Third Finger, Left Hand (1940)

96 mins | Comedy | 11 October 1940

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Writer:

Lionel Houser

Cinematographer:

George Folsey

Editor:

Elmo Vernon

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

According to letters contained in the MPAA/PCA files at the AMPAS Library, Joseph I. Breen, director of the PCA, instructed M-G-M head Louis B. Mayer to delete several gags that suggested that "Margot" might be pregnant. Breen emphasized that illegitimacy could not serve as a basis for comedy. In 1941, the Lux Radio Theatre presented a radio version of this story starring Martha Scott and Douglas Fairbanks, ... More Less

According to letters contained in the MPAA/PCA files at the AMPAS Library, Joseph I. Breen, director of the PCA, instructed M-G-M head Louis B. Mayer to delete several gags that suggested that "Margot" might be pregnant. Breen emphasized that illegitimacy could not serve as a basis for comedy. In 1941, the Lux Radio Theatre presented a radio version of this story starring Martha Scott and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Oct 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
11 Oct 40
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jun 40
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 40
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Aug 40
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Oct 40
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
15 Oct 40
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
12 Oct 40
p. 46, 49
New York Times
12 Dec 40
p. 37.
Variety
16 Oct 40
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Robert Z. Leonard Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCER
WRITER
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
SONGS
"Hail to California," music and lyrics by Clinton Morse and Leo Arnaud
"Carmen Ohio," arranged by Leo Arnaud
"The Riddle," music and lyrics by Earl Brent and David Snell.
DETAILS
Release Date:
11 October 1940
Production Date:
24 July--29 August 1940
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
9 October 1940
Copyright Number:
LP9974
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
96
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
6660
SYNOPSIS

Margot Sherwood Merrick, the editor of a fashion magazine, has invented a fictitious husband, Tony Merrick, because she thinks that men see that women in business as fair game unless they are wearing a ring on the third finger of their left hand. Margot's ruse backfires, however, when she meets Jeff Thompson, an opinionated artist with a disdain for New York, who falls in love with her. Upon discovering Margot's deception, an angry Jeff decides to get even by pretending to be her estranged Tony Merrick. After Jeff, as Tony, moves into Margot's home with her sister Vicky and father, an exasperated Margot asks Philip Booth, the magazine's attorney who is in love with her, for advice. Philip convinces Jeff that he must marry and then divorce Margot so that she will be free to marry Philip. Jeff and Margot travel to Niagara Falls for the wedding, where they meet some old friends from Jeff's home town in Ohio. Deciding to even the score, Margot pretends to be Jeff's crude bride from Brooklyn. Margot then returns to New York, planning to fly to Reno to file a divorce. Her old friend August Winkel, however, a photographer for the magazine, realizes that she is in love with Jeff and convinces her to accompany him on the train home to Ohio so that they can work out a property settlement before the divorce. Jeff, Margot and Philip board the train to complete the agreement, but the next morning when the train stops at Jeff's home town, Jeff and Margot leave as husband and wife, much to Philip's ... +


Margot Sherwood Merrick, the editor of a fashion magazine, has invented a fictitious husband, Tony Merrick, because she thinks that men see that women in business as fair game unless they are wearing a ring on the third finger of their left hand. Margot's ruse backfires, however, when she meets Jeff Thompson, an opinionated artist with a disdain for New York, who falls in love with her. Upon discovering Margot's deception, an angry Jeff decides to get even by pretending to be her estranged Tony Merrick. After Jeff, as Tony, moves into Margot's home with her sister Vicky and father, an exasperated Margot asks Philip Booth, the magazine's attorney who is in love with her, for advice. Philip convinces Jeff that he must marry and then divorce Margot so that she will be free to marry Philip. Jeff and Margot travel to Niagara Falls for the wedding, where they meet some old friends from Jeff's home town in Ohio. Deciding to even the score, Margot pretends to be Jeff's crude bride from Brooklyn. Margot then returns to New York, planning to fly to Reno to file a divorce. Her old friend August Winkel, however, a photographer for the magazine, realizes that she is in love with Jeff and convinces her to accompany him on the train home to Ohio so that they can work out a property settlement before the divorce. Jeff, Margot and Philip board the train to complete the agreement, but the next morning when the train stops at Jeff's home town, Jeff and Margot leave as husband and wife, much to Philip's dismay. +

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.