She Couldn't Say No (1954)

88 mins | Comedy | 15 February 1954

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Enough for Happiness , A Likely Story , It's a Likely Story , Murder , She Had to Say Yes and Beautiful but Dangerous . According to a late Apr 1952 DV news item, RKO changed the title from It's a Likely Story to Beautiful but Dangerous to avoid confusion with its 1946 release A Likely Story . In Aug 1951, DV reported that Paramount had purchased the story as a vehicle for William Holden. According to a DV news item, Dick Powell was to slated to direct the picture. In Apr 1952, LAEx announced that Paramount had sold the script to RKO because of Holden's scheduling conflicts. The same item noted that the purchase marked RKO's return to production after more than 100 employees were dismissed from the studio.
       A HR news item adds Tom Young, Art Shurr, Ben Lee and Harry Waldo to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Although She Couldn't Say No was not the last picture Robert Mitchum made at at RKO, the studio at which he had been under contract for many years, it was the last RKO release to star him. According to modern sources, Mitchum disliked the script so much he went on suspension to avoid acting in ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Enough for Happiness , A Likely Story , It's a Likely Story , Murder , She Had to Say Yes and Beautiful but Dangerous . According to a late Apr 1952 DV news item, RKO changed the title from It's a Likely Story to Beautiful but Dangerous to avoid confusion with its 1946 release A Likely Story . In Aug 1951, DV reported that Paramount had purchased the story as a vehicle for William Holden. According to a DV news item, Dick Powell was to slated to direct the picture. In Apr 1952, LAEx announced that Paramount had sold the script to RKO because of Holden's scheduling conflicts. The same item noted that the purchase marked RKO's return to production after more than 100 employees were dismissed from the studio.
       A HR news item adds Tom Young, Art Shurr, Ben Lee and Harry Waldo to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Although She Couldn't Say No was not the last picture Robert Mitchum made at at RKO, the studio at which he had been under contract for many years, it was the last RKO release to star him. According to modern sources, Mitchum disliked the script so much he went on suspension to avoid acting in it. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16 Jan 1954.
---
Daily Variety
16 Aug 1951.
---
Daily Variety
21 Apr 1952.
---
Daily Variety
29 Apr 1952.
---
Daily Variety
7 Nov 1952.
---
Daily Variety
13 Jan 54
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 Jan 54
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Apr 52
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Apr 52
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
9 May 52
p. 8, 10
Hollywood Reporter
13 May 52
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
29 May 52
p. 8, 13
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 53
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Dec 53
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jan 54
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
21 Apr 1952.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
16 Jan 54
p. 2141.
New York Times
27 Feb 54
p. 11.
Variety
13 Jan 54
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus
Mus dir
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Enough for Happiness" by D. D. Beauchamp in American Magazine (Feb 1951).
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
A Likely Story
Beautiful but Dangerous
Enough for Happiness
It's a Likely Story
Murder
She Had to Say Yes
Release Date:
15 February 1954
Production Date:
mid May--early June 1952
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
7 February 1954
Copyright Number:
LP3547
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
88
Length(in feet):
7,965
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15944
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Soon after returning to America from England, where she lived for many years, oil heiress Corby Lane buys a car and heads for Progress, Arkansas. Upon arriving there, Corby, who is intent on repaying the town for helping her father obtain a life-saving operation for her when she was two, inquires about Dr. Robert Sellers, her childhood physician. Finding the doctor not at home, Corby pushes the "emergency only" button next to his front door, causing a loud alarm to sound. At a nearby river, "Doc," who has just snagged the elusive fish Hercules, hears the noise and, abandoning his catch, races back to his house. Though irritated by Corby's impatience, Doc invites her to his office. Corby, who is startled by Doc's youth, introduces herself as "Miss Johnson" and claims that she is on her way to California. Corby then asks Doc what he would do if she gave him $5,000, and after he replies that he would lock her up as a lunatic, she announces that she is staying in Progress for a few days. The bemused Doc helps Corby settle in at Mrs. McMurty's boardinghouse, then invites her out that evening. At Harley's Tavern, Doc gets Corby drunk on moonshine and tries to trick her into revealing her true identity. Before he gets very far, however, he is summoned to the Jordan farm to deliver a baby. At Doc's insistence, the intoxicated Corby goes along and makes a mental note when new father Dick offers to pay Doc with hogs. The next morning, a hungover Corby chats with fellow boarder Otey Chalmers, who happily admits he is the town drunk ... +


Soon after returning to America from England, where she lived for many years, oil heiress Corby Lane buys a car and heads for Progress, Arkansas. Upon arriving there, Corby, who is intent on repaying the town for helping her father obtain a life-saving operation for her when she was two, inquires about Dr. Robert Sellers, her childhood physician. Finding the doctor not at home, Corby pushes the "emergency only" button next to his front door, causing a loud alarm to sound. At a nearby river, "Doc," who has just snagged the elusive fish Hercules, hears the noise and, abandoning his catch, races back to his house. Though irritated by Corby's impatience, Doc invites her to his office. Corby, who is startled by Doc's youth, introduces herself as "Miss Johnson" and claims that she is on her way to California. Corby then asks Doc what he would do if she gave him $5,000, and after he replies that he would lock her up as a lunatic, she announces that she is staying in Progress for a few days. The bemused Doc helps Corby settle in at Mrs. McMurty's boardinghouse, then invites her out that evening. At Harley's Tavern, Doc gets Corby drunk on moonshine and tries to trick her into revealing her true identity. Before he gets very far, however, he is summoned to the Jordan farm to deliver a baby. At Doc's insistence, the intoxicated Corby goes along and makes a mental note when new father Dick offers to pay Doc with hogs. The next morning, a hungover Corby chats with fellow boarder Otey Chalmers, who happily admits he is the town drunk and is grateful for the bad moonshine Harley supplies him. Meanwhile, Doc and his young friend, Digger, drop by the Jordan farm and are shocked to find Dick knee-deep in baby supplies, which have been sent by an anonymous donor. Instead of being grateful for the gift, Dick worries about how his wife Barbara will react to the immense clutter. Just then, Doc is called to Mrs. McMurty's and learns that Otey received a case of scotch and collapsed in his room shortly after. Doc treats Otey for alcohol poisoning and complains to Corby about the "idiotic Santa Claus" who sent him good liquor. To Corby's dismay, Doc and Sally Watson, his smitten neighbor, then go out on their regular Friday night movie date. When Doc returns home, Digger tells him that he snuck a peek at Corby's car registration and knows that her real name is Lane. Doc looks Corby up in his deceased father's files and finds that, twenty years before, the town took up a collection to pay for her operation. Despite the late hour, Doc invites Corby for an ice cream soda at Ad Meeker's general store and, after revealing he knows her identity, kisses her. Doc then tells Corby that, like the rest of Progress, the Jordans prefer bartering to paying cash, and that Harley has been cutting Otey's moonshine with water in order to wean him from alcohol. When Doc suddenly proposes marriage, Corby is infuriated by his "presumptuousness" and throws her jacket at him before storming out. Unaware that the jacket landed in the rummage sale bin, Corby is stunned to see Sally wearing the coat at church on Sunday and assumes that Doc gave it to her. Later, Doc hears that veterinarian Joe Whelan is fulfilling his life-long dream of moving to California, as someone has given him a car. Because Joe is the only vet in the area, Doc files theft charges against him to keep him in Progress. When Joe angrily demands his freedom, however, Doc relents and drops the charges. At the river, Doc confronts Corby, who is fishing with Digger, and while he accuses her of meddling, she demands to know how Sally got her jacket. After the two push each other into the water, Doc leaves to tend to a sick hog. Soon after, every one in town receives an envelope containing thousands of dollars in cash, and Progress' windfall becomes national news. Now flush, Sally departs for business school in St. Louis, while Otey announces he is "taking the cure" in Kansas City. Before Otey can get out of town, however, the place is besieged with anxious people looking for easy money. Finally realizing the folly of her good intentions, Corby confesses all to the growing crowd, but is met with hostility. When a fight breaks out, Doc shows up to stop it and apologizes to the people, who then leave town without further incident. Later, Corby rings Doc's emergency bell, and after he again drops Hercules and comes running, she apologizes for her foolishness. Doc then proposes, and Corby accepts with a kiss. +

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.