Guest in the House (1944)

117 or 120 mins | Drama | 8 December 1944

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HISTORY

HR news items yield the following information about this production: In Dec 1943, Joan Harrison was hired to co-produce and write the screenplay in collaboration with Elliott Paul , but she quit in Jan 1944 over a misunderstanding with producer Hunt Stromberg. Director Lewis Milestone began directing the film in Apr 1944, but was stricken with appendicitis in May 1944 and collapsed on the set. John Cromwell was then assigned to take over the direction, but was unable to do the job because of a previous commitment to shoot additional scenes for the 1944 film Since You Went Away (see below). John Brahm then stepped in to direct.
       In Aug 1942, Joseph Cotten was tested for a leading role. Stromberg originally wanted Joan Carroll to play the role of "Connie" and Cornel Wilde was initially slated to play "Dan." Background shots were filmed along the coast of Maine, while additional scenes were shot at the Providencia Ranch, Universal City, CA. Anne Baxter was borrowed from Twentieth Century-Fox to play "Evelyn." For his work on the picture, Werner Janssen received an Academy Award nomination in the Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) category. He was also nominated in the that category for his work on Captain Kidd (see above). On 12 Nov 1945, Robert Young appeared in a Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of Hagar Wilde's and Dale Eunson's play. On 11 Oct 1962, ABC broadcast a version of Eunson's play on Alcoa Theater ... More Less

HR news items yield the following information about this production: In Dec 1943, Joan Harrison was hired to co-produce and write the screenplay in collaboration with Elliott Paul , but she quit in Jan 1944 over a misunderstanding with producer Hunt Stromberg. Director Lewis Milestone began directing the film in Apr 1944, but was stricken with appendicitis in May 1944 and collapsed on the set. John Cromwell was then assigned to take over the direction, but was unable to do the job because of a previous commitment to shoot additional scenes for the 1944 film Since You Went Away (see below). John Brahm then stepped in to direct.
       In Aug 1942, Joseph Cotten was tested for a leading role. Stromberg originally wanted Joan Carroll to play the role of "Connie" and Cornel Wilde was initially slated to play "Dan." Background shots were filmed along the coast of Maine, while additional scenes were shot at the Providencia Ranch, Universal City, CA. Anne Baxter was borrowed from Twentieth Century-Fox to play "Evelyn." For his work on the picture, Werner Janssen received an Academy Award nomination in the Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) category. He was also nominated in the that category for his work on Captain Kidd (see above). On 12 Nov 1945, Robert Young appeared in a Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of Hagar Wilde's and Dale Eunson's play. On 11 Oct 1962, ABC broadcast a version of Eunson's play on Alcoa Theater . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Oct 44
pp. 336-37.
Box Office
16 Dec 1944.
---
Daily Variety
4 Dec 44
p. 3.
Film Daily
4 Dec 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Aug 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Dec 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jan 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jan 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Mar 44
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Apr 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 May 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
31 May 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jun 44
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 44
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Dec 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Feb 45
p. 24.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 Jul 44
p. 1983.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Dec 44
pp. 2213-14.
New York Times
16 Feb 45
p. 19.
Variety
6 Dec 44
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des and art dir
Assoc art dir
FILM EDITORS
Supv film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus score and cond of Janssen Symphony Orchestra
SOUND
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec, eff and mus mixer
MAKEUP
Makeup
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Guest in the House by Hagar Wilde and Dale Eunson, adapted from a story by Katherine Albert, as produced by Stephen and Paul Ames (New York, 24 Feb 1942).
MUSIC
"Liebestraum" by Franz Liszt.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
8 December 1944
Production Date:
17 April 1944--late June 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Guest in the House, Inc.
Copyright Date:
23 December 1944
Copyright Number:
LP13057
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
117 or 120
Length(in feet):
10,870
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10323
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Aunt Martha Proctor recalls to herself the evil that invaded her family's home, causing her to take desperate measures: One summer day, the Proctor family anxiously awaits the arrival of Dr. Dan Proctor and his invalid fiancée, Evelyn Heath. Dan's elder brother Douglas, a commercial illustrator, and his wife Ann are sympathetic toward Evelyn, whose troubled childhood spent under the dominance of an alcoholic father scarred her physically and emotionally. Upon arriving, the frail Evelyn is introduced to Douglas, Ann, their daughter Lee, houseguest Ernest Hackett, Aunt Martha and Douglas' model, Miriam Blake. Complaining of exhaustion, Evelyn then retires to her room and plays the melancholy strains of "Liebestraum" on the phonograph. That evening, Evelyn's shrieks pierce the house when Lee shows her a pet bird. Evelyn harbors a hysterical fear of birds, and to calm her, Douglas sketches her picture on the lampshade. After he leaves her room, Evelyn opens her diary and expresses her disdain for Dan and desire for Douglas. That Sunday, as the rest of the family attends church, Miriam and Douglas work in his studio. Desiring to be near Douglas, Evelyn is about to intrude on them when Dan returns unexpectedly from the hospital, and she accuses him of being insanely jealous of her. When Evelyn insists that Dan return to work, he meekly packs his suitcase and leaves. Envious of Miriam's relationship with Douglas, Evelyn next plots to exile her. She begins by poisoning Lee's mind against Miriam, leading the little girl to believe that Miriam is romantically linked with her father. When Lee passes her fears along to Hilda, the maid, Hilda tells John, the handyman, ... +


Aunt Martha Proctor recalls to herself the evil that invaded her family's home, causing her to take desperate measures: One summer day, the Proctor family anxiously awaits the arrival of Dr. Dan Proctor and his invalid fiancée, Evelyn Heath. Dan's elder brother Douglas, a commercial illustrator, and his wife Ann are sympathetic toward Evelyn, whose troubled childhood spent under the dominance of an alcoholic father scarred her physically and emotionally. Upon arriving, the frail Evelyn is introduced to Douglas, Ann, their daughter Lee, houseguest Ernest Hackett, Aunt Martha and Douglas' model, Miriam Blake. Complaining of exhaustion, Evelyn then retires to her room and plays the melancholy strains of "Liebestraum" on the phonograph. That evening, Evelyn's shrieks pierce the house when Lee shows her a pet bird. Evelyn harbors a hysterical fear of birds, and to calm her, Douglas sketches her picture on the lampshade. After he leaves her room, Evelyn opens her diary and expresses her disdain for Dan and desire for Douglas. That Sunday, as the rest of the family attends church, Miriam and Douglas work in his studio. Desiring to be near Douglas, Evelyn is about to intrude on them when Dan returns unexpectedly from the hospital, and she accuses him of being insanely jealous of her. When Evelyn insists that Dan return to work, he meekly packs his suitcase and leaves. Envious of Miriam's relationship with Douglas, Evelyn next plots to exile her. She begins by poisoning Lee's mind against Miriam, leading the little girl to believe that Miriam is romantically linked with her father. When Lee passes her fears along to Hilda, the maid, Hilda tells John, the handyman, and Martha overhears the gossip. As a result, Martha suggests that Douglas take a vacation and send Miriam back to the city, but he ignores her. One afternoon, Douglas and Miriam drive to the train station to pick up a delivery of turpentine. When the two return home inebriated, long after dark, Hilda, scandalized, quits, and Ann questions her husband about his relationship with Miriam. Offended that his wife no longer trusts him, Douglas refuses to respond. When Miriam approaches Ann to explain, Ann slams the door in her face, causing Miriam to resign and leave the house. Evelyn then eagerly volunteers to take Miriam's place and Douglas naïvely hires her. One day, during a summer storm, Hackett returns to the house, having been alerted to the situation by Miriam. As Ann laments Douglas' heavy drinking, Lee descends the stairs, exhibiting Evelyn's neurotic symptoms. Realizing that Evelyn has sown the seeds of dissension in the Proctor household, Hackett urges Ann to force her to leave the house, but when Ann asks Evelyn to move in with Martha, Evelyn viciously accuses her of jealousy. When Douglas returns home, Evelyn hurls hysterical accusations at Ann and then breaks down in tears. Blaming Ann for Evelyn's condition, Douglas denounces her and storms out of the house. After gleefully watching Ann pack her bags and leave, Evelyn destroys the farewell note that Ann has left for Douglas. Soon after, Douglas returns, filled with recriminations, and becomes horrified when Evelyn begins to fantasize about their future together. Hurrying after Ann, Douglas apologizes, and they return to the house together. There, Douglas informs Evelyn that he is sending her to a sanitarium and instructs her to break off her engagement to Dan. Later, Evelyn phones Dan and the next morning, he appears, and Evelyn proposes that they immediately marry. Dumbstruck, Douglas finds the diary that Evelyn has placed on the desk and reads a passage describing her love for him. When Evelyn smugly suggests that Douglas read the last page, he turns to it and finds a passage denouncing her love for him. Convinced of Evelyn's sincerity, Dan decides to marry her and goes to pack some things. After he leaves, Evelyn stumbles upon Lee's empty birdcage, unaware that the bird recently died. When Evelyn becomes hysterical, Martha taunts her that the bird is flying free in the house. Panicked, Evelyn runs out screaming and plunges to her death from a cliff. +

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

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