. Early the next morning, Marvin's business partner and co-pilot, Bullets Baker, shows up and finds Dee Dee still knocked out by the pills. Marvin explains the situation, and as they have a scheduled flight to fly, he and Bullets try frantically to wake Dee Dee, but finally are caught by Dick. While Marvin and Dick rouse and dress Dee Dee in some of Marvin's pilot clothes, Bullets stalls a young couple who are due to be married in the suite. Marvin and Bullets then sneak the half-conscious Dee Dee out of the hotel and take her to the Newark, New Jersey airport, from which their twin-engine cargo plane is to fly. There, Dee Dee begs Marvin to fly her out of town, insinuating that she is in a serious predicament. Marvin agrees to take Dee Dee as far as Chicago, then learns that the free-wheeling Bullets sold the newlyweds from the hotel, Georgia and Milton Goodrich, two "tickets" to California for $100. Just before take-off, Dee Dee confesses to Marvin that she sold a man named Mr. Caslon a ticket to California for $300. During the flight, which they share with a cigar-smoking chimpanzee named Joe, Marvin reveals to Dee Dee that he is not going to marry until he has enough money to comfortably support a family, an eventuality he calculates will not occur until 1954. When they land in Chicago, Dee Dee, who is falling for Marvin, reluctantly says goodbye to him, but he gives in and invites her to California. Soon after, a detective asks Marvin and Bullets if they are carrying a blonde who, along with her middle-aged partner, is wanted for embezzlement. Although the pilots answer no, they both conclude that the blonde is Dee Dee, especially after she returns from a shopping trip nicely dressed and bearing gifts. Once back in the air, Marvin questions Dee Dee about her situation, but she is evasive. To Bullets' annoyance, Marvin decides not to land in Kansas City, as planned, but to go on to Tulsa to avoid authorities looking for Dee Dee. Near Tulsa, however, a storm hits and Marvin makes an emergency landing in a farm field. After farmer Matt Racknell and his family invite the crew and passengers to spend the night in their home, Dee Dee and Marvin finally admit their mutual attraction and kiss. A guilt-ridden Caslon then confesses to Marvin that he is the embezzler and that his blonde secretary cajoled him into committing the crime. Now completely confused about Dee Dee, Marvin calls Dick in New York to inquire about her. The next morning, while trying to move the plane out of the muddy field, Marvin snubs Dee Dee without explanation. When Dee Dee finally realizes that he knows about her engagements and marriage, she tries to convince him that she truly loves him, but he rejects her. With the help of some Cherokee Indians, the plane is pulled to dry land and takes off for California, without Dee Dee. As soon as he lands in Burbank, Marvin learns that, because of the unexpected delays and other problems, his airline faces bankruptcy. During an impromptu stockholders meeting, however, Marvin discovers that Dee Dee has bought the company. Furious, Marvin finds Dee Dee at her aunt Martha's Bel Air home and informs her that he is not working for a woman. Dee Dee, who has just arranged for an annulment from Henry and has taken another sleeping pill, tries to argue with Marvin, but falls asleep. The next day at the airport, however, she tells Marvin that he is going to run the company while she has babies, and then presents him with his own four-engine plane. +

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

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