Eternally Yours (1939)

99 mins | Drama | 12 October 1939

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Whose Wife . According to an article in NYT , this film began as a remake of Sacha Guitry's play L'illusionniste (Paris, 28 Oct 1917). That film however, was judged "too lusty" for the American family audience and consequently, screenwriters Gene Towne and Graham Baker changed the story. The final script was so different from Guitry's original that his name was dropped from the project and original screenplay credit was given to Towne and Baker. The article adds that a double stood-in for Loretta Young in the disappearing girl sequence when Young refused to wear the scanty attire required for the scene. The scene in which Tony jumps from an airplane wearing handcuffs was shot over the New York World's Fair. The NYT article credits Paul Widlicksa with creating the illusion of the jump. A HR news item adds that Jack Kirston supervised the shooting of the parachute jump over the San Francisco bay sequence. Werner Janssen received an Academy Award nomination in the Music (Original Score) ... More Less

The working title of this film was Whose Wife . According to an article in NYT , this film began as a remake of Sacha Guitry's play L'illusionniste (Paris, 28 Oct 1917). That film however, was judged "too lusty" for the American family audience and consequently, screenwriters Gene Towne and Graham Baker changed the story. The final script was so different from Guitry's original that his name was dropped from the project and original screenplay credit was given to Towne and Baker. The article adds that a double stood-in for Loretta Young in the disappearing girl sequence when Young refused to wear the scanty attire required for the scene. The scene in which Tony jumps from an airplane wearing handcuffs was shot over the New York World's Fair. The NYT article credits Paul Widlicksa with creating the illusion of the jump. A HR news item adds that Jack Kirston supervised the shooting of the parachute jump over the San Francisco bay sequence. Werner Janssen received an Academy Award nomination in the Music (Original Score) category. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
18 Oct 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
3 Oct 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jun 39
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 39
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Aug 39
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Oct 39
p. 4.
Motion Picture Daily
2 Oct 39
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
16 Sep 39
p. 62.
Motion Picture Herald
7 Oct 39
p. 38.
New York Times
16 Jul 1939.
---
New York Times
7 Oct 39
p. 11.
Variety
4 Oct 39
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Tay Garnett Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
Addl dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Spec photog eff
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Int dec
COSTUMES
Miss Young's gowns by
Other gowns by
MUSIC
Score and mus dir
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Prod mgr
STAND INS
Supv parachute jump
SOURCES
SONGS
"Eternally Yours," words by L. Wolfe Gilbert, music Werner Janssen.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Whose Wife
Release Date:
12 October 1939
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 7 October 1939
Production Date:
23 June--8 August 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Walter Wanger Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
20 October 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9187
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
99
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5609
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Just before Anita is about to be married to Don Barnes, a kind, but stuffy man with a fetish for fresh air, she goes to an afternoon performance of the magician "The Great Arturo," and they fall in love instantly when she goes on stage for part of his act. Eighteen months later, Anita has married Arturo, whose real name is Tony Halstead, and has become his assistant. When her friend Gloria visits her in London, however, Anita has begun to tire of their glamorous life touring the world, and longs for a family and a home in America, a desire that Tony does not share. Though Tony loves Anita very much, his desire to keep their marriage from becoming ordinary won't allow him to settle down "like other people." Anita pretends to go along with his ideas, and even acts unconcerned when he frequently comes home with lipstick on his collar. During an evening out with a woman reporter, Tony drunkenly boasts that he will jump out of a plane wearing handcuffs and break loose from them in time to pull the string to his parachute. Anita is furious and makes Tony promise not to make good on his boast. Though he doesn't really want to go through with the stunt, he can not refuse when he arrives at the airport and finds hundreds of eager fans waiting for him. Breaking the cast he was going to use as an excuse not to jump, Tony performs the stunt and lands successfully. Anita makes Tony promise not to do it again, but six months later, he has performed the stunt dozens of ... +


Just before Anita is about to be married to Don Barnes, a kind, but stuffy man with a fetish for fresh air, she goes to an afternoon performance of the magician "The Great Arturo," and they fall in love instantly when she goes on stage for part of his act. Eighteen months later, Anita has married Arturo, whose real name is Tony Halstead, and has become his assistant. When her friend Gloria visits her in London, however, Anita has begun to tire of their glamorous life touring the world, and longs for a family and a home in America, a desire that Tony does not share. Though Tony loves Anita very much, his desire to keep their marriage from becoming ordinary won't allow him to settle down "like other people." Anita pretends to go along with his ideas, and even acts unconcerned when he frequently comes home with lipstick on his collar. During an evening out with a woman reporter, Tony drunkenly boasts that he will jump out of a plane wearing handcuffs and break loose from them in time to pull the string to his parachute. Anita is furious and makes Tony promise not to make good on his boast. Though he doesn't really want to go through with the stunt, he can not refuse when he arrives at the airport and finds hundreds of eager fans waiting for him. Breaking the cast he was going to use as an excuse not to jump, Tony performs the stunt and lands successfully. Anita makes Tony promise not to do it again, but six months later, he has performed the stunt dozens of times in most of the world's great cities. Finally hoping to get a two-month vacation after Tony's tour ends, Anita buys a cottage in Connecticut, but when Tony shrugs it off and signs for another tour to begin immediately, Anita realizes that he will never settle down. She leaves him just after "disappearing" in the act and returns to New York to the home of her grandfather, Bishop Hubert Peabody. Anita's aunt Abbey helps her to obtain a Reno divorce, which, unknown to Anita, is not valid because Tony has never signed the papers or received word that he was being divorced. Meanwhile, Tony realizes how much he loves Anita and tries to find her. When he visits Gramps, the two become friends, but even Gramps doesn't know where his granddaughter is, and Tony is forced to spend everything he has to try and find her. When he finally learns that Anita has divorced him, he becomes so disconsolate that he flubs a performance and has to take a year off to pull himself together. During that time, Anita has been traveling with Abbey. When Abbey arranges for Don to accompany them on a cruise, Anita decides that a quick marriage to Don will be the best thing for her,and she arranges for the captain of the ship to marry them. As soon as they dock in New York, however, they meet Don's boss, Mr. Bingham, at a nightclub and find that Tony is there performing. Still in love with Anita, Tony then wangles an invitation to Bingham's country estate for the weekend. Anita and Don are also there, and Tony tries everything to make Anita return to him. Don breaks his leg and is unable to consummate the marriage, but Anita feels that she cannot go back to Tony, even though she still loves him. Gramps, who has learned that her marriage is not legal because her divorce from Tony was invalid, does not tell her because he wants her to choose for herself. On the day that Don has his cast removed, Anita learns that Tony is going to perform his parachute stunt at the New York World's Fair. Knowing that Tony is out of practice, Anita rushes to the airport but is too late to stop him. Tony has hidden a picklock in the plane to help him out of the cuffs, but when a different plane is used, he still goes through with the stunt. He is too slow, however, and plunges into the river. Anita arrives as he is pulled out of the water, and when he comes to, she is overcome with happiness. Realizing her feelings, Don suggests that he get the car for them. Finally, Tony and Anita arrive at their cottage in Connecticut, eager to start a new life. +

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.