Bedtime Story (1941)

83 or 85 mins | Romantic comedy | 25 December 1941

Director:

Alexander Hall

Producer:

B. P. Schulberg

Cinematographer:

Joseph Walker

Editor:

Viola Lawrence

Production Designer:

Lionel Banks

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

According to news items in HR , casting problems delayed the start of production on this film for several months. Joan Bennett, Rosalind Russell and Carole Lombard were considered for the female lead, while Cary Grant, Lloyd Nolan and Henry Fonda were discussed for the male lead. Although a pre-production news item in HR noted that Sidney Buchman was to collaborate on the script with Richard Flournoy, the extent of Buchman's contribution to the released film has not been determined. Although SAB claims that this film was based on a play by Horace Jackson and Grant Garrett, the program notes state that the picture was based on an original story by Jackson and Garrett. A news item in HR added that the theater scenes were filmed at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Loretta Young reprised her role in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 22 Jun 1942, co-starring Don Ameche. The story was broadcast again on 26 Feb 1945 and also on the Lux Video Theatre on 10 Nov ... More Less

According to news items in HR , casting problems delayed the start of production on this film for several months. Joan Bennett, Rosalind Russell and Carole Lombard were considered for the female lead, while Cary Grant, Lloyd Nolan and Henry Fonda were discussed for the male lead. Although a pre-production news item in HR noted that Sidney Buchman was to collaborate on the script with Richard Flournoy, the extent of Buchman's contribution to the released film has not been determined. Although SAB claims that this film was based on a play by Horace Jackson and Grant Garrett, the program notes state that the picture was based on an original story by Jackson and Garrett. A news item in HR added that the theater scenes were filmed at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Loretta Young reprised her role in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 22 Jun 1942, co-starring Don Ameche. The story was broadcast again on 26 Feb 1945 and also on the Lux Video Theatre on 10 Nov 1955. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
13 Dec 1941.
---
Daily Variety
5 Dec 1941.
---
Film Daily
10 Dec 41
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Dec 40
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jan 41
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Feb 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Mar 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Apr 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Dec 41
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Dec 41
p. 406.
New York Times
20 Mar 42
p. 25.
Variety
10 Dec 41
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Contr to trmt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd eng
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 December 1941
Production Date:
25 August--14 October 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
25 December 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10998
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
83 or 85
Length(in feet):
7,643
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

After seven years of marriage, actress Jane Drake is anxious to leave the stage and retire to a farm in bucolic Connecticut while her husband, producer-playwright Lucius "Luke" Drake is roaring to start rehearsals for his new play. When Luke informs Jane that he has sold their dream farm and invested the proceeds in a theater, she packs her suitcase and travels to Reno for a divorce. To win Jane's sympathy, Luke plants an item in a gossip column, announcing that he has abandoned all plans for his play. Luke's ploy works and Janes flies back to New York, but when she finds the manuscript for the new play hidden in Luke's desk drawer, she returns to Reno. Luke follows Jane to Reno and arrives at her hotel just as she greets her dinner date, conservative banker William Dudley. When Luke asks for a chance to talk to Jane alone, Dudley offers him the keys to his car, and the estranged couple goes for a drive. After the car runs out of gas, they cross the state line in search of a gas station. Discovering that the pumps are locked and the owner will not return with the key until morning, the pair are forced to spend the night in a motor court. As a favor to Luke, Jane agrees to read his new play, and although she finds herself fascinated by the drama, she still refuses to appear as his leading lady. The next morning, Luke discovers that he has no money and so Jane pays their hotel bill and they head back to Reno. After her divorce is granted, Jane returns ... +


After seven years of marriage, actress Jane Drake is anxious to leave the stage and retire to a farm in bucolic Connecticut while her husband, producer-playwright Lucius "Luke" Drake is roaring to start rehearsals for his new play. When Luke informs Jane that he has sold their dream farm and invested the proceeds in a theater, she packs her suitcase and travels to Reno for a divorce. To win Jane's sympathy, Luke plants an item in a gossip column, announcing that he has abandoned all plans for his play. Luke's ploy works and Janes flies back to New York, but when she finds the manuscript for the new play hidden in Luke's desk drawer, she returns to Reno. Luke follows Jane to Reno and arrives at her hotel just as she greets her dinner date, conservative banker William Dudley. When Luke asks for a chance to talk to Jane alone, Dudley offers him the keys to his car, and the estranged couple goes for a drive. After the car runs out of gas, they cross the state line in search of a gas station. Discovering that the pumps are locked and the owner will not return with the key until morning, the pair are forced to spend the night in a motor court. As a favor to Luke, Jane agrees to read his new play, and although she finds herself fascinated by the drama, she still refuses to appear as his leading lady. The next morning, Luke discovers that he has no money and so Jane pays their hotel bill and they head back to Reno. After her divorce is granted, Jane returns to New York and reads that Luke has cast comedian Virginia Cole as his leading lady. Unknown to Jane, Virginia's miscasting is a ploy by Luke to force her to reconsider the part. After Jane tells Luke that she has moved into a furnished apartment, Luke decides to auction all the furniture they had painstakingly collected during their seven years of marriage, and Jane becomes upset when all her prized possessions are purchased by a strange little man named Dinglehoff. When Luke reads that Jane has become engaged to Dudley, he schemes to win her back. Learning that the police plan to raid a club named Billy's that night, Luke suggests to Jane that she and Dudley join him for dinner and offers to invite Dudley himself. Instructing Jane to meet him at the theater, Luke then phones Dudley and directs him to meet them at Billy's. When Jane arrives at the theater in the middle of rehearsals, Luke pretends to chastise Virginia's performance and Jane offers to coach her. Ascending the stage, Jane gives such a powerful reading that Virginia feigns intimidation and quits. When Luke laments that without a leading lady, he must cancel the production, Jane offers to take the part on a temporary basis. As they leave the theater, a policeman mentions that Dudley has been arrested and Jane, realizing that the entire evening has been an elaborate ruse to win her back, reneges on her promise, bails Dudley out of jail and elopes with him. Upon learning about Jane's marriage, Luke instructs his manager, Eddie Turner, to hire two unknown character actors. That night, as Jane packs to go on a business trip with her new husband, Luke's actors, posing as representatives from the Drakes's insurance company, ring her doorbell. After they question the validity of Jane's Reno divorce and hint at bigamy, Dudley gets nervous and sends for his lawyer. When Luke arrives at the apartment, Dudley, his lawyer and the insurance men closet themselves in a room. After the lawyer asks for proof of Jane's required six-week residence in Reno, she sifts through a pile of papers and hands him her hotel bills. Among the papers, Jane finds a receipt from her stay in California with Luke and realizes that it could jeopardize her divorce. Upset, Jane accuses Luke of being selfish, and in response, he confesses to hiring two actors to pose as insurance investigators and then leaves. Soon after, Emma Harper, a member of the theater company, appears at Jane's apartment with news that Luke has canceled the play because of his love for Jane. Realizing that she still loves Luke, Jane hands Emma the hotel receipt and asks her to deliver it to him with instructions to pay her back. When Emma presents him with the receipt, however, Luke is so drunk that he tears it up without reading it. Later, while playing with the pieces, Luke recognizes the receipt, and realizing its significance, hurries to Jane and Dudley's hotel. When the desk clerk refuses to divulge their room number, Luke tricks the cashier into revealing it and then, pretending to be Dudley, summons room service, the hotel plumber, maid and electrician to his room. Confounded by the sudden influx of humanity, Dudley complains to the hotel manager, who dispatches a team of bellboys to disperse the "riot." Amid the ensuing brawl, Luke arrives to rescue Jane and escorts her to their old apartment, which has been re-furnished with all their cherished belongings. When Luke admits to having bought all their furniture and offers to re-purchase the farm, Jane confesses that she already owns it and asks to see a copy of his play so that she can start work. The play is a hit, and during the opening night curtain, Jane announces that the production will have a short run because she is pregnant. +

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.