Day-Time Wife (1939)

70-71 mins | Comedy | 24 November 1939

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HISTORY

Working titles of this film were First Kiss , Part Time Wife and A Deal in Hearts . Material in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Script Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library indicate that Walter Bullock contributed changes in early drafts of the screenplay. Fox story material also indicates that the character of Kitty's boyfriend was removed under the insistance of studio chief Darryl Zanuck. A HR production chart lists John Halliday in the cast, but his participation in the completed film has not been confirmed. According to a Twentieth Century-Fox press release, Zanuck was so impressed by Darnell's performance that he decided to give her credit over the title, though it was only her second film. Other press releases claim that filming was scheduled to conclude on Friday, the 13th, but associate producer Raymond Griffith insisted that it end the next day, for superstitious ... More Less

Working titles of this film were First Kiss , Part Time Wife and A Deal in Hearts . Material in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Script Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library indicate that Walter Bullock contributed changes in early drafts of the screenplay. Fox story material also indicates that the character of Kitty's boyfriend was removed under the insistance of studio chief Darryl Zanuck. A HR production chart lists John Halliday in the cast, but his participation in the completed film has not been confirmed. According to a Twentieth Century-Fox press release, Zanuck was so impressed by Darnell's performance that he decided to give her credit over the title, though it was only her second film. Other press releases claim that filming was scheduled to conclude on Friday, the 13th, but associate producer Raymond Griffith insisted that it end the next day, for superstitious reasons. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
18-Nov-39
---
Daily Variety
10 Nov 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
16 Nov 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Nov 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
14 Nov 39
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
21 Oct 39
p. 46.
Motion Picture Herald
18 Nov 39
p. 48.
New York Times
24 Nov 39
p. 29.
Variety
15 Nov 39
p. 18.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
A Deal of Hearts
Part Time Wife
First Kiss
Release Date:
24 November 1939
Production Date:
9 September--14 October 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
24 November 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9473
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70-71
Length(in feet):
6,550
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
5732
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

It is the second wedding anniversary of Ken and Jane Norton, but there is trouble in their lovers' paradise. Despite all the hints Jane leaves for her husband, Ken has completely forgotten the occasion. Jane has a surprise party at their apartment to commemorate the event, but Ken's secretary Kitty Frazier, calls to say that Ken will be working very late that night. Jane decides to move the party to Ken's office, but when they arrive, only the cleaning ladies are at work. Jane's much-married friend Blanche finds expensive perfume in Kitty's desk, and when Ken arrives home late that night with its scent, Jane is forced to face the fact that her husband has gone astray. Jane does not want a divorce, however, and decides to find out what mystical power secretaries hold over their bosses. Jane becomes the secretary of architect Bernard Dexter, who immediately becomes infatuated with her. Complicating matters further, Ken is trying to sign a large roofing contract with Dexter, and Jane does not want Ken to know that she is working. When Jane finally agrees to go to lunch with Dexter, she learns the secret of a secretary's fascination for her boss: like Ken, Dexter finds his wife "beautiful...but a solved crossword puzzle." When Dexter gives Jane an expensive sable fur, she does not know what to do until the receptionist, Miss Applegate, comes up with a solution. Jane pawns the coat, then gives Ken the ticket, telling him she found it and wants him to redeem it. The next day, when Ken brings home a moth-eaten rabbit wrap instead of the coat, Jane has just about had enough. ... +


It is the second wedding anniversary of Ken and Jane Norton, but there is trouble in their lovers' paradise. Despite all the hints Jane leaves for her husband, Ken has completely forgotten the occasion. Jane has a surprise party at their apartment to commemorate the event, but Ken's secretary Kitty Frazier, calls to say that Ken will be working very late that night. Jane decides to move the party to Ken's office, but when they arrive, only the cleaning ladies are at work. Jane's much-married friend Blanche finds expensive perfume in Kitty's desk, and when Ken arrives home late that night with its scent, Jane is forced to face the fact that her husband has gone astray. Jane does not want a divorce, however, and decides to find out what mystical power secretaries hold over their bosses. Jane becomes the secretary of architect Bernard Dexter, who immediately becomes infatuated with her. Complicating matters further, Ken is trying to sign a large roofing contract with Dexter, and Jane does not want Ken to know that she is working. When Jane finally agrees to go to lunch with Dexter, she learns the secret of a secretary's fascination for her boss: like Ken, Dexter finds his wife "beautiful...but a solved crossword puzzle." When Dexter gives Jane an expensive sable fur, she does not know what to do until the receptionist, Miss Applegate, comes up with a solution. Jane pawns the coat, then gives Ken the ticket, telling him she found it and wants him to redeem it. The next day, when Ken brings home a moth-eaten rabbit wrap instead of the coat, Jane has just about had enough. Ken then agrees that he has been ignoring her and they plan a night out on the town. The next day Ken meets with Dexter, who insists that they go out together, with "no wives." Then, when Jane reads Ken's message cancelling their evening, Jane agrees to go out with Dexter. Ken is shocked when he arrives with Kitty and finds Dexter with Jane. Ken says nothing, for fear of losing his possible contract with Dexter. The four go to Dexter's penthouse apartment after dinner, where Jane sees Ken being kissed by Kitty. Just then, Mrs. Dexter arrives, thinking she has finally caught her cheating husband red-handed. Jane immediately solves the problem by telling her that she is Ken's wife and that this is an innocent dinner party. To prove the point, Dexter is forced to sign Ken's roofing contract. Jane, Ken and Kitty leave, returning to the Norton's apartment, though Kitty is led to believe that it is Jane's. Jane puts Ken on the living room's davenport, and when he sneaks back into the bedroom, Kitty overhears Ken call her "an old slice of watermelon." Banished again from the bedroom, Ken tries to sleep on the davenport. As an angry Kitty leaves, she bashes Ken over the head with a high-heel, knocking him out. Jane, deciding to forgive Ken, goes to the living room and wakes him up, but Ken thinks Jane hit him until they find Kitty's broken heel. In the bathroom, as Jane bandages his head, the two make up, agreeing that Jane will no longer be "a day-time wife." +

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.