Caught (1949)

88 mins | Film noir | April 1949

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HISTORY

Working titles for this film were Wild Calendar , Take All of Me , The Luckiest Girl in the World and The Best Things in Life Are Free . Art director Frank Paul Sylos' name is misspelled in the onscreen credits as "P. Frank Sylos," and actress Natalie Schafer's name is misspelled "Schaefer." Caught was the final film made by Enterprise Productions, Inc., an independent company formed in 1946. (For more information on the company, please consult the entry below for Ramrod .) According to a modern source, when Enterprise purchased Libbie Block's novel in 1946, it was to be the company's first production without a co-producing partner, and was to star Ginger Rogers. Rogers left the project in 1947 over script differences.
       According to a Sep 1946 LAT news item, Kathryn Scola was originally set to write the screenplay. According to a memo in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, dated 20 Mar 1947, Abraham Polonsky wrote an early draft of the screenplay. Modern sources indicate that Paul Jarrico , Selma Stein and Paul Trivers all wrote drafts of the screenplay or were contributing writers on the film. A Mar 1947 Var news item noted that Charles Einfeld was set to produce the film beginning on 22 Apr 1947, with a $2,500,000 budget. Although a Jun 1948 LAT news item reported that Richard Conte was considered for the part played by James Mason, and Kirk Douglas was named as a "likely" candidate for the role of "Ohlrig," a modern source claims that Douglas was announced to play ... More Less

Working titles for this film were Wild Calendar , Take All of Me , The Luckiest Girl in the World and The Best Things in Life Are Free . Art director Frank Paul Sylos' name is misspelled in the onscreen credits as "P. Frank Sylos," and actress Natalie Schafer's name is misspelled "Schaefer." Caught was the final film made by Enterprise Productions, Inc., an independent company formed in 1946. (For more information on the company, please consult the entry below for Ramrod .) According to a modern source, when Enterprise purchased Libbie Block's novel in 1946, it was to be the company's first production without a co-producing partner, and was to star Ginger Rogers. Rogers left the project in 1947 over script differences.
       According to a Sep 1946 LAT news item, Kathryn Scola was originally set to write the screenplay. According to a memo in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, dated 20 Mar 1947, Abraham Polonsky wrote an early draft of the screenplay. Modern sources indicate that Paul Jarrico , Selma Stein and Paul Trivers all wrote drafts of the screenplay or were contributing writers on the film. A Mar 1947 Var news item noted that Charles Einfeld was set to produce the film beginning on 22 Apr 1947, with a $2,500,000 budget. Although a Jun 1948 LAT news item reported that Richard Conte was considered for the part played by James Mason, and Kirk Douglas was named as a "likely" candidate for the role of "Ohlrig," a modern source claims that Douglas was announced to play "Larry Quinada." The picture marked English actor Mason's American film debut. Barbara Bel Geddes and Robert Ryan were borrowed from RKO for the picture.
       According to PCA files, a 14 Feb 1949 memo from National Legion of Decency representative Reverend Theodore F. Little to Jospeh Breen requested that dialogue indicating that Ryan's character survives be eliminated, lessening the acceptability of divorce. The Legion threatened to give the film a "C" (or condemned) rating, and a note attached to the memo indicates that the scene was indeed cut from the negative for worldwide distribution. HR production charts indicate that John Berry filled in for Opuls during the first month of shooting. Modern sources note that Berry replaced Opuls due to an illness, and that Berry was not aware that the producers planned to reinstate Opuls as the director immediately following his recovery. The secret deal was reportedly made in order to satisfy the filmmakers' creditors, who might consider a lesser-known director to be a threat to their investment. According to a modern source, Berry filmed a scene with actresses Frances Rafferty and Marcia Mae Jones (who are both listed on HR production charts), but Opuls later cut the scene and deleted both women's names from the credits, although Rafferty does appear very briefly in the film.
       Modern sources also indicate that the film was partly inspired by stories that Opuls told writer Arthur Laurents about billionaire Howard Hughes, with whom he worked on the 1950 film Vendetta (See Entry). Film editor Robert Parrish, in a modern interview, recalled that Hughes gave Ryan his blessing to portray him in the film, and arranged to have Parrish secretly send him daily rushes of the film. Opuls is quoted in a 1978 interview as having said that he "had difficulties with the production over the script" and that "the ending is really almost impossible, but up until the last ten minutes it's not bad." Despite positive reactions by preview audiences, the film fell into obscurity soon after its release and never made enough money to save Enterprise from bankruptcy. Modern sources add the following additional crew credits: Stills Scotty Welbourne ; Unit prod mgr Robert Aldrich; and Dolly grip Morris Rosen. Modern sources also add the following actors to the cast: Dorothy Christy ( Wealthy shopper ), Wheaton Chambers ( Servant ) and Merrill McCormick ( Man in store ). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
May 1998.
---
Box Office
19 Feb 1949.
---
Daily Variety
16 Feb 49
p. 3.
Film Daily
4 Mar 49
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Aug 1948.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Feb 49
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Feb 49
p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
3 Sep 1946.
---
Los Angeles Times
30 Jun 1948.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 Feb 49
p. 4506.
New York Times
18 Feb 49
p. 26.
Variety
5 Mar 1947.
---
Variety
23 Feb 49
p. 10.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Fill-In dir
PRODUCERS
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Miss Bel Geddes' gowns
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Process dept
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec prod mgr
Casting dir
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Wild Calendar by Libbie Block (New York, 1946).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Luckiest Girl in the World
Take All of Me
The Best Things in Life Are Free
Wild Calendar
Release Date:
April 1949
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 17 February 1949
Production Date:
mid July--early September 1948 at California Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Enterprise Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 February 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2203
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
88
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13495
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Leonora Eames, a young woman from Denver, and her roommate Maxine, a gold-digging model, share a modest Los Angeles apartment and the determination to move up in the world. To that end, Leonora, who works as a carhop, has enrolled in Dorothy Dale's charm school. After graduating from the school, Leonora gets a well-paying job modeling fur coats at a department store. One day, while modeling a coat, a man named Franzi Kartos introduces himself to Leonora and invites her to a party aboard millionaire Smith Ohlrig's yacht. Leonora rejects the invitation because she does not approve of rich men sending scouts to find pretty young women to attend their parties. Maxine, however, convinces Leonora to attend the party, calling it an "investment" in her future. On her way to the party, Leonora meets Smith at the marina, and he persuades her to join him on a late night drive. After sharing a romantic evening with her, Smith takes Leonora to his house and invites her in for a drink. Leonora, however, turns down the offer and asks to be taken home immediately. Smith complies with Leonora's request, but the rejection torments him for some time. Smith tells his psychiatrist about Leonora, and insists that she is like all other women, and that she is merely interested in his money. The psychiatrist disagrees, and tells Smith that he is obsessed about his money and is frustrated at his inability to attract and control Leonora. Angered by his doctor's diagnosis, Smith vows to prove him wrong by marrying Leonora. In time, Leonora accepts Smith's marriage proposal, but the two settle into an unhappy married life. Ten ... +


Leonora Eames, a young woman from Denver, and her roommate Maxine, a gold-digging model, share a modest Los Angeles apartment and the determination to move up in the world. To that end, Leonora, who works as a carhop, has enrolled in Dorothy Dale's charm school. After graduating from the school, Leonora gets a well-paying job modeling fur coats at a department store. One day, while modeling a coat, a man named Franzi Kartos introduces himself to Leonora and invites her to a party aboard millionaire Smith Ohlrig's yacht. Leonora rejects the invitation because she does not approve of rich men sending scouts to find pretty young women to attend their parties. Maxine, however, convinces Leonora to attend the party, calling it an "investment" in her future. On her way to the party, Leonora meets Smith at the marina, and he persuades her to join him on a late night drive. After sharing a romantic evening with her, Smith takes Leonora to his house and invites her in for a drink. Leonora, however, turns down the offer and asks to be taken home immediately. Smith complies with Leonora's request, but the rejection torments him for some time. Smith tells his psychiatrist about Leonora, and insists that she is like all other women, and that she is merely interested in his money. The psychiatrist disagrees, and tells Smith that he is obsessed about his money and is frustrated at his inability to attract and control Leonora. Angered by his doctor's diagnosis, Smith vows to prove him wrong by marrying Leonora. In time, Leonora accepts Smith's marriage proposal, but the two settle into an unhappy married life. Ten months after moving to Smith's Long Island estate, Leonora becomes deeply depressed and realizes that she is merely a trophy wife to Smith. The long nights spent alone in the house with Franzi drive Leonora to distraction, and her frustration reaches its peak when Smith loses his temper and scolds her in front of his business associates. Leonora asks for a separation, takes an apartment in New York City and finds a job as a receptionist. Her new employers are Dr. Larry Quinada, a pediatrician, and Dr. Hoffman, an obstetrician. When Larry reprimands Leonora for talking to his patients about charm school and other inappropriate topics, she breaks down in tears and quits. Time passes, and Smith finds Leonora and begs her to return to him, vowing to make a new start. Leonora returns to the mansion only to realize that Smith has brought her back to accompany him on a publicity tour. She leaves Smith again, and, after getting her old job back, proves herself to be a devoted assistant to Larry. Leonora soon becomes despondent, however, when she learns that she is pregnant with Smith's child. A romance develops between Larry and Leonora, and when the doctor proposes to Leonora, she tells him that must wait because she is beholden to a wealthy man who is paying for her companionship. The following day, Larry follows Leonora to Smith's estate and discovers that she is married to him. Smith offers Leonora a divorce on the condition that he be given custody of the child, and Leonora fails in her attempt to change his mind. In the months that follow, Leonora stays at Smith's estate and spends her days in isolated misery. One night, during one of Smith's violent tantrums, a pinball machine falls on him and induces a near-fatal heart attack. When Leonora's baby is born prematurely and dies, Larry convinces her that the child's death will release her from her ties to the past and allow her to begin her life anew with him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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