Man's Favorite Sport? (1964)

120 mins | Comedy | 11 February 1964

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HISTORY

According to news items in the 28 Mar 1962 DV and 29 Mar 1962 LAT, Man’s Favorite Sport? began at Paramount Pictures, where filmmaker Howard Hawks was contracted to produce three pictures within the next four years. One of these projects was a yet-untitled adaptation of Pat Frank’s short story, “The Girl Who Almost Got Away,” which first appeared in the Jul 1950 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. NYT reported that Cary Grant was attached to star as of 8 Jul 1962, while Hawks was in Paris, France, searching for a female co-star. Reports in the 11 Jun 1962 and 23 Oct 1962 DV indicated that Juliet Prowse and Leslie Parrish were considered before the casting of Paula Prentiss.
       In late 1962, the property moved from Paramount to Universal Pictures, as indicated by a 24 Sep 1962 DV brief stating that Rock Hudson was now being courted for the lead character, “Roger Willoughby.” Around this time, Grant and Hudson were also slated as co-stars for Universal’s Bedtime Story (1964, see entry), but the roles eventually went to Marlon Brando and David Niven.
       An 8 Nov 1962 DV news item revealed that a photography crew traveled to San Francisco, CA, to film exteriors before production officially began. After minor delays, the 11 Dec 1962 DV announced that principal photography got underway that day at the studio’s facilities in Universal City, CA. A 31 Jan 1963 DV brief indicated that the unit occupied Stage 32.
       According to a 22 Jan 1963 NYT article, Howard Hawks felt that ... More Less

According to news items in the 28 Mar 1962 DV and 29 Mar 1962 LAT, Man’s Favorite Sport? began at Paramount Pictures, where filmmaker Howard Hawks was contracted to produce three pictures within the next four years. One of these projects was a yet-untitled adaptation of Pat Frank’s short story, “The Girl Who Almost Got Away,” which first appeared in the Jul 1950 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. NYT reported that Cary Grant was attached to star as of 8 Jul 1962, while Hawks was in Paris, France, searching for a female co-star. Reports in the 11 Jun 1962 and 23 Oct 1962 DV indicated that Juliet Prowse and Leslie Parrish were considered before the casting of Paula Prentiss.
       In late 1962, the property moved from Paramount to Universal Pictures, as indicated by a 24 Sep 1962 DV brief stating that Rock Hudson was now being courted for the lead character, “Roger Willoughby.” Around this time, Grant and Hudson were also slated as co-stars for Universal’s Bedtime Story (1964, see entry), but the roles eventually went to Marlon Brando and David Niven.
       An 8 Nov 1962 DV news item revealed that a photography crew traveled to San Francisco, CA, to film exteriors before production officially began. After minor delays, the 11 Dec 1962 DV announced that principal photography got underway that day at the studio’s facilities in Universal City, CA. A 31 Jan 1963 DV brief indicated that the unit occupied Stage 32.
       According to a 22 Jan 1963 NYT article, Howard Hawks felt that slapstick comedy was particularly susceptible to plagiarism, and refused to complete a script in order to protect his routines from agents who may then pass the gags on to their television clients. As a result, the scripts contained several blank spaces, leaving Hawks to sit down with the actors, such as Hudson, to work out how a scene should be played just days before it was supposed to be shot.
       The 23 Apr 1963 DV reported that Glenn Adams and Rollie Lane served as still photographers on the set. Items in the 19 Dec 1962 DV and 27 Feb 1963 LAT also named Pitt Herbert, Mike Olton, and Regis Toomey among the cast, but their participation could not be confirmed.
       On 28 Feb 1963, DV announced that Molly Bee had been hired to sing Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer’s title theme over opening credits, as well as another unnamed “ballad” written by Mancini.
       According to the 22 Feb 1963 DV, promotional efforts began at a sports exhibition at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, and continued well into the next year, when a 15 Jan 1964 Var item announced that Paula Prentiss was set to complete a one-month Florida-area publicity tour surrounding the film’s Miami premiere on 30 Jan 1964. Man’s Favorite Sport? debuted 11 Feb 1964 in Los Angeles (citywide) and Washington, D.C. A 22 Jan 1964 DV brief indicated that the latter engagement marked the first screening at the Loew’s Palace Theatre since its $225,000 renovation. In New York City, Universal implemented a “showcase” strategy, opening the picture at the Astor and multiple other area theaters on 19 Feb 1964. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
28 Mar 1962
p. 1, 11.
Daily Variety
11 Jun 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
24 Sep 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
23 Oct 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
8 Nov 1962
p. 9.
Daily Variety
11 Dec 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
19 Dec 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
31 Jan 1963
p. 6.
Daily Variety
22 Feb 1963
p. 4.
Daily Variety
28 Feb 1963
p. 4.
Daily Variety
23 Apr 1963
p. 11.
Daily Variety
22 Jan 1964
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
29 Mar 1962
Section C, p. 27.
Los Angeles Times
6 Nov 1962
Section D, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
27 Feb 1963
Section D, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
7 Feb 1964
Section C, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
12 Feb 1964
Section C, p. 15.
New York Times
8 Jul 1962
p. 73.
New York Times
22 Jan 1963
p. 8.
New York Times
16 Feb 1964
Section X, p. 7.
New York Times
19 Feb 1964
p. 34.
New York Times
20 Feb 1964
p. 22.
Variety
15 Jan 1964
p. 5.
Variety
15 Jan 1964
p. 15.
Variety
22 Jan 1964
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
In charge of prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
Men's ward
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Sp mech eff
Title & special titles photog
Title & special titles photog
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Scr supv
Tech adv (fishing)
Tech adv (aquatic seq)
Tech adv (auto seq)
Tech adv (sp eff)
Tech adv (bear trainer)
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "The Girl Who Almost Got Away" by Pat Frank, published in Cosmopolitan magazine (1950).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Man's Favorite Sport?" words and music by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer.
DETAILS
Release Date:
11 February 1964
Premiere Information:
Miami Beach, Florida, premiere: 30 January 1964
Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. opening: 11 February 1964
New York opening: 19 February 1964
Production Date:
began 11 December 1963
Copyright Claimant:
Laurel Productions
Copyright Date:
29 February 1963
Copyright Number:
LP32701
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
120
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Roger Willoughby, the most successful fishing equipment salesman for Abercrombie and Fitch in San Francisco, is the author of a bestselling book on fishing, although he has never fished. Abby Page, publicity agent for the Wakopoogee Lake fishing tournament, persuades Roger's boss, Mr. Cadwalader, that Roger should enter the tournament. Roger confesses to Abby that he cannot fish, but she and a friend promise to teach him. Tex, Roger's fiancée, becomes jealous of his time spent with the two women and leaves. Roger wins the tournment with the help of a bear, but, confessing that he is a phony, he forfeits the prize. Cadwalader fires him and then reconsiders when he realizes that a novice winning a tournament is better advertising for the company. Meanwhile, Roger finds Abby camping in the woods, and he climbs into her sleeping bag when a storm breaks. They fall asleep and awaken floating in the lake in the bag. Cadwalader appears in a canoe to inform Roger that he has been rehired at a higher salary, and he abandons the happy couple to find their way ... +


Roger Willoughby, the most successful fishing equipment salesman for Abercrombie and Fitch in San Francisco, is the author of a bestselling book on fishing, although he has never fished. Abby Page, publicity agent for the Wakopoogee Lake fishing tournament, persuades Roger's boss, Mr. Cadwalader, that Roger should enter the tournament. Roger confesses to Abby that he cannot fish, but she and a friend promise to teach him. Tex, Roger's fiancée, becomes jealous of his time spent with the two women and leaves. Roger wins the tournment with the help of a bear, but, confessing that he is a phony, he forfeits the prize. Cadwalader fires him and then reconsiders when he realizes that a novice winning a tournament is better advertising for the company. Meanwhile, Roger finds Abby camping in the woods, and he climbs into her sleeping bag when a storm breaks. They fall asleep and awaken floating in the lake in the bag. Cadwalader appears in a canoe to inform Roger that he has been rehired at a higher salary, and he abandons the happy couple to find their way ashore. +

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.