Cry for Happy (1961)

110 mins | Comedy | 10 February 1961

Director:

George Marshall

Writer:

Irving Brecher

Producer:

William Goetz

Cinematographer:

Burnett Guffey

Production Designer:

Walter Holscher

Production Company:

William Goetz Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

Theatrical rights to George Campbell’s 1958 novel, Cry for Happy, were originally optioned by Broadway producer Kermit Bloomgarden, as stated in a 29 Jan 1958 DV news brief. The sale of screen rights to William Goetz was announced in the 11 Mar 1959 Var. The project was set up as part of an $18-million five-picture deal between Goetz and Columbia Pictures, the 18 Oct 1959 NYT noted. According to an item in the 12 Aug 1959 LAT, Goetz hoped to cast Dean Martin and Jack Lemmon in starring roles. However, the 5 Feb 1960 DV indicated that Robert Wagner was being sought to co-star with Martin, and three months later, the 4 May 1960 Var reported that Glenn Ford would play the lead role. Bobby Darin was also briefly considered for a part, but he was forced to turn it down due to a scheduling conflict, according to a 10 Jun 1960 DV brief.
       Prior to the start of principal photography on 20 Jun 1960, three weeks of location shooting in Japan began in late May 1960. The 25 May 1960 Var noted that exteriors were being filmed in Kyoto, Tokyo, and Yokosuka, where the Yokosuka Naval Base served as a location. Seven weeks of “Hollywood stage work” were set to follow at the Columbia studio lot. According to the 10 Aug 1960 DV, a New York City “tenement street set” on the Columbia Ranch lot in Burbank, CA, was dressed to look like Kyoto.
       Some costumes used in the film came from Goetz’s previous production, ... More Less

Theatrical rights to George Campbell’s 1958 novel, Cry for Happy, were originally optioned by Broadway producer Kermit Bloomgarden, as stated in a 29 Jan 1958 DV news brief. The sale of screen rights to William Goetz was announced in the 11 Mar 1959 Var. The project was set up as part of an $18-million five-picture deal between Goetz and Columbia Pictures, the 18 Oct 1959 NYT noted. According to an item in the 12 Aug 1959 LAT, Goetz hoped to cast Dean Martin and Jack Lemmon in starring roles. However, the 5 Feb 1960 DV indicated that Robert Wagner was being sought to co-star with Martin, and three months later, the 4 May 1960 Var reported that Glenn Ford would play the lead role. Bobby Darin was also briefly considered for a part, but he was forced to turn it down due to a scheduling conflict, according to a 10 Jun 1960 DV brief.
       Prior to the start of principal photography on 20 Jun 1960, three weeks of location shooting in Japan began in late May 1960. The 25 May 1960 Var noted that exteriors were being filmed in Kyoto, Tokyo, and Yokosuka, where the Yokosuka Naval Base served as a location. Seven weeks of “Hollywood stage work” were set to follow at the Columbia studio lot. According to the 10 Aug 1960 DV, a New York City “tenement street set” on the Columbia Ranch lot in Burbank, CA, was dressed to look like Kyoto.
       Some costumes used in the film came from Goetz’s previous production, Sayonara (1957, see entry), which was also set in Japan, the 30 Jun 1960 DV noted.
       As stated in an 18 Aug 1960 DV brief, actors Donald O’Connor and Sidney Miller submitted a title song for the filmmakers’ consideration. The 1 Nov 1960 DV later reported that composer George Duning wrote the title tune with lyricist Stanley Styne, and the song was recorded by actress Miyoshi Umeki.
       Actors Chick Hearn and Joseph Hoppy were set to make their feature film debuts in Cry for Happy, according to items in the 8 Jul 1960 DV and 19 Jul 1960 LAT. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
29 Jan 1958
p. 6.
Daily Variety
7 May 1959
p. 4.
Daily Variety
1 Feb 1960
p. 12.
Daily Variety
5 Feb 1960
p. 2.
Daily Variety
20 May 1960
p. 2.
Daily Variety
10 Jun 1960
p. 2.
Daily Variety
24 Jun 1960
p. 6.
Daily Variety
30 Jun 1960
p. 2.
Daily Variety
8 Jul 1960
p. 10.
Daily Variety
10 Aug 1960
p. 2.
Daily Variety
18 Aug 1960
p. 2.
Daily Variety
26 Sep 1960
p. 10.
Daily Variety
1 Nov 1960
p. 8.
Daily Variety
10 Jan 1961
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
12 Aug 1959
Section C, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
19 Jul 1960
p. 20.
Los Angeles Times
3 Mar 1961
Section B, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
10 Mar 1961
Section B, p. 8.
New York Times
18 Oct 1959.
---
New York Times
27 Jun 1960.
---
New York Times
4 Mar 1961.
---
Variety
11 Mar 1959
p. 17.
Variety
3 Feb 1960
p. 20.
Variety
2 Mar 1960
p. 7.
Variety
4 May 1960
p. 7.
Variety
25 May 1960
p. 5.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A William Goetz Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec supv
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairstyles
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Cry for Happy by George Campbell (New York, 1958).
DETAILS
Release Date:
10 February 1961
Premiere Information:
Honolulu, Hawaii, opening: 10 February 1961
New York opening: 3 March 1961
Los Angeles opening: 8 March 1961
Production Date:
began 20 June 1960
Copyright Claimant:
William Goetz Productions
Copyright Date:
1 March 1961
Copyright Number:
LP19587
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Eastman Color by Pathé
Widescreen/ratio
Duration(in mins):
110
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

While recuperating in Japan after a Korean combat mission, four Navy photographers--Cyphers, Prince, Suzuki, and Lank--billet themselves in an off-limits geisha house they believe to be vacant. Though they discover four of the girls are still living there, their delight turns to disappointment when they learn that geishas are not exactly what they had imagined. Nevertheless, romance blossoms and the four men happily submit to a life of luxurious pampering. Then a tongue-in-cheek story Cyphers once told some newsmen--that he was fighting the Korean War to help Japanese orphans--gets considerable publicity in the U.S., and the Navy Department asks for details. The sailors and the geishas quickly borrow some neighbors' children and convert the geisha house into an orphanage. The hoax is a huge success, donations begin to pour in, and Cyphers is able to make the orphanage a reality. At a double wedding, Prince and Suzuki marry two of the girls, while Cyphers and Lank strongly consider following ... +


While recuperating in Japan after a Korean combat mission, four Navy photographers--Cyphers, Prince, Suzuki, and Lank--billet themselves in an off-limits geisha house they believe to be vacant. Though they discover four of the girls are still living there, their delight turns to disappointment when they learn that geishas are not exactly what they had imagined. Nevertheless, romance blossoms and the four men happily submit to a life of luxurious pampering. Then a tongue-in-cheek story Cyphers once told some newsmen--that he was fighting the Korean War to help Japanese orphans--gets considerable publicity in the U.S., and the Navy Department asks for details. The sailors and the geishas quickly borrow some neighbors' children and convert the geisha house into an orphanage. The hoax is a huge success, donations begin to pour in, and Cyphers is able to make the orphanage a reality. At a double wedding, Prince and Suzuki marry two of the girls, while Cyphers and Lank strongly consider following suit. +

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

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