The War Against Mrs. Hadley (1942)

84-86 mins | Drama | 23 September 1942

Director:

Harold S. Bucquet

Producer:

Irving Asher

Cinematographer:

Karl Freund

Editor:

Elmo Veron

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

According to a preproduction news item in HR , Robert Sterling was originally cast "opposite Jean Rogers," presumably in the role taken over by Van Johnson. Howard Campbell is listed as the film's art director on some HR production charts, but the extent of his participation on the film has not been determined. HR news items include John R. Wald and Billy Laughlin in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Portions of the film were shot on location at the Cal-Aero Air School in Southern California.
       The War Against Mrs. Hadley marked the screen debut of actress Kay Medford, and the last film of actor Richard Ney prior to his entering the armed forces. He resumed his acting career in 1947 in The Late George Apley (see above). Fay Bainter, Edward Arnold, Jean Rogers and Van Johnson recreated their roles for a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 7 Dec 1942. George Oppenheimer received an Academy Award nomination for Writing (Original screenplay) for his work on the film.
       The film was in release Sep 1942-Feb ... More Less

According to a preproduction news item in HR , Robert Sterling was originally cast "opposite Jean Rogers," presumably in the role taken over by Van Johnson. Howard Campbell is listed as the film's art director on some HR production charts, but the extent of his participation on the film has not been determined. HR news items include John R. Wald and Billy Laughlin in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Portions of the film were shot on location at the Cal-Aero Air School in Southern California.
       The War Against Mrs. Hadley marked the screen debut of actress Kay Medford, and the last film of actor Richard Ney prior to his entering the armed forces. He resumed his acting career in 1947 in The Late George Apley (see above). Fay Bainter, Edward Arnold, Jean Rogers and Van Johnson recreated their roles for a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 7 Dec 1942. George Oppenheimer received an Academy Award nomination for Writing (Original screenplay) for his work on the film.
       The film was in release Sep 1942-Feb 1943. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
8 Aug 1942.
---
Daily Variety
15 May 1942.
---
Daily Variety
5 Jun 1942.
---
Daily Variety
5 Aug 42
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Aug 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Apr 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 42
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
15 May 42
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 42
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jun 42
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jun 42
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jun 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Aug 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Aug 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 42
p. 1.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 Aug 42
p. 826.
New York Times
26 Nov 42
p. 40.
Variety
5 Aug 42
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Fill-in asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Assoc
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
PRODUCTION MISC
DETAILS
Release Date:
23 September 1942
Premiere Information:
Washington, D.C. opening: 23 September 1942
New York opening: 25 November 1942
Production Date:
11 May--5 June 1942
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
6 August 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11536
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
84-86
Length(in feet):
7,729
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
8568
SYNOPSIS

On December 7th, 1941, the wealthy Mrs. Stella Hadley celebrates her birthday just as she always has, surrounded by her closest family and friends: her hard-drinking son Theodore, down-to-earth daughter Patricia, flighty best friend, Cecilia Talbot, her physician, Dr. Leonard V. Meecham, and old admirer, Elliott Fulton, who has a high position in the War Department. As Elliott says, Stella lives in an "ivory tower," refusing to pay attention to world affairs or read The Chronicle , the newspaper formerly owned by her late husband. When the radio is turned on, they hear the news of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, but Stella maintains that her life should not change, just because of a war. On Christmas Eve, Stella is annoyed that Ted has to work for Elliott. When she telephones Elliott to complain, he apologizes, even though Ted has lied about working late. Elliott then decides that a tour of active duty would be good for Ted. Meanwhile, Bennett, the family butler, secretly becomes an air raid warden, and Patricia works at a servicemen's canteen where she meets soldier Michael Fitzpatrick. They are attracted to each other, but when Mike drives her home, he is concerned over Pat's obvious wealth. She convinces him that he is a snob, and the two begin to fall in love. Some time later, when Ted is drafted, Stella tries to convince Elliott to get him out of it, but he refuses, prompting her to tell him that she never wants to see him again. Though reluctant to be inducted at first, Ted finally determines to do his duty and soon is thriving in the ... +


On December 7th, 1941, the wealthy Mrs. Stella Hadley celebrates her birthday just as she always has, surrounded by her closest family and friends: her hard-drinking son Theodore, down-to-earth daughter Patricia, flighty best friend, Cecilia Talbot, her physician, Dr. Leonard V. Meecham, and old admirer, Elliott Fulton, who has a high position in the War Department. As Elliott says, Stella lives in an "ivory tower," refusing to pay attention to world affairs or read The Chronicle , the newspaper formerly owned by her late husband. When the radio is turned on, they hear the news of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, but Stella maintains that her life should not change, just because of a war. On Christmas Eve, Stella is annoyed that Ted has to work for Elliott. When she telephones Elliott to complain, he apologizes, even though Ted has lied about working late. Elliott then decides that a tour of active duty would be good for Ted. Meanwhile, Bennett, the family butler, secretly becomes an air raid warden, and Patricia works at a servicemen's canteen where she meets soldier Michael Fitzpatrick. They are attracted to each other, but when Mike drives her home, he is concerned over Pat's obvious wealth. She convinces him that he is a snob, and the two begin to fall in love. Some time later, when Ted is drafted, Stella tries to convince Elliott to get him out of it, but he refuses, prompting her to tell him that she never wants to see him again. Though reluctant to be inducted at first, Ted finally determines to do his duty and soon is thriving in the Army. At the same time, Cecilia has secretly joined a women's First Aid group headed by Stella's rival, Laura Winters, whose husband, a strong Democrat, purchased the formerly Republican Chronicle . On a visit to Ted's army camp Stella is chagrined to find that he has become friendly with Mike, who used to work in the Chronicle 's ad department, and has also become very close to Laura's son Tony. Back at home, when Pat tells Stella that Mike is soon to be transferred to Phoenix and has proposed, Stella forbids their marriage. Trying to persuade her mother, Pat says that Elliott approves of Mike, but Stella is so angered by Pat's apparent disloyalty that she sends her away. Stella then feigns one of her "attacks" and has Bennett call Elliott's apartment to summon Pat, but Pat knows that her mother is merely faking and refuses to go to her. Some time later, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, Mike's kindly Irish-American mother, goes to see Stella and tells her that Mike and Pat will be married in the Catholic Church a few days later. Stella acts rudely and snobbishly toward Mrs. Fitzpatrick and after she leaves, goes to talk with Cecilia, thinking that she is home ill. When she finds that Cecilia is hosting a first aid class headed by Laura, Stella angrily departs, finally cutting herself off from almost everyone who cares for her. As the weeks pass, Stella hears nothing from Ted, who has been shipped to the Pacific, then finally receives a letter saying he is fine. That same day, Bennett brings in one of the newspapers, which reveals that Ted is a hero and has just been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Fitzpatrick arrives to talk about their impending grandchild. Stella is hurt not to have heard from Pat, but brightens when she receives Pat's telegram. Just then, reporters barge in asking for an interview about Ted, but Stella snobbishly refuses until one reporter says that Laura was kind enough to speak with them, even though Tony's DSC is being awarded posthumously. Now realizing how selfish she has been, Stella goes to Laura and reads her Ted's letter in which he talked about how much his friendship with Tony meant to him. Laura then tells Stella that they must all work together so that the deaths of young men like her son will not be in vain. Back at her home, Stella is touched that President Roosevelt took the time to send her a personal note, hand-delivered by Elliott. The two reconcile, and several months later, after they have married, the home is busy with war-related activities, which Stella coordinates with Laura, Cecilia and Mrs. Fitzpatrick. Finally, Mrs. Fitzpatrick has to pry Stella away from Elliott and her war work so they can both get to Phoenix before the birth of Pat's 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.