Roughly Speaking (1945)

125 mins | Biography | 3 March 1945

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Producer:

Henry Blanke

Cinematographer:

Joseph Walker

Editor:

David Weisbart

Production Designer:

Robert Haas

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Roughly Speaking was based on the life of Louise Randall Pierson. Warner Bros. purchased the film rights to her story for $35,000, according to a 13 Jul 1943 HR news item. Pierson was the mother of noted writer-director Frank R. Pierson, who won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the 1975 film Dog Day Afternoon . Rosalind Russell and Jack Carson reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 8 Oct ... More Less

Roughly Speaking was based on the life of Louise Randall Pierson. Warner Bros. purchased the film rights to her story for $35,000, according to a 13 Jul 1943 HR news item. Pierson was the mother of noted writer-director Frank R. Pierson, who won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the 1975 film Dog Day Afternoon . Rosalind Russell and Jack Carson reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 8 Oct 1945. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
3 Feb 1945.
---
Daily Variety
31 Jan 45
p. 3.
Film Daily
1 Feb 45
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
3 May 44
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jan 45
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Feb 45
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 Jul 44
p. 1983.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
3 Feb 45
p. 2297.
New York Times
1 Feb 45
p. 18.
Variety
31 Jan 45
p. 10.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Charles Anthony Hughes
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Rosalind Russell's gowns
MUSIC
Orch arr
Mus comp and adpt by
SOUND
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Matte paintings
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the book Roughly Speaking by Louise Randall Pierson (New York, 1943).
MUSIC
"It Had to Be You," music by Isham Jones.
SONGS
"Bulldog! Bulldog! Bow, Wow, Wow," music and lyrics by Cole Porter
"By the Light of the Silvery Moon," music by Gus Edwards, lyrics by Edward Madden
"Show Me the Way to Go Home," music and lyrics by Irving King
+
SONGS
"Bulldog! Bulldog! Bow, Wow, Wow," music and lyrics by Cole Porter
"By the Light of the Silvery Moon," music by Gus Edwards, lyrics by Edward Madden
"Show Me the Way to Go Home," music and lyrics by Irving King
"Adeste Fideles (O, Come All Ye Faithful)," music by John Francis Wade, English lyrics by Frederick Oakeley.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
3 March 1945
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 31 January 1945
Production Date:
late April--mid July 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
3 March 1945
Copyright Number:
LP13139
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
125
Length(in feet):
11,457
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1902, after the death of her father, John Chase Randall, Louise Randall learns that her family is penniless. Eventually, her mother sells her jewelry so that Louise may attend college. As her father had always advised her to aim for the stars, Louise rapidly learns typing and shorthand, determined to "be on the inside looking out." After completing a successful temporary job at a shipyard, Louise and her friend Alice move to New Haven, Connecticut, where they rent a room in the same house as Yale University students Rodney Crane and Jack Leslie. Jack and Alice fall in love and marry, and Rodney proposes to Louise. Although Louise wants to work after marriage, the more conventional Rodney insists that she stay home. Defying convention, Louise does not wear white to her wedding, will not vow to obey her husband and does not take his name. The couple moves to New York City, where Louise gives birth in quick succession to Barbara, John, Rod, Jr. and Louise, Jr. During World War I, Louise plants a victory garden and sells bonds. She finds a huge ramshackled house on the Hudson River and moves her family there. One day, Louise, Jr. gets sick and it is discovered that all the children have polio. Louise nurses the children, willing Louise, Jr. back to health from the brink of death. After their recovery, Louise works hard to help Louise, Jr. overcome her paralysis. When Rod loses his job after the war, Louise keeps her spirits up and gets a job herself. Rod perceives this as a lack of sympathy, and after ... +


In 1902, after the death of her father, John Chase Randall, Louise Randall learns that her family is penniless. Eventually, her mother sells her jewelry so that Louise may attend college. As her father had always advised her to aim for the stars, Louise rapidly learns typing and shorthand, determined to "be on the inside looking out." After completing a successful temporary job at a shipyard, Louise and her friend Alice move to New Haven, Connecticut, where they rent a room in the same house as Yale University students Rodney Crane and Jack Leslie. Jack and Alice fall in love and marry, and Rodney proposes to Louise. Although Louise wants to work after marriage, the more conventional Rodney insists that she stay home. Defying convention, Louise does not wear white to her wedding, will not vow to obey her husband and does not take his name. The couple moves to New York City, where Louise gives birth in quick succession to Barbara, John, Rod, Jr. and Louise, Jr. During World War I, Louise plants a victory garden and sells bonds. She finds a huge ramshackled house on the Hudson River and moves her family there. One day, Louise, Jr. gets sick and it is discovered that all the children have polio. Louise nurses the children, willing Louise, Jr. back to health from the brink of death. After their recovery, Louise works hard to help Louise, Jr. overcome her paralysis. When Rod loses his job after the war, Louise keeps her spirits up and gets a job herself. Rod perceives this as a lack of sympathy, and after he finds a job, he falls in love with another woman and leaves Louise. At a friend's costume party, Louise meets Harold Pierson, the black sheep of a wealthy family, who seems to be as much of a free spirit as she. He proposes marriage immediately and Louise accepts. During the prosperous 1920s, they have a child, Frank, and pay off most of their debts. They invest their money in rose bushes, but by the time the flowers are ready to harvest, the market has collapsed. The Piersons' possessions are auctioned off and the family moves to a new city. Harold then invests in a newly designed airplane just before the stock market crash of 1929. During the Depression, the older boys go to Yale and Barbara marries. The remaining family moves to a smaller apartment, and Harold gets a job selling vacuum cleaners. Later he is hired to manage the New York World's Fair. When the United States enters World War II, the boys become soldiers and the underaged Frank asks his parents to sign a release so that he can also join the army. Harold reassures a worried Louise, saying that with her as their example, the boys will be fine. Harold and Louise agree that America is a wonderful country because its citizens are free to dream. +

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.