Take a Letter, Darling (1942)

88 or 92-93 mins | Comedy | 1942

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HISTORY

Although a HR news item indicates that Preston Sturges was slated to direct this film, Sturges was in pre-production for his film The Palm Beach Story (see above) at the time, and it is doubtful that he did any work on Take a Letter, Darling . HR news items also report that Claudette Colbert was originally assigned the lead role, with Frances Farmer in the second lead, and that Katharine Hepburn was also considered for the lead. A modern source notes that Colbert was recast in The Palm Beach Story (see above), due to that film's casting difficulties. Paramount Production Information from the AMPAS Library reveals that the "semi-nude" painting seen in the film was painted by Phil Paradise. The closing scene was shot near the intersection of Oxnard Avenue and Woodman in Van Nuys, CA; and the pool scene was shot in Beverly Hills at the home of Max Strauss. Backgrounds were filmed at Lake Arrowhead and Bear Valley, and other scenes were filmed at Busch Gardens in Pasadena, CA. This film was nominated for Academy Awards in the following categories: Best Art Direction/Interior Direction (Black and White), Hans Dreier, Roland Anderson/Sam Comer; Best Music (Scoring of Dramatic or Comedy Picture), Victor Young; and Best Cinematography (Black and White), John ... More Less

Although a HR news item indicates that Preston Sturges was slated to direct this film, Sturges was in pre-production for his film The Palm Beach Story (see above) at the time, and it is doubtful that he did any work on Take a Letter, Darling . HR news items also report that Claudette Colbert was originally assigned the lead role, with Frances Farmer in the second lead, and that Katharine Hepburn was also considered for the lead. A modern source notes that Colbert was recast in The Palm Beach Story (see above), due to that film's casting difficulties. Paramount Production Information from the AMPAS Library reveals that the "semi-nude" painting seen in the film was painted by Phil Paradise. The closing scene was shot near the intersection of Oxnard Avenue and Woodman in Van Nuys, CA; and the pool scene was shot in Beverly Hills at the home of Max Strauss. Backgrounds were filmed at Lake Arrowhead and Bear Valley, and other scenes were filmed at Busch Gardens in Pasadena, CA. This film was nominated for Academy Awards in the following categories: Best Art Direction/Interior Direction (Black and White), Hans Dreier, Roland Anderson/Sam Comer; Best Music (Scoring of Dramatic or Comedy Picture), Victor Young; and Best Cinematography (Black and White), John Mescall. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 May 1942.
---
Film Daily
6 May 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 41
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Apr 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jun 41
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jul 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jul 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Aug 41
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Dec 41
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jan 42
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
5 May 42
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 May 42
p. 645.
New York Times
28 May 42
p. 13.
Variety
6 May 42
p. 8.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
George H. Reed
James A. Millican
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Mitchell Leisen Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Miss Russell's gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
DETAILS
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 27 May 1942
Production Date:
27 November 1941--mid January 1942
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
3 July 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11438
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
88 or 92-93
Length(in feet):
8,333
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
7980
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Having depleted his private income, artist Tom Verney accepts a job as private secretary to a tough female advertising executive named A. M. MacGregor. Tom finds his position humiliating because "Mac" uses him as a foil for her clients. One night, she pretends he is her fiancé to outwit the jealous wife of a client, and on another evening, uses him to captivate the interest of Ethel Caldwell, a racy Southerner whose brother Jonathan is a wealthy tobacco manufacturer who hates women. Trouble arises when Mac, who has fired her previous male secretaries for trying to seduce her, finds herself falling in love with Tom, but refuses to acknowledge it. In order to get the Caldwell account, Tom agrees to pretend that he is an advertising executive after Mac promises him a $10,000 bonus, which Tom would then use to buy a house in Mexico and paint. Tom accepts Ethel's invitation to work on the cigarette campaign at the Caldwell mansion in the South, and while he and Ethel entertain each other, Mac steams with jealousy in New York. Mac finally goes to the Caldwell home herself, to the delight of Jonathan, who in spite of his distrust of women, has fallen deeply in love with her. Tom confides in Jonathan that he is in love with Mac and that Ethel has agreed to allow him to use their platonic friendship to make Mac jealous. Jonathan then serves his own interests by encouraging Tom to continue his tactics until Mac becomes so angry at Tom that she accepts Jonathan's marriage proposal. Having developed a clever advertising campaign and gotten a signed contract from the Caldwells, ... +


Having depleted his private income, artist Tom Verney accepts a job as private secretary to a tough female advertising executive named A. M. MacGregor. Tom finds his position humiliating because "Mac" uses him as a foil for her clients. One night, she pretends he is her fiancé to outwit the jealous wife of a client, and on another evening, uses him to captivate the interest of Ethel Caldwell, a racy Southerner whose brother Jonathan is a wealthy tobacco manufacturer who hates women. Trouble arises when Mac, who has fired her previous male secretaries for trying to seduce her, finds herself falling in love with Tom, but refuses to acknowledge it. In order to get the Caldwell account, Tom agrees to pretend that he is an advertising executive after Mac promises him a $10,000 bonus, which Tom would then use to buy a house in Mexico and paint. Tom accepts Ethel's invitation to work on the cigarette campaign at the Caldwell mansion in the South, and while he and Ethel entertain each other, Mac steams with jealousy in New York. Mac finally goes to the Caldwell home herself, to the delight of Jonathan, who in spite of his distrust of women, has fallen deeply in love with her. Tom confides in Jonathan that he is in love with Mac and that Ethel has agreed to allow him to use their platonic friendship to make Mac jealous. Jonathan then serves his own interests by encouraging Tom to continue his tactics until Mac becomes so angry at Tom that she accepts Jonathan's marriage proposal. Having developed a clever advertising campaign and gotten a signed contract from the Caldwells, Tom returns to New York. One day, Mac's ineffectual partner, G. B. Atwater, brings Tom his bonus and advises him that although Mac and Jonathan's wedding is set, Mac is miserable. Tom sends a semi-nude portrait of Mac as a wedding gift, and the Caldwells assume that Mac posed for the painting. Mac denies the accusation, but when she realizes that Jonathan does not believe her, she breaks the engagement and walks out. Later, Mac encounters Tom in a car pulling a trailer and angrily throws stones at him. When a train threatens to crash into the car on some railroad tracks, however, both Tom and Mac jump into the car and head for Mexico together. +

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.