Casanova Brown (1944)

91-93 mins | Comedy | 1944

Director:

Sam Wood

Producer:

Nunnally Johnson

Cinematographer:

John F. Seitz

Editor:

Thomas Neff

Production Designer:

Perry Ferguson

Production Company:

International Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Casanova Q. Brown . Isobel Elsom's name was misspelled in the credits as "Isabel Elsom." A HR production chart places Frank Puglia in the cast, but his participation in the released film has not been confirmed. This was the first film produced under the banner of International Pictures, an independent production company founded by former Twentieth Century-Fox production chief William Goetz and former RKO corporate president Leo Spitz. According to an article in Life magazine, producer Nunnally Johnson contracted to make two pictures a year for the new company. In exchange, International agreed to pay all the producer's expenses and give him 49 percent of the gross profits from each film. According to HR news items, interiors and exteriors for the film were shot at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles and backgrounds were filmed on the grounds of a hospital in Hurricane, UT. According to an unidentified contemporary source, the production employed twenty-six babies, who were each paid seventy-five dollars per day. Under the child welfare laws, the infants could spend only two hours a day at the studio. During that period, they were allowed to spend only a total of twenty minutes in front of the camera and were allowed to be under the lights only thirty seconds at a time. Teresa Wright was borrowed from Samuel Goldwyn Productions to appear in the film.
       According to a news item in HR , the film had its world premiere on 8 Aug 1944 in sixteen different locations of liberated France. It was shown to soldiers in outdoor theaters ... More Less

The working title of this film was Casanova Q. Brown . Isobel Elsom's name was misspelled in the credits as "Isabel Elsom." A HR production chart places Frank Puglia in the cast, but his participation in the released film has not been confirmed. This was the first film produced under the banner of International Pictures, an independent production company founded by former Twentieth Century-Fox production chief William Goetz and former RKO corporate president Leo Spitz. According to an article in Life magazine, producer Nunnally Johnson contracted to make two pictures a year for the new company. In exchange, International agreed to pay all the producer's expenses and give him 49 percent of the gross profits from each film. According to HR news items, interiors and exteriors for the film were shot at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles and backgrounds were filmed on the grounds of a hospital in Hurricane, UT. According to an unidentified contemporary source, the production employed twenty-six babies, who were each paid seventy-five dollars per day. Under the child welfare laws, the infants could spend only two hours a day at the studio. During that period, they were allowed to spend only a total of twenty minutes in front of the camera and were allowed to be under the lights only thirty seconds at a time. Teresa Wright was borrowed from Samuel Goldwyn Productions to appear in the film.
       According to a news item in HR , the film had its world premiere on 8 Aug 1944 in sixteen different locations of liberated France. It was shown to soldiers in outdoor theaters in territory reclaimed from the Germans on the Normandy peninsula. The picture received the following Academy Award nominations: Best Art Direction, Best Score and Best Sound Recording. The Floyd Dell and Thomas Mitchell play also served as the basis for the 1930 Universal film Little Accident , starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Anita Page and directed by William James (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.3102) and the 1939 Universal film of the same name starring Hugh Herbert and Florence Rice and directed by Charles Lamont (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.2509) Gary Cooper reprised his role in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 11 Dec 1944, co-starring Joan Bennett. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 Aug 1944.
---
Daily Variety
1 Aug 44
p. 3.
Film Daily
3 Aug 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Dec 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Feb 44
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 44
pp. 12-13.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Feb 44
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 44
p. 47.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 44
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 44
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Aug 44
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 44
p. 12.
Life
18 Sep 1944.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
18 Mar 44
p. 1806.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 Aug 44
p. 2029.
New York Times
15 Sep 44
p. 16.
Variety
2 Aug 44
p. 10.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Edmond Breon
Larry Joe Olsen
Dorothy Vaughn
Charles Latorre
Dick Rich
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Nunnally Johnson Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Wrt for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus score
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit pub wrt
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Little Accident by Floyd Dell and Thomas Mitchell (New York, 10 Oct 1928) and the novel An Unmarried Father by Floyd Dell (New York, 1927).
DETAILS
Release Date:
1944
Premiere Information:
World premiere in the liberated territories of France: 5 August 1944
San Francisco opening: 23 August 1944
Production Date:
early February--late March 1944
Copyright Claimant:
The Christie Corp.
Copyright Date:
23 August 1944
Copyright Number:
LP12870
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
91-93
Length(in feet):
8,240
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
10070
SYNOPSIS

When Casanova "Cas" Q. Brown is greeted at the Rossmore, Illinois train station by Madge Ferris, he begs her never to let him out of her sight and never to mention New York. Several months later, Cas asks Madge's cantankerous father, J. J. Ferris, for permission to marry his daughter. Incredulous that anyone could love Madge, J. J. assumes that Cas is marrying her for her money and refuses permission on the grounds that he wants to spare Cas the fate that he has suffered. Cas and Madge decide to marry over her father's objections, and on the day of the wedding rehearsal, Cas receives a letter from a maternity hospital in Chicago, asking him to contact Dr. Martha Zernerke. Hastily excusing himself from the rehearsal, Cas confides to J. J. about his misadventure in New York: In a whirlwind romance, Cas meets and marries Isabel Drury. When Isabel brings her new husband home to meet her parents, her eccentric mother insists on consulting the stars about their matrimonial future. After Mrs. Drury proclaims that the position of the stars portends disaster, Cas offends his mother-in-law by opining that astrology is nonsensical. The relationship between Cas and his in-laws takes a turn for the worse when he burns down the Drury mansion with a discarded cigarette that he was trying to hide from Mrs. Drury. When Mrs. Drury declares the fire to be an astral warning, Cas, exasperated, storms off, leaving behind a sobbing Isabel and an annuled marriage. Upon concluding his story, Cas tells J. J. that he has decided to go to Chicago to investigate the letter, but plans to return that ... +


When Casanova "Cas" Q. Brown is greeted at the Rossmore, Illinois train station by Madge Ferris, he begs her never to let him out of her sight and never to mention New York. Several months later, Cas asks Madge's cantankerous father, J. J. Ferris, for permission to marry his daughter. Incredulous that anyone could love Madge, J. J. assumes that Cas is marrying her for her money and refuses permission on the grounds that he wants to spare Cas the fate that he has suffered. Cas and Madge decide to marry over her father's objections, and on the day of the wedding rehearsal, Cas receives a letter from a maternity hospital in Chicago, asking him to contact Dr. Martha Zernerke. Hastily excusing himself from the rehearsal, Cas confides to J. J. about his misadventure in New York: In a whirlwind romance, Cas meets and marries Isabel Drury. When Isabel brings her new husband home to meet her parents, her eccentric mother insists on consulting the stars about their matrimonial future. After Mrs. Drury proclaims that the position of the stars portends disaster, Cas offends his mother-in-law by opining that astrology is nonsensical. The relationship between Cas and his in-laws takes a turn for the worse when he burns down the Drury mansion with a discarded cigarette that he was trying to hide from Mrs. Drury. When Mrs. Drury declares the fire to be an astral warning, Cas, exasperated, storms off, leaving behind a sobbing Isabel and an annuled marriage. Upon concluding his story, Cas tells J. J. that he has decided to go to Chicago to investigate the letter, but plans to return that night in time to marry Madge. At the hospital, Cas meets Dr. Zernerke, who, after showing him his baby daughter, informs him that Isabel has decided to put the infant up for adoption. When Cas confronts Isabel about the adoption, he admits that he still loves her, but she reproaches him for not writing and reminds him of his impending marriage. To prevent losing his daughter, Cas poses as a doctor and kidnaps the baby. As Cas exits the hospital with his daughter, Isabel tells Dr. Zernerke that the adoption was just a ruse to test Cas's intentions and that she now wants to reconcile with him. Meanwhile, back in Rossmore, Madge, dressed in her bridal finery, is awaiting her groom when Cas calls J. J. to inform him about the baby. Calmly turning to his wife and daughter, J. J. announces that Cas cannot make the wedding and suggests going to a movie instead. Cas takes the baby to his hotel room where, aided by Monica, the maid, and Frank, the bell captain, he strives to perfect a baby formula. Cas's daily bulletins about the baby's health do nothing to mollify Isabel, however. When Frank, wearing his hotel uniform, visits the hospital in search of the perfect formula, Cas fears that the staff will trace the baby to the hotel and decides that he must marry immediately if he hopes to retain custody of his child. After he proposes to Monica, the female in closest proximity, the two rush to the marriage bureau. Meanwhile, Madge and her father and Isabel and her father arrive at Cas's hotel room, and Frank informs them that Cas has gone to City Hall to be married. Upon his return, Cas, alerted by Frank about his visitors, hides with the baby in a different room. While sobbing over her loss of Cas in the hotel hallway, Isabel hears her baby cry. Following the sound of the cries to Cas's room, Isabel enters to find Cas feeding their daughter. When Isabel admits that the adoption was a ruse to win Cas back, he tells her that he was prevented from marrying Monica by the state's requirement of a three-day waiting period. After the baby burps, Cas and Isabel reconcile, and Cas promises to teach her how to take care of their baby. +

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.