Our Miss Brooks (1956)

84-85 or 87 mins | Romantic comedy | 3 March 1956

Director:

Al Lewis

Producer:

David Weisbart

Cinematographer:

Joseph La Shelle

Production Designers:

Leo Kuter, Stanley Fleischer

Production Company:

Lute Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The opening credits read, "Eve Arden as Our Miss Brooks . In Dec 1948, a LAT news item reported that actress Eve Arden was interested in taking her CBS radio show, Our Miss Brooks , to “the screen.” The news item noted that Arden was at that time considered the “No. 1 comedienne,” according to a poll of radio editors and columnists. Beginning in 1952, Arden appeared as "Our Miss Brooks," along with most of her radio cast, in the Desilu-produced CBS television series. The show, which was written by director Al Lewis and his collaborator, Joseph Quillan, became immensely popular and, according to a Sept 1955 LAEx article, the public closely identified Arden with the fictional teacher. She received trophies and other special merits from teacher organizations, and several schools throughout the country named her their honorary principal.
       After Jack Webb’s success in taking the premise, cast and crew of his radio-television show, Dragnet , to feature film in 1954 (See Entry), Warner Bros. was open to presenting Arden’s radio-TV series on the big screen. As noted in a 7 Apr 1955 HR , DV and LAEx news items, most of the cast and crew of the television series worked on the film. Our Miss Brooks was the only film made by the newly formed Lute Productions, Inc., a company owned by Arden and Lewis. Two new characters, “Larry Nolan" and "Gary Nolan,” were added for the film.
       Although her appearance in the film has not been confirmed, an Aug 1955 HR news item ... More Less

The opening credits read, "Eve Arden as Our Miss Brooks . In Dec 1948, a LAT news item reported that actress Eve Arden was interested in taking her CBS radio show, Our Miss Brooks , to “the screen.” The news item noted that Arden was at that time considered the “No. 1 comedienne,” according to a poll of radio editors and columnists. Beginning in 1952, Arden appeared as "Our Miss Brooks," along with most of her radio cast, in the Desilu-produced CBS television series. The show, which was written by director Al Lewis and his collaborator, Joseph Quillan, became immensely popular and, according to a Sept 1955 LAEx article, the public closely identified Arden with the fictional teacher. She received trophies and other special merits from teacher organizations, and several schools throughout the country named her their honorary principal.
       After Jack Webb’s success in taking the premise, cast and crew of his radio-television show, Dragnet , to feature film in 1954 (See Entry), Warner Bros. was open to presenting Arden’s radio-TV series on the big screen. As noted in a 7 Apr 1955 HR , DV and LAEx news items, most of the cast and crew of the television series worked on the film. Our Miss Brooks was the only film made by the newly formed Lute Productions, Inc., a company owned by Arden and Lewis. Two new characters, “Larry Nolan" and "Gary Nolan,” were added for the film.
       Although her appearance in the film has not been confirmed, an Aug 1955 HR news item adds Dinah Ace to the cast. According to HR news items and a LAEx article, portions of the film were shot in Glendale and Stockton, CA. Yachting sequences were shot at Venice Reach, twenty miles from Stockton.
       According to an Oct 1955 HR news item, following the film's completion in Sep 1955, Lewis requested and received a release from the television show to concentrate on a film career. During its 1955-56 season, ratings for the television show were slipping and its last episode aired in Sep 1956, a few months after the film was released. The wisecracking English teacher remained in public memory for several decades afterward, and Arden was especially loved and remembered for her portrayal.
More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
11 Feb 1956.
---
Christian Science Monitor
27 Mar 1956.
---
Daily Variety
7 Apr 1955.
---
Daily Variety
10 Feb 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Feb 56
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Apr 1955.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 1955
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jul 1955
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jul 1955
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jul 1955
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 1955
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 1955
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Oct 1955
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Nov 1955
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Feb 56
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
7 Apr 1955.
---
Los Angeles Examiner
18 Sep 1955.
---
Los Angeles Times
22 Dec 1948.
---
Los Angeles Times
31 May 1956.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
18 Feb 56
p. 785.
Variety
15 Feb 56
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Scr
From an idea by
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITORS
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus
Orch
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
DETAILS
Release Date:
3 March 1956
Production Date:
26 July--early September 1955
Copyright Claimant:
Lute Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
3 March 1956
Copyright Number:
LP8142
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
84-85 or 87
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17677
SYNOPSIS

Miss Constance Brooks, the new English teacher at Madison High School, looks through the newspaper want ads for rooms to rent. After finding an ad placed by Mrs. Margaret Davis, Connie proceeds to the address listed and rings the doorbell. Instead of answering the door, however, the elderly Mrs. Davis mistakenly answers the phone in her foyer. Connie can hear Mrs. Davis speaking into the phone and so has a conversation with her from the front porch. After Mrs. Davis invites Connie to visit, Connie knocks on the door and Mrs. Davis, surprised at her promptness, welcomes her. With the approval of the resident cat Minerva, Mrs. Davis rents the room to Connie. As an afterthought, Mrs. Davis points out the view from a window, which reveals a rundown but charming cottage for sale. Seeing the property’s romantic potential, Connie fantasizes about the man who will buy it. Later, at school, Connie meets a student, Fabian “Stretch” Snodgrass, who shows her the campus, but when she sees the handsome biology teacher, Phil Boynton, working out with barbells on the lawn, Connie decides to continue sightseeing on her own. While introducing herself to the bashful teacher, Connie imagines how he would look in front of the cottage. Osgood Conklin, the domineering principal, then walks up and reminds them that teacher "fraternizing” is prohibited. Over the following months, Connie and Phil go on frequent dates, but only to the zoo. Oblivious to Connie’s romantic frustration, Phil contemplates the mating habits of beasts and admits that he occasionally thinks about marrying. In class, Connie cannot reach a bright but failing student, Gary Nolan, and so visits Gary’s widowed father Lawrence, ... +


Miss Constance Brooks, the new English teacher at Madison High School, looks through the newspaper want ads for rooms to rent. After finding an ad placed by Mrs. Margaret Davis, Connie proceeds to the address listed and rings the doorbell. Instead of answering the door, however, the elderly Mrs. Davis mistakenly answers the phone in her foyer. Connie can hear Mrs. Davis speaking into the phone and so has a conversation with her from the front porch. After Mrs. Davis invites Connie to visit, Connie knocks on the door and Mrs. Davis, surprised at her promptness, welcomes her. With the approval of the resident cat Minerva, Mrs. Davis rents the room to Connie. As an afterthought, Mrs. Davis points out the view from a window, which reveals a rundown but charming cottage for sale. Seeing the property’s romantic potential, Connie fantasizes about the man who will buy it. Later, at school, Connie meets a student, Fabian “Stretch” Snodgrass, who shows her the campus, but when she sees the handsome biology teacher, Phil Boynton, working out with barbells on the lawn, Connie decides to continue sightseeing on her own. While introducing herself to the bashful teacher, Connie imagines how he would look in front of the cottage. Osgood Conklin, the domineering principal, then walks up and reminds them that teacher "fraternizing” is prohibited. Over the following months, Connie and Phil go on frequent dates, but only to the zoo. Oblivious to Connie’s romantic frustration, Phil contemplates the mating habits of beasts and admits that he occasionally thinks about marrying. In class, Connie cannot reach a bright but failing student, Gary Nolan, and so visits Gary’s widowed father Lawrence, a busy newspaper owner. When Larry accuses Connie of being incompetent, she retorts by calling him a stuffed shirt. Soon Connie realizes that Gary, who is surrounded by everything money can buy, needs his father’s attention, and agrees to tutor him at the Nolan home. One day, Phil confesses to Mrs. Davis that he is saving money and hopes for a promotion so that he can marry Connie. Although she promises to not reveal his plans, Mrs. Davis later pretends to read Connie’s fortune in the cards and “foretells” of a marriage proposal being postponed until there is economic security. Mr. Stone, the head of the board of education, who is campaigning for the post of coordinator of education, criticizes Osgood’s military style and threatens to fire him after he is elected. To avoid what he considers “a dishonorable discharge,” Osgood decides to campaign against Stone and, by promising to promote Phil if he is elected, enlists Connie as his campaign manager. Connie gets whole-hearted cooperation from the students when she reveals her campaign slogan, “Get Mr. Conklin into public office and out of Madison.” During tutoring sessions, Connie assigns Gary to write stories for the school paper and Larry encourages Gary by printing some of his articles in the town newspaper. Grateful to Connie for Gary’s improvement, Larry becomes romantically drawn to her. When the Nolans invite her to sail on their yacht, Connie agrees to go, after Phil, feeling neglected, jealously breaks his date with her. While on the yacht, Connie considers Larry as a suitor and briefly daydreams about how he would look standing in front of the cottage, but the fantasy does not seem right. To assist Phil and Connie’s failing romance, Mrs. Davis suggests to Phil that Connie is “in jeopardy” from Larry, whom she describes as a “suave operator.” Borrowing an old jalopy from student Walter Denton, Phil drives to the beach and then rows out to save her, but falls in the water near the yacht. After Larry pulls him to safety, Phil discovers that Gary is aboard. Realizing that Connie is on a family outing and not at the mercy of a lecherous playboy, Phil admits he feels “ridiculous.” Soon after, Osgood rows up. Having learned from Walter, his daughter’s boyfriend, that Connie knows the powerful newspaperman, he is eager to request Larry’s help in publicizing his campaign. Osgood also falls in the lake and is rescued, after which Larry agrees to help Osgood, because it would involve working with Connie. That evening, Phil admits to Connie that he has nothing to offer her in comparison with the wealthy Larry. When Connie suggests, “the best defense is a good offense,” Phil thinks for a minute, then kisses her passionately. Later, Phil is called out of town to see his ailing mother. The doctor tells him that Mrs. Boynton suffers a psychosomatic illness caused by loneliness. Back in Madison, Phil, who lives in a tiny bachelor apartment, goes house hunting. Connie is at the realtor paying a bill for Mrs. Davis, when Phil calls about the cottage. Overhearing the realtor mention “Mrs. Boynton,” Connie assumes that a marriage proposal is forthcoming and takes samples of wallpaper to the cottage, where she fantasizes about married life. When Phil arrives, she learns, to her dismay, that he bought the house for his mother and she leaves in tears. After hearing about Connie’s plight, Mrs. Davis visits Mrs. Boynton, with whom she has often played canasta, and tells her about Phil and Connie. Due to Larry's help, Osgood is leading at the polls, but he resigns when he learns that the salary of the new position pays only $500 a year. Later, Mrs. Boynton visits Mrs. Davis at her home and explains to Connie that the shy Phil rarely talked about his feelings for Connie, and consequently she knew little about their romance until Mrs. Davis told her. After explaining her feelings of loneliness, which prompted Phil to bring her to town, she says she is moving in with Mrs. Davis, so that Connie and Phil can live in the cottage. Touched by Phil’s kindness to his mother, Connie seeks him out at the zoo. Seeing Connie, Phil imagines how she will look in front of the cottage and they decide to marry.

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

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