Woman Chases Man (1937)

71 mins | Screwball comedy | 7 May 1937

Director:

John Blystone

Producer:

Samuel Goldwyn

Cinematographer:

Gregg Toland

Editor:

Daniel Mandell

Production Designer:

Richard Day

Production Company:

Howard Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Woman's Touch . According to HR news items, John Payne was considered for the role of "Kenneth Nolan," and Evelyn Terry was to be included in the cast. Terry's participation in the completed film, however, has not been confirmed. HR and DV news items reported that Harry Sauber and Lewis R. Foster worked on the screenplay, but their contribution to the completed picture has also not been confirmed. HR news items also noted that William Wyler was originally scheduled to direct the film. Wyler was replaced by Leigh Jason, whom producer Samuel Goldwyn borrowed from RKO. Jason was in turn replaced by John Blystone after being re-assigned to direct The Goldwyn Follies (see above), which finally was directed by George Marshall. Actor Charles Winninger was borrowed from Universal for this production, in which Broderick Crawford, the son of character actress Helen Broderick, made his screen acting debut.
       According to articles in Life and the NYT , Goldwyn had great difficulty with the film's pre-production. After purchasing Lynn Root and Frank Fenton's original story entitled "The Princess and the Pauper," Goldwyn hired Sam and Bella Spewack to write a screenplay based on it. The Spewacks produced a script but "refused to have their names connected with it." Goldwyn then hired Eric Hatch to work on the script, but Hatch refused to comply after reading it. A 14 Dec 1936 HR news item noted that Dorothy Parker and Alan Cambell were signed to work on the script, and the ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Woman's Touch . According to HR news items, John Payne was considered for the role of "Kenneth Nolan," and Evelyn Terry was to be included in the cast. Terry's participation in the completed film, however, has not been confirmed. HR and DV news items reported that Harry Sauber and Lewis R. Foster worked on the screenplay, but their contribution to the completed picture has also not been confirmed. HR news items also noted that William Wyler was originally scheduled to direct the film. Wyler was replaced by Leigh Jason, whom producer Samuel Goldwyn borrowed from RKO. Jason was in turn replaced by John Blystone after being re-assigned to direct The Goldwyn Follies (see above), which finally was directed by George Marshall. Actor Charles Winninger was borrowed from Universal for this production, in which Broderick Crawford, the son of character actress Helen Broderick, made his screen acting debut.
       According to articles in Life and the NYT , Goldwyn had great difficulty with the film's pre-production. After purchasing Lynn Root and Frank Fenton's original story entitled "The Princess and the Pauper," Goldwyn hired Sam and Bella Spewack to write a screenplay based on it. The Spewacks produced a script but "refused to have their names connected with it." Goldwyn then hired Eric Hatch to work on the script, but Hatch refused to comply after reading it. A 14 Dec 1936 HR news item noted that Dorothy Parker and Alan Cambell were signed to work on the script, and the NYT review credits them and Var writer Joe Bigelow with the finished screenplay. As with the other writers mentioned above, however, the extent of their contribution to the completed film has not been determined. After several additional studio writers were brought on to the project, a workable script was finalized. Goldwyn summoned Wyler, who read the script and offered to return the $25,000 bonus Goldwyn had given him for Dodsworth and Come and Get It if he did not have to direct The Woman's Touch . Goldwyn accepted the offer, and then began experiencing difficulties with the actresses. Miriam Hopkins read the script and asked to be relieved of the assignment, but, after much pressure from Goldwyn, agreed to do the picture if Gregory LaCava would direct. LaCava refused, however, after reading the script. While Hopkins finally agreed to participate, regardless of the director, actress Andrea Leeds, a Goldwyn contract player, refused the role of "Nina Tennyson." Goldwyn then borrowed Leona Maricle from Columbia for the part. The NYT article concluded that Goldwyn had "won" his battle over the film, for audiences laughed so much during two previews that the picture had to be re-edited to allow more time between jokes. Modern sources add Edward Chodorov and Ben Hecht to the list of writers involved with the project, and indicate that Goldwyn originally signed Edward Ludwig as the director. This was the last of five Goldwyn films co-starring Hopkins and Joel McCrea, and it was also the last picture Hopkins made for Goldwyn. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15-May-37
---
Daily Variety
1-Oct-36
---
Daily Variety
23 Apr 37
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Apr 37
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Oct 36
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Oct 36
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Dec 36
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 36
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Dec 36
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jan 37
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 37
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 37
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Feb 37
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Feb 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Mar 37
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Apr 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Apr 37
pp. 5-12.
Life
17 May 37
p. 32.
Motion Picture Herald
17 Apr 37
p. 12.
Motion Picture Herald
1 May 37
p. 30, 32
New York Times
25-Apr-37
---
New York Times
11 Jun 37
p. 26.
Variety
16 Jun 37
p. 13.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Woman's Touch
Release Date:
7 May 1937
Premiere Information:
World premiere at Los Angeles: 28 April 1937
Production Date:
15 February--late March 1937
Copyright Claimant:
Samuel Goldwyn
Copyright Date:
4 May 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7105
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
71
Length(in feet):
6,439
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3292
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Overly-sensible millionaire Kenneth Nolan is returning home from a European vacation with his girl friend, Nina Tennyson, and her "uncle," Henri Saffron, when he receives a telephone call from his crackpot inventor father B. J. B. J. begs Kenneth for money to complete his latest work, a low-income housing project called Nolan Heights, but Kenneth believes that it is another silly scheme and refuses. While B. J. hides in his office from process servers, architect Virginia Travis barges in and asks B. J. for a job on Nolan Heights. During her spiel, Virginia faints, after which B. J. learns that she has not eaten in two days. He then takes her home and explains that he does not have enough money to finish the project. Virginia believes she can convince Kenneth to help, and so she and B. J. make a plan. She calls her former co-workers, movie ushers Judy and Hunk Williams, and asks them to pose as servants because the former ones left after B. J. spent their wages. When Kenneth, Nina and Henri arrive, Virginia pretends to be B. J.'s old business acquaintance, and states that he is in Chicago. Kenneth is suspicious at first but is pacified by a letter of introduction from B. J. Nina and Henri are worried that Virginia's presence will disrupt their plans, for they are actually lovers who intend to bilk Kenneth out of his fortune after he marries Nina. At dinner that night, Virginia and the scheming pair are intrigued when Kenneth reveals that he cannot drink because drinking makes him feel compelled to buy everything he sees. Virginia tries ... +


Overly-sensible millionaire Kenneth Nolan is returning home from a European vacation with his girl friend, Nina Tennyson, and her "uncle," Henri Saffron, when he receives a telephone call from his crackpot inventor father B. J. B. J. begs Kenneth for money to complete his latest work, a low-income housing project called Nolan Heights, but Kenneth believes that it is another silly scheme and refuses. While B. J. hides in his office from process servers, architect Virginia Travis barges in and asks B. J. for a job on Nolan Heights. During her spiel, Virginia faints, after which B. J. learns that she has not eaten in two days. He then takes her home and explains that he does not have enough money to finish the project. Virginia believes she can convince Kenneth to help, and so she and B. J. make a plan. She calls her former co-workers, movie ushers Judy and Hunk Williams, and asks them to pose as servants because the former ones left after B. J. spent their wages. When Kenneth, Nina and Henri arrive, Virginia pretends to be B. J.'s old business acquaintance, and states that he is in Chicago. Kenneth is suspicious at first but is pacified by a letter of introduction from B. J. Nina and Henri are worried that Virginia's presence will disrupt their plans, for they are actually lovers who intend to bilk Kenneth out of his fortune after he marries Nina. At dinner that night, Virginia and the scheming pair are intrigued when Kenneth reveals that he cannot drink because drinking makes him feel compelled to buy everything he sees. Virginia tries to discuss the housing project with Kenneth, but he shows her some of the gadgets on which his father has wasted his money, and confesses that he is afraid of becoming a screwball like B. J. Virginia then finds B. J. in the kitchen, and the two determine to release Kenneth from his straightjacket of sensibility. The next day, as Virginia is getting Kenneth to unknowingly sign a $100,00 check to B. J., he confides that he desires to do something useful with his life. Virginia promises to help him, then goes with B. J. to cash the check. They are foiled at the bank, however, when they are told that any check over $1,000 must be personally approved by Kenneth. They return to the house and are informed by Hunk that Nina and Henri are plotting to get Kenneth drunk that night so that he will propose. B. J. realizes that they must "fight firewater with firewater," and that night, Virginia induces Kenneth to drink champagne with her. While they are drinking, the couple discovers they have much in common, but their conversation is cut short when Virginia passes out. She is put to bed by B.J., and Kenneth is plied with brandy by Nina and Henri. B. J. wakes Virginia, and she hides in the tree outside Kenneth's bedroom while Nina tucks him in. Virginia gets stuck and calls to Kenneth, after which he joins her in the tree. They cuddle and talk happily, and Kenneth agrees to sign the contract. Nina and Henri attempt to stop him, and by doing so, they reveal their true natures. Virginia then insists that Kenneth not sign the contract while drunk and pours a bucket of water on him to sober him up. Even though he is now fully sober, Kenneth remembers what they had said in the tree and hugs Virginia to cement the deal and their relationship. +

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

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