The Housekeeper's Daughter (1939)

81 mins | Comedy-drama | 26 October 1939

Director:

Hal Roach

Producer:

Hal Roach

Cinematographer:

Norbert Brodine

Editor:

William Ziegler

Production Designer:

Charles D. Hall

Production Company:

Hal Roach Studios, Inc.
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HISTORY

According to a pre-production news item in HR , Jack Jevne and Claude Martin were to work on the screenplay of this film, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Another pre-production news item notes that A. Edward Sutherland was scheduled to direct this film until Hal Roach ended his employment at the studio by buying out the remainder of his one year contract. Roach then stepped in to direct. According to another item in HR , Roach wanted to borrow Spring Byington from Twentieth Century-Fox for this picture. This picture marked Victor Mature's film ... More Less

According to a pre-production news item in HR , Jack Jevne and Claude Martin were to work on the screenplay of this film, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Another pre-production news item notes that A. Edward Sutherland was scheduled to direct this film until Hal Roach ended his employment at the studio by buying out the remainder of his one year contract. Roach then stepped in to direct. According to another item in HR , Roach wanted to borrow Spring Byington from Twentieth Century-Fox for this picture. This picture marked Victor Mature's film debut. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Sep 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
14 Sep 39
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Dec 38
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 39
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
29 May 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jun 39
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jun 39
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 39
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Sep 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
13 Sep 39
p. 14.
Motion Picture Herald
16 Sep 39
p. 42, 46
New York Times
2 Dec 39
p. 21.
Variety
13 Sep 39
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Pres
Prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Gowns
Wadrobe supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Photog eff
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Housekeeper's Daughter by Donald Henderson Clarke (New York, 1938).
DETAILS
Release Date:
26 October 1939
Production Date:
19 June--19 July 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Hal Roach Studios, Inc.
Copyright Date:
9 November 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9217
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
81
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5605
SYNOPSIS

Hilda decides to quit being a gun moll and go visit her mother, who is the housekeeper for the Randall family. The Randalls go on vacation, leaving son Robert behind to embark upon a career as a reporter. Soon after, Benny, a meek flower vendor, follows showgirl Gladys Fontaine when Floyd, a mob chieftan, forces her to join him on his houseboat. Fearing for Gladys' life, Benny puts poison in a cup of coffee intended for Floyd, but Gladys drinks it instead, and Benny watches in horror as Floyd tosses the dead girl's body into the river. The next morning, Robert reads about Gladys' death and decides to cover the story, attaching himself to ace criminal reporter Deakon Maxwell and photographer Ed O'Malley. At a police interrogation session, they witness Benny confess to Gladys' murder and Robert, taking pity on the little man, befriends him. After a night of drinking on the town with Deakon and Ed, Benny suggests to the drunken Robert that he call his editor and tell him that Gladys was thrown from a houseboat. Waking up the next morning with no memory of the evening's events, Robert finds that his story has scooped the other newspapers and that he is being hailed as a hero. Robert's story leads Floyd to believe that the reporter has the goods on him, and he orders him eliminated. As the gang converges on the Randall house, Deakon and Ed are shooting fireworks from the roof and, believing that the fireworks are the sound of gun shots, the gangsters open fire. As the mobsters begin dropping dead from Benny's poisoned coffee, the police ... +


Hilda decides to quit being a gun moll and go visit her mother, who is the housekeeper for the Randall family. The Randalls go on vacation, leaving son Robert behind to embark upon a career as a reporter. Soon after, Benny, a meek flower vendor, follows showgirl Gladys Fontaine when Floyd, a mob chieftan, forces her to join him on his houseboat. Fearing for Gladys' life, Benny puts poison in a cup of coffee intended for Floyd, but Gladys drinks it instead, and Benny watches in horror as Floyd tosses the dead girl's body into the river. The next morning, Robert reads about Gladys' death and decides to cover the story, attaching himself to ace criminal reporter Deakon Maxwell and photographer Ed O'Malley. At a police interrogation session, they witness Benny confess to Gladys' murder and Robert, taking pity on the little man, befriends him. After a night of drinking on the town with Deakon and Ed, Benny suggests to the drunken Robert that he call his editor and tell him that Gladys was thrown from a houseboat. Waking up the next morning with no memory of the evening's events, Robert finds that his story has scooped the other newspapers and that he is being hailed as a hero. Robert's story leads Floyd to believe that the reporter has the goods on him, and he orders him eliminated. As the gang converges on the Randall house, Deakon and Ed are shooting fireworks from the roof and, believing that the fireworks are the sound of gun shots, the gangsters open fire. As the mobsters begin dropping dead from Benny's poisoned coffee, the police come to the rescue and Robert announces his engagement to Hilda. +

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

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