Easy Living (1949)

77 mins | Drama | 8 October 1949

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Education of the Heart and Interference . Education of the Heart was also the title of Irwin Shaw's unpublished story. In May 1948, LAT announced that Jane Greer would be starring in this picture, the first since the birth of her baby. RKO borrowed Victor Mature from Twentieth Century-Fox for the production and Lucille Ball and Lizabeth Scott from Hal Wallis' company. Easy Living was the first film that Ball, who had been a contract player at RKO during the 1930s, made at the studio following a seven-year absence. According to HR , June Bright, who plays the suicidal model in the film, was a model in real life, appearing on the covers of many magazines.
       According to an unidentified Jul 1948 news item contained in the file for the film at the AMPAS Library, director Jacques Tourneur, a Frenchman, had never seen a football game before working on this picture. The same item notes that some scenes were to be shot at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL. Kenny Washington, who plays "Benny" in the picture, was a former Los Angeles Ram halfback and was well known as the first of two African Americans to play for the National Football League. Woody Strode, who also became an actor, was the ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Education of the Heart and Interference . Education of the Heart was also the title of Irwin Shaw's unpublished story. In May 1948, LAT announced that Jane Greer would be starring in this picture, the first since the birth of her baby. RKO borrowed Victor Mature from Twentieth Century-Fox for the production and Lucille Ball and Lizabeth Scott from Hal Wallis' company. Easy Living was the first film that Ball, who had been a contract player at RKO during the 1930s, made at the studio following a seven-year absence. According to HR , June Bright, who plays the suicidal model in the film, was a model in real life, appearing on the covers of many magazines.
       According to an unidentified Jul 1948 news item contained in the file for the film at the AMPAS Library, director Jacques Tourneur, a Frenchman, had never seen a football game before working on this picture. The same item notes that some scenes were to be shot at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL. Kenny Washington, who plays "Benny" in the picture, was a former Los Angeles Ram halfback and was well known as the first of two African Americans to play for the National Football League. Woody Strode, who also became an actor, was the other. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
13 Aug 1949.
---
Film Daily
11 Aug 49
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 47
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 48
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jul 48
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jul 48
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 48
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 49
p. 3, 11
Los Angeles Times
1 May 1948.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
20 Aug 49
p. 4722.
New York Times
13 Oct 49
p. 33.
Variety
10 Aug 49
p. 8.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Charles Lang
James Backus
Warren Schannon
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Gaffer
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
Grip
SOURCES
SONGS
"Easy Living," music by Ralph Rainger, lyrics by Leo Robin.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Interference
Education of the Heart
Release Date:
8 October 1949
Production Date:
early July--mid August 1948
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
24 August 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2527
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
77
Length(in feet):
6,953
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13305
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Veteran quarterback Pete Wilson, the star of the New York Chiefs, earns more money than any other player in football and is the toast of the town. Although Pete, who is known in the press as "King Football," has been suffering from dizzy spells and faints during practice one day, he refuses to see the team doctor. Instead he goes with his attractive wife Liza to a party that is being given by wealthy Gilbert Vollmer, a prospective client of Liza's struggling interior decorating company, Liza, Inc. Anxious to make a success of Liza, Inc., in which Pete has invested most of his salary, Liza flirts with both Gilbert and his father Howard. Pete leaves Gilbert's party and goes to one that his longtime friend and fellow player Tim "Pappy" McCarr is hosting in honor of their retiring college coach, Virgil Ryan. There Virgil tells Pete that, because of Liza's ambitious nature, Pete has been passed over as his replacement. Pete's disappointment over the job is heightened when he learns that Tim, who has always been his professional back-up, has been offered the post. The next day, Pete is told that his life insurance company has refused him a policy because of a heart condition its doctor detected during his physical exam. Posing as a salesman, Pete seeks a second opinion from heart specialist Dr. Franklin. Franklin deduces that Pete is an athlete and tells him that unless he wants to die early, he must quit football. Afraid that Liza will reject him for being a "has-been," Pete says nothing about his condition and continues to play. Later, ... +


Veteran quarterback Pete Wilson, the star of the New York Chiefs, earns more money than any other player in football and is the toast of the town. Although Pete, who is known in the press as "King Football," has been suffering from dizzy spells and faints during practice one day, he refuses to see the team doctor. Instead he goes with his attractive wife Liza to a party that is being given by wealthy Gilbert Vollmer, a prospective client of Liza's struggling interior decorating company, Liza, Inc. Anxious to make a success of Liza, Inc., in which Pete has invested most of his salary, Liza flirts with both Gilbert and his father Howard. Pete leaves Gilbert's party and goes to one that his longtime friend and fellow player Tim "Pappy" McCarr is hosting in honor of their retiring college coach, Virgil Ryan. There Virgil tells Pete that, because of Liza's ambitious nature, Pete has been passed over as his replacement. Pete's disappointment over the job is heightened when he learns that Tim, who has always been his professional back-up, has been offered the post. The next day, Pete is told that his life insurance company has refused him a policy because of a heart condition its doctor detected during his physical exam. Posing as a salesman, Pete seeks a second opinion from heart specialist Dr. Franklin. Franklin deduces that Pete is an athlete and tells him that unless he wants to die early, he must quit football. Afraid that Liza will reject him for being a "has-been," Pete says nothing about his condition and continues to play. Later, after a particularly bad game, Pete learns from Tim that Virgil wants him to be Tim's assistant coach, but the proud Pete immediately rejects the offer. Liza, meanwhile, encourages the attentions of the philandering Howard, who tells her flatly that she has no taste or talent. When Howard suggests that he can buy her some "talent" and become her "silent partner," the ever-ambitious Liza jumps at the idea. Eager to be with Howard, Liza then refuses to accompany Pete to his next game in Chicago. On the train to Chicago, Anne, the team's wisecracking secretary and Lenahan's widowed daughter-in-law, who has long been infatuated with Pete, confesses her love. After a lonely and depressed Pete allows Anne to kiss him, Anne is given a friendly lecture by Lenahan, the team's owner. Lenahan then lectures Pete about his poor performances and reveals that the other players have dubbed him "King Cripple." For the Chicago game, Lenahan, who is determined to reach the playoffs, replaces Pete with Tim, who leads the team to victory. While returning to New York, some of the players leave a pair of crutches in Pete's train compartment, and Pete slugs Tim in frustration. Later, Pete confides to Liza that he wants to become Tim's assistant, but Liza rejects the notion and announces she is leaving him. When a devastated Pete passes out while drinking at a bar, Anne comes to his rescue and takes him home. The next day, Pete, who confessed his heart condition to Anne while half-drunk, is asked to replace the slightly injured Tim in the next game. Anxious to win back Liza's affection, Pete eagerly accepts the challenge, angering both Anne and Tim, who has learned about Pete's heart from Anne. Liza, meanwhile, is stunned to read about the suicide of Howard's previous conquest, a model whose career he fostered, and realizes that he has already grown bored with her. Suddenly alone, Liza leaves a message for Pete, telling him that she still loves him and will be waiting for him at the game. The next day, Liza informs Pete that she is willing to be an assistant coach's wife, but insinuates that he could soon replace Tim as the head coach. Disgusted by Liza's unbridled ambitions, Pete slaps her, then announces to Lenahan and the team that he is quitting football because of his heart. After Lenahan tells him that he is greatest player he has ever known, Pete finds a weeping Liza, slaps her again and, with a passionate kiss, informs her that she is going to be an assistant coach's wife and nothing more. +

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

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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.