So Well Remembered (1947)

114 mins | Romance | 1947

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writer:

John Paxton

Producer:

Adrian Scott

Cinematographer:

F. A. Young

Editor:

Harry Gerstad

Production Designer:

L. P. Williams

Production Company:

Alliance Productions, Ltd.
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HISTORY

So Well Remembered was to be the first of two films co-produced by RKO and J. Arthur Rank's British company, Alliance Production, Ltd. The two companies, however, made only one picture together.
       HR news items add the following information about the production: RKO paid author James Hilton $100,000 plus ten percent of the film's gross after the first $1,500,000 for the screen rights to his novel. Hilton also acted as the film's narrator, supplying voice-over throughout the story. RKO and Alliance were to share production costs equally, which were estimated at between $1,200,000 and $1,500,000. In Feb 1946, Irving Reis was announced as the picture's director and British actor Robert Donat, its star. Reis was forced to leave the production, however, because of a stomach illness. RKO producer Adrian Scott was working on a "polish" of the script at that time. In Jun 1946, after Edward Dmytryk had been signed to direct, RKO borrowed Patricia Roc from Alliance, and Anne Shirley was announced as the film's probable second lead. American actress Martha Scott was eventually cast in the part, however. Because of his success in David Lean's 1946 film Brief Encounter , Trevor Howard was "elevated" to co-star and received "above title" billing for this film.
       In addition to studio filming in Denham, location shooting was done in Macclesfield, northern England, in Sep 1946. Although John Mills's daughter Juliet first appeared as an infant in the British production In Which We Serve , So Well Remembered was her first credited role. Modern sources add that Mills's second daughter Hayley appeared as ... More Less

So Well Remembered was to be the first of two films co-produced by RKO and J. Arthur Rank's British company, Alliance Production, Ltd. The two companies, however, made only one picture together.
       HR news items add the following information about the production: RKO paid author James Hilton $100,000 plus ten percent of the film's gross after the first $1,500,000 for the screen rights to his novel. Hilton also acted as the film's narrator, supplying voice-over throughout the story. RKO and Alliance were to share production costs equally, which were estimated at between $1,200,000 and $1,500,000. In Feb 1946, Irving Reis was announced as the picture's director and British actor Robert Donat, its star. Reis was forced to leave the production, however, because of a stomach illness. RKO producer Adrian Scott was working on a "polish" of the script at that time. In Jun 1946, after Edward Dmytryk had been signed to direct, RKO borrowed Patricia Roc from Alliance, and Anne Shirley was announced as the film's probable second lead. American actress Martha Scott was eventually cast in the part, however. Because of his success in David Lean's 1946 film Brief Encounter , Trevor Howard was "elevated" to co-star and received "above title" billing for this film.
       In addition to studio filming in Denham, location shooting was done in Macclesfield, northern England, in Sep 1946. Although John Mills's daughter Juliet first appeared as an infant in the British production In Which We Serve , So Well Remembered was her first credited role. Modern sources add that Mills's second daughter Hayley appeared as an infant in the film. Many reviewers commented on the film's social content, specifically its highly critical view of the British industrial system. In her 30 Oct 1947 "Looking at Hollywood" column, Hedda Hopper wrote about the picture: "I urge you to see it. Then decide for yourself whether or not Hollywood is capable of inserting lefty propaganda in its films."
       On 22 Sep 1949, the Hallmark Playhouse broadcast a radio adaptation of the film, starring Van Heflin. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
1-Nov-47
---
Daily Variety
29 Oct 1947.
---
Film Daily
29 Oct 1947.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Oct 45
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Feb 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 46
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Mar 46
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
6 May 46
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
31 May 46
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jun 46
p. 1, 3
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 46
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 46
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Sep 46
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Oct 46
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Oct 46
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Oct 47
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Oct 47
p. 25.
Los Angeles Times
30 Oct 1947.
---
New York Times
5 Nov 47
p. 34.
Variety
16 Jul 47
p. 17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Cam op
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Prod illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
COSTUMES
Miss Scott's clothes by
Addl clothes for Miss Scott by
SOUND
Re-rec
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairdressing supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Prod adv
Casting dir
Prod pub
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel So Well Remembered by James Hilton (Boston, 1945).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Premiere Information:
London opening: 8 July 1947
New York premiere: 4 November 1947
Production Date:
15 July--26 October 1946 at Denham Studios, Denham, England
Copyright Claimant:
Alliance Productions, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
4 November 1947
Copyright Number:
LP1350
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
114
Length(in feet):
10,270
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
PCA No:
12126
SYNOPSIS

On 7 May, 1945, at the end of World War II, George Boswell, the mayor of Browdley, an impoverished mill town in England, remembers the last twenty-six years of his life: As an enthusiastic city councillor and newspaper editor, George champions the appointment of Olivia Channing to the post of assistant librarian, even though the town has long condemned Olivia father's John for closing down his mills and plunging the people into desperate poverty. Impressed by George's defense of her, Olivia contrives to bring him to her isolated, hilltop mansion, Stoneclough. There George meets the sick and lonely John, whose only friend is the town's doctor, Richard Whiteside. Although the reform-minded George is ambiguous in his feelings about John, his attraction to Olivia and her unconventional ways quickly grows. One day, a distraught Olivia confides in George that she is in danger of losing Stoneclough because of unpaid bills. Later, as George is walking Olivia home during a raging storm, he proposes marriage, but receives no answer. After George leaves her at Stoneclough, Olivia has a violent argument with her father, who then catches a ride to town with Richard. On the way down the hillside, Richard's car crashes over an enbankment where the road has washed out, and John is killed. When George rushes to Stoneclough with the news, Olivia is already grieving and suddenly accepts George's proposal. During their London honeymoon, George meets with Wetherall, Browdley's representative in Parliament, who, along with Olivia, encourages George's political ambitions. Three years later, Olivia and George are living in town with their son Martin when Richard, who has slipped into alcoholism, gives George a ... +


On 7 May, 1945, at the end of World War II, George Boswell, the mayor of Browdley, an impoverished mill town in England, remembers the last twenty-six years of his life: As an enthusiastic city councillor and newspaper editor, George champions the appointment of Olivia Channing to the post of assistant librarian, even though the town has long condemned Olivia father's John for closing down his mills and plunging the people into desperate poverty. Impressed by George's defense of her, Olivia contrives to bring him to her isolated, hilltop mansion, Stoneclough. There George meets the sick and lonely John, whose only friend is the town's doctor, Richard Whiteside. Although the reform-minded George is ambiguous in his feelings about John, his attraction to Olivia and her unconventional ways quickly grows. One day, a distraught Olivia confides in George that she is in danger of losing Stoneclough because of unpaid bills. Later, as George is walking Olivia home during a raging storm, he proposes marriage, but receives no answer. After George leaves her at Stoneclough, Olivia has a violent argument with her father, who then catches a ride to town with Richard. On the way down the hillside, Richard's car crashes over an enbankment where the road has washed out, and John is killed. When George rushes to Stoneclough with the news, Olivia is already grieving and suddenly accepts George's proposal. During their London honeymoon, George meets with Wetherall, Browdley's representative in Parliament, who, along with Olivia, encourages George's political ambitions. Three years later, Olivia and George are living in town with their son Martin when Richard, who has slipped into alcoholism, gives George a paper he has written about health conditions in the overcrowded houses of Browdley. When George shows Richard's paper to influential businessman Trevor Mengin, who has interests in three Browdley mills, Mengin dismisses the report as too negative. Later, Wetherall tells Olivia that he is retiring from Parliament, but feels that George is still too inexperienced to take his place. Despite Wetherall's apprehensions, George accepts Mengin's offer to stand for Wetherall's seat and begins a campaign calling for social reform, but backed by Mengin's business interests. During the campaign, however, a diphtheria epidemic breaks out because of the unsanitary conditions in the slum housing, and Richard demands that the city council open a free clinic. Later George insists that Olivia have Martin immunized at the clinic, but she becomes impatient there and leaves without getting the shot. The epidemic and George's realization that Mengin has been manipulating him cause the councilman to drop out of the race. The ambitious Olivia is outraged by George's decision, declaring that she has no special concern for the poor's children, only her own. Then, Martin falls ill with diphtheria and dies. Overwhelmed with grief and disappointment, Olivia divorces George and goes to Switzerland. Many years later, after George has been elected Browdley's mayor, the Channing mills suddenly reopen, and George discovers that Olivia has returned with Charles Winslow, her grown son from her second marriage, who is on a brief leave from the military. When a worker is seriously hurt at a Channing mill, George reluctantly visits the widowed Olivia at Stoneclough to discuss safety conditions, but she persists in her attitude of social indifference. Just then, however, Olivia learns that Charles was shot down during battle and is recuperating at a nearby hospital. Although the sight of Charles' scarred face horrifies Olivia, she dedicates herself to his recovery and, over the next months, becomes obsessed with caring for him. In particular, the domineering Olivia objects to Charles' romance with Richard's adopted daughter Julie and pressures him to leave the hospital, where Julie works as an aide, and move in with her. When Charles, who has already obtained a marriage license with Julie, gives in to his mother, Julie is devastated. As George and Richard are about to celebrate the end of the war, they learn of Julie's plight, and Richard finally reveals to his friend his suspicion that, after she quarreled with her father about marrying George, whom John wanted to protect from his conniving daughter, Olivia allowed him to drive in the storm, even though she knew about the washed-out road. At Stoneclough, George then confronts Charles and accuses him of cowardice. George's words cause Charles to leave home to marry Julie that night, and George happily tells Olivia that her manipulations have failed. Finally free from Olivia's grasp, George joins his fellow townspeople in celebrating the war's end. +

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

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