The Girl Who Had Everything (1953)

69 mins | Drama | 27 March 1953

Director:

Richard Thorpe

Writer:

Art Cohn

Producer:

Armand Deutsch

Cinematographer:

Paul C. Vogel

Editor:

Ben Lewis

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Randall Duell

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was A Life of Her Own . According to M-G-M publicity material, the novel on which this film was based first appeared serially in Hearst's International Cosmopolitan starting in Sep 1926. A DV news item dated 2 Aug 1951 reported that Ava Gardner had been cast in the starring role, and that Marguerite Roberts had written the script. The extent of Roberts' contribution to the final film has not been determined, however. A 26 Feb 1952 item in HR 's "Rambling Reporter" column stated that Howard Keel was campaigning for the role of the male lead in the film. Although HR news items include June Whitley and Art Baker in the cast, Baker was not in the released film and the appearance of Whitley has not been confirmed. Elmer Peterson, who portrayed himself in the film, was a well-known television newscaster at the time.
       The novel A Free Soul was also the basis of the 1931 M-G-M film of the same title, which was directed by Clarence Brown and starred Norma Shearer, Lionel Barrymore, Clark Gable and Leslie Howard (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). According to information in the file on The Girl Who Had Everything in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, M-G-M first expressed interest in remaking A Free Soul in 1945. However, the script submitted to the PCA in May 1946 was rejected because of the sexual relationship between "Jean" and "Ramondi" and the deliberate killing of "Ramondi" by "Vance" (as in the 1931 version). ... More Less

The working title of this film was A Life of Her Own . According to M-G-M publicity material, the novel on which this film was based first appeared serially in Hearst's International Cosmopolitan starting in Sep 1926. A DV news item dated 2 Aug 1951 reported that Ava Gardner had been cast in the starring role, and that Marguerite Roberts had written the script. The extent of Roberts' contribution to the final film has not been determined, however. A 26 Feb 1952 item in HR 's "Rambling Reporter" column stated that Howard Keel was campaigning for the role of the male lead in the film. Although HR news items include June Whitley and Art Baker in the cast, Baker was not in the released film and the appearance of Whitley has not been confirmed. Elmer Peterson, who portrayed himself in the film, was a well-known television newscaster at the time.
       The novel A Free Soul was also the basis of the 1931 M-G-M film of the same title, which was directed by Clarence Brown and starred Norma Shearer, Lionel Barrymore, Clark Gable and Leslie Howard (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). According to information in the file on The Girl Who Had Everything in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, M-G-M first expressed interest in remaking A Free Soul in 1945. However, the script submitted to the PCA in May 1946 was rejected because of the sexual relationship between "Jean" and "Ramondi" and the deliberate killing of "Ramondi" by "Vance" (as in the 1931 version). The PCA demanded numerous revisions and eliminations, and the project was shelved until Feb 1952, when a new draft was submitted and approved. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 Mar 1953.
---
Daily Variety
2 Aug 1951.
---
Daily Variety
2 Mar 53
p. 4.
Film Daily
6 Apr 53
p. 10.
Hollywood Citizen-News
18 Apr 1953.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Feb 52
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 52
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 52
p. 8, 11.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 52
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Aug 52
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Mar 53
p. 4.
Motion Picture Daily
2 Mar 1953.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
7 Mar 53
p. 1750.
Variety
4 Mar 53
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
Wrt for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Women's cost des
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec supv
MAKEUP
Hair styles by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel A Free Soul by Adela Rogers St. Johns (New York, 1927).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
A Life of Her Own
Release Date:
27 March 1953
Production Date:
16 July--6 August 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
27 February 1953
Copyright Number:
LP2442
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
69
Length(in feet):
6,255
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16089
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

During a broadcast of the evening television news, commentator Elmer Peterson announces that the Senate will investigate Victor Y. Ramondi, head of a large gambling syndicate, then cuts to a live interview with Ramondi and his attorney, John Ashmond. Pretty, free-spirited Jean Latimer, who is watching the interview with her father Steve in their Lexington, Kentucky home, is impressed by the suave Ramondi's good looks. Later that evening, while Jean is out on a date with her boyfriend, Vance Court, Ashmond, who is Steve's law partner, pays a visit and persuades him to represent Ramondi during the investigation. Vance proposes to Jean, as he has many times before, but she tells him she is not ready to settle down. After six days of testimony, the Senate investigation ends without a conviction. Jean goes to Washington to attend the final hearing, and joins her father and Ramondi for a drink afterward. While Steve is away from the table, Jean and Ramondi flirt, and she admits that her father's drinking worries her. Back in Kentucky, Jean is at a horse auction with Steve and Vance when Ramondi shows up and extravagantly outbids Vance for a colt. He reveals that he has taken a lease on a lavish plantation in the area sight unseen, and while Jean gives him a tour of the place, he kisses her. Vance is waiting outside when Jean gets home, having just put the drunken Steve to bed, and she openly tells him she is interested in getting to know Ramondi better. Jean and Ramondi begin dating, and one evening, after dancing at the country club, they return to his ... +


During a broadcast of the evening television news, commentator Elmer Peterson announces that the Senate will investigate Victor Y. Ramondi, head of a large gambling syndicate, then cuts to a live interview with Ramondi and his attorney, John Ashmond. Pretty, free-spirited Jean Latimer, who is watching the interview with her father Steve in their Lexington, Kentucky home, is impressed by the suave Ramondi's good looks. Later that evening, while Jean is out on a date with her boyfriend, Vance Court, Ashmond, who is Steve's law partner, pays a visit and persuades him to represent Ramondi during the investigation. Vance proposes to Jean, as he has many times before, but she tells him she is not ready to settle down. After six days of testimony, the Senate investigation ends without a conviction. Jean goes to Washington to attend the final hearing, and joins her father and Ramondi for a drink afterward. While Steve is away from the table, Jean and Ramondi flirt, and she admits that her father's drinking worries her. Back in Kentucky, Jean is at a horse auction with Steve and Vance when Ramondi shows up and extravagantly outbids Vance for a colt. He reveals that he has taken a lease on a lavish plantation in the area sight unseen, and while Jean gives him a tour of the place, he kisses her. Vance is waiting outside when Jean gets home, having just put the drunken Steve to bed, and she openly tells him she is interested in getting to know Ramondi better. Jean and Ramondi begin dating, and one evening, after dancing at the country club, they return to his house and kiss passionately. The next day, Jean joins Steve and Vance at the racetrack and tells them Ramondi gave her the $20,000 colt he bought at the auction. Vance warns Jean to end her relationship with Ramondi and walks away. When her father expresses his disapproval, Jean insists that Ramondi loves her, but Steve replies that a man who does not respect himself does not care about anyone else. At her father's insistence, Jean returns the colt, and tells Ramondi she now knows about his shady past. Ramondi vows that he will change, and requests a meeting with Steve. Late that night, Steve shows up unexpectedly at Ramondi's house and insults him when he speaks of marrying Jean, then is shocked to see his daughter come downstairs from the bedroom. Jean reluctantly goes home with Steve, and after an ugly quarrel, agrees to join him for a vacation in the Big Smokies. After four days, however, Jean grows restless and returns to Ramondi, and the couple drives to New York to be married. In New York, Ramondi tells his close associate Charles "Chico" Menlow, that he plans to retire and settle down in Lexington, despite Chico's warning that quitting will bring trouble. Later, Chico calls Ramondi to a meeting with the syndicate and shows him a newspaper headline announcing that the Senate might reopen the investigation, as a "mystery witness" is expected to provide new evidence. Chico says the witness is Steve, but Ramondi dismisses this as a bluff. After Ramondi leaves, his associates agree that he is a liability to their organization, and Chico muses on how his old friend's "accidental" demise would solve a lot of problems. Steve is waiting at the hotel when Ramondi returns, and says that although he cannot testify against a former client, he can produce witnesses who will attest to Ramondi's past crimes, adding that a warrant is being issued for the murder of two mobsters. In a rage, Ramondi strikes Steve and threatens his life. Jean angrily tells Ramondi they are through, despite his attempts to intimidate her into staying with him. Ramondi gets in his car and drives away, but while stopped at a light, he is shot to death. The next day, at a press conference, Jean comes forward and says she broke the engagement when she learned her father was right about Ramondi. Jean asks Steve to take her home, and they embrace. +

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.