Seven Sweethearts (1942)

98-99 mins | Romance, Musical | November 1942

Director:

Frank Borzage

Producer:

Joe Pasternak

Cinematographers:

George Folsey, Leonard Smith

Editor:

Blanche Sewell

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Working titles of the film were The House of the Seven Tulips , Seven Tulips , Seven Sisters and Tulip Time . The film opens with the following written prologue: "To this great land the Dutch once came to plant their tulips...They grit their teeth, pulled in their belts, produced New York and the Roosevelts...Enriched this best of melting pots with their traditions, towns and tots...BEHOLD! in Michigan today there's still a Holland, U.S.A....A town that flaunts the windmill touch, to prove you just can't beat the Dutch." According to a HR news item, Frank Morgan was originally cast in the role of Mr. Van Maaster. One HR news item indicated that Van Johnson was set to play the lead, but this was probably a typographical error for Van Heflin. News items also note that Ann Rutherford, Philip Van Zandt and Douglas McPhail were to be in the cast, but they were not in the released film. Frances Raeburn, who portrayed "Cornelius Van Maaster," was lead actress Kathryn Grayson's real-life sister. According to a 30 Apr 1942 news item, cameraman Leonard Smith shot exteriors for the film in Playa Del Rey, CA.
       Although the onscreen credits and the SAB credit Walter Reisch and Leo Townsend with writing an original screenplay, in 1949, a $200,000 lawsuit was filed against them, M-G-M and producer Joseph Pasternak by Hungarian playwright Ferenc Herczeg, claiming that they took the idea for the film from his 1903 play Seven Sweethearts . According to news items in HR and Var in Mar 1954, the case, which ... More Less

Working titles of the film were The House of the Seven Tulips , Seven Tulips , Seven Sisters and Tulip Time . The film opens with the following written prologue: "To this great land the Dutch once came to plant their tulips...They grit their teeth, pulled in their belts, produced New York and the Roosevelts...Enriched this best of melting pots with their traditions, towns and tots...BEHOLD! in Michigan today there's still a Holland, U.S.A....A town that flaunts the windmill touch, to prove you just can't beat the Dutch." According to a HR news item, Frank Morgan was originally cast in the role of Mr. Van Maaster. One HR news item indicated that Van Johnson was set to play the lead, but this was probably a typographical error for Van Heflin. News items also note that Ann Rutherford, Philip Van Zandt and Douglas McPhail were to be in the cast, but they were not in the released film. Frances Raeburn, who portrayed "Cornelius Van Maaster," was lead actress Kathryn Grayson's real-life sister. According to a 30 Apr 1942 news item, cameraman Leonard Smith shot exteriors for the film in Playa Del Rey, CA.
       Although the onscreen credits and the SAB credit Walter Reisch and Leo Townsend with writing an original screenplay, in 1949, a $200,000 lawsuit was filed against them, M-G-M and producer Joseph Pasternak by Hungarian playwright Ferenc Herczeg, claiming that they took the idea for the film from his 1903 play Seven Sweethearts . According to news items in HR and Var in Mar 1954, the case, which was presided over by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Philip H. Richard, was settled out-of-court for a "substantial" amount. The articles also related that Herczeg, who was represented by attorney Jacques Leslie, had been confined to a Nazi concentration camp when the film was released in 1942 and did not become aware of it until 1948.
       Seven Sweethearts was the first M-G-M film produced by Joseph Pasternak. Pasternak, who had been at Universal for many years and had produced young singing star Deanna Durban's highly successful films, remained at M-G-M for more than a decade. Most of his films at M-G-M were big-budget, commercially successful musicals such as Anchors Away and In the Good Old Summertime . Many featured the operatic talents of singers such as Kathryn Grayson and Mario Lanza.
       The film was in release Sep-Nov 1942. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15 Aug 1942.
---
Daily Variety
12 Aug 42
p. 3.
Film Daily
12 Aug 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Mar 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Mar 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Mar 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Mar 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 42
p.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Apr 42
p.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 42
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
8 May 42
p.
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 42
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Aug 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Mar 1954.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
15 Aug 42
p. 839.
New York Times
13 Nov 42
p. 28.
Variety
12 Aug 42
p. 8.
Variety
3 Mar 1954.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Frank Borzage Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
DANCE
Dance dir
MAKEUP
Hair styles
Makeup created by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Little Tingle Tangle Toes," "You and the Waltz and I," music by Walter Jurmann, lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
"Tulip Time," music and lyrics by Burton Lane and Ralph Freed.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Tulip Time
House of the Seven Tulips
Seven Tulips
Release Date:
November 1942
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 13 November 1942
Production Date:
23 March--11 May 1942
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
11 August 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11525
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
98-99
Length(in feet):
8,792
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
8530
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Reporter Henry Taggart arrives in the quaint town of Little Delft, Michigan, to cover the hamlet's annual tulip festival, and meets Papa Van Maaster, the local hotel proprietor, who strongly believes that the town's easy-going, old-fashioned ways are the best. Papa has seven daughters, all beautiful, and all but the oldest, spoiled Regina, have boys names and work at the hotel. New Yorker Henry is at first befuddled by the casual ambiance at the hotel, but soon brightens when he meets Papa's youngest and feistiest daughter, Billie. Although it is early May, constant rain prevents Henry from taking photographs for his article and forces him to extend his stay, during which he learns more about Delft's way of life. One evening, he meets vain and lazy Regina, who is determined to be an actress. Because Regina is unmarried, family tradition dictates that her younger sisters cannot marry, even though all but Billie are secretly engaged. The family encourages Henry to take a drive with Regina and he tries to impress her with talk about his "Broadway" friends. He still prefers Billie, who tells him that Regina is Papa's favorite and asks him not to encourage her to go to New York. He asks Billie to be the "Dutch" girl in his pictures, and the next evening, all of the sisters except self-centered Regina, who has a cold, notice the blossoming romance. During a ride in the rain, Henry confesses to Billie how much he likes her, and tries to kiss her, but she says that she does not want to be familiar with a guest. The next day, after church, Miss Robbins, a long-standing ... +


Reporter Henry Taggart arrives in the quaint town of Little Delft, Michigan, to cover the hamlet's annual tulip festival, and meets Papa Van Maaster, the local hotel proprietor, who strongly believes that the town's easy-going, old-fashioned ways are the best. Papa has seven daughters, all beautiful, and all but the oldest, spoiled Regina, have boys names and work at the hotel. New Yorker Henry is at first befuddled by the casual ambiance at the hotel, but soon brightens when he meets Papa's youngest and feistiest daughter, Billie. Although it is early May, constant rain prevents Henry from taking photographs for his article and forces him to extend his stay, during which he learns more about Delft's way of life. One evening, he meets vain and lazy Regina, who is determined to be an actress. Because Regina is unmarried, family tradition dictates that her younger sisters cannot marry, even though all but Billie are secretly engaged. The family encourages Henry to take a drive with Regina and he tries to impress her with talk about his "Broadway" friends. He still prefers Billie, who tells him that Regina is Papa's favorite and asks him not to encourage her to go to New York. He asks Billie to be the "Dutch" girl in his pictures, and the next evening, all of the sisters except self-centered Regina, who has a cold, notice the blossoming romance. During a ride in the rain, Henry confesses to Billie how much he likes her, and tries to kiss her, but she says that she does not want to be familiar with a guest. The next day, after church, Miss Robbins, a long-standing guest at the hotel, tells Henry that Billie is in love with him, and he admits that he wants to marry her. At the festival, the townspeople are all dressed in traditional Dutch costumes and go through various rituals, including the washing of the street and buildings. Papa is in the marching band and the girls perform a wooden shoe dance, during which Henry grabs Billie away and proposes. She loves him, but tells him that she could not leave their home because, like flowers, she would die if transplanted. She also tells him about the eldest daughter tradition. Not dissuaded, Henry plans to ask Papa for Billie's hand, but when he and Billie arrive back at the hotel, Regina is angry that he is no longer interested in her. Jan Randall, a Viennese musician who has lived at the hotel for several years, has secretly had a crush on Billie, but, on Henry's suggestion, decides to pursue Regina, whom he had thought unobtainable. Henry then goes to Papa, who guesses that he is asking for his daughter's hand, but thinks that Regina is the one. When Papa ecstatically fetches Regina, Henry is so flustered that he cannot explain what is wrong. Regina knows the truth, but secretly tells Henry that she wants him to take her to New York right away and threatens to tell Papa if he tries to talk his way out of it. In his panic, Henry asks the sisters and Miss Robbins to help him elope with Billie, but she refuses because of the tradition. She and the other sisters then try to talk Regina out of going to New York and hurting Papa. When Regina callously says she doesn't care what Papa wants, Billie slaps her. A few moments later, Papa tells Billie to go to sing her song at the festival. When she cannot continue singing and leaves the stage, Papa runs after her to see what is wrong. Henry follows them and tells Papa that he loves Billie and wants to take her to New York. Papa sadly tells them to go immediately, but after he leaves, Billie tells Henry that she could never hurt Papa by leaving and kisses him goodbye. Some time later, when Henry is in New York and completing his article on the festival, he gets a call from Regina, who is also in New York and wants to see him and meet his producer friends. As she waits for Henry at her hotel, Papa arrives and tells her that he will not stand in her way and plans to send her to the best acting schools. He also reveals that he has brought Miss Robbins and Randall with him to be her guardians. When Henry arrives, Papa reveals his plans for Regina and then "proposes" that he and Billie should marry. Papa is happy at Henry's eager acceptance because he now has a son--Henry the Eighth. Finally, at a large wedding ceremony in Delft, all of the sisters marry their fiancés, including Regina, who returns home, happily in love with Randall. +

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

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