Undercurrent (1946)

114 or 116 mins | Drama | November 1946

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Writer:

Edward Chodorov

Producer:

Pandro S. Berman

Cinematographer:

Karl Freund

Editor:

Ferris Webster

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Randall Duell

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title for this film was You Were There . Although the SAB lists writer Thelma Strabel's work, also titled You Were There , as a novel, the onscreen credits list it as a story and no evidence of its publication as a novel has been located. Actor Billy McClain's name was misspelled in the end credits as "McLain." This picture marked Jayne Meadows' motion picture debut and Robert Taylor's return to the screen following three years of service in the Navy. Meadows is listed under the name Jayne Colter in the CBCS. Modern sources note that M-G-M paid $25,000 to David O. Selznick for the loan-out of actor Robert Mitchum. Katharine Hepburn and Taylor recreated their roles for the Lux Radio Theatre version of the story, which aired on 6 Oct 1947. In Feb 1947, according to a HR news item, a $250,000 damages suit was brought against M-G-M by Fay Ehlert, a playwright who charged the studio with misappropriating the film's title from a one-act play she had submitted to the studio. The outcome of the suit is not ... More Less

The working title for this film was You Were There . Although the SAB lists writer Thelma Strabel's work, also titled You Were There , as a novel, the onscreen credits list it as a story and no evidence of its publication as a novel has been located. Actor Billy McClain's name was misspelled in the end credits as "McLain." This picture marked Jayne Meadows' motion picture debut and Robert Taylor's return to the screen following three years of service in the Navy. Meadows is listed under the name Jayne Colter in the CBCS. Modern sources note that M-G-M paid $25,000 to David O. Selznick for the loan-out of actor Robert Mitchum. Katharine Hepburn and Taylor recreated their roles for the Lux Radio Theatre version of the story, which aired on 6 Oct 1947. In Feb 1947, according to a HR news item, a $250,000 damages suit was brought against M-G-M by Fay Ehlert, a playwright who charged the studio with misappropriating the film's title from a one-act play she had submitted to the studio. The outcome of the suit is not known. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 Oct 1946.
---
Daily Variety
1 Oct 46
p. 3, 15
Film Daily
1 Oct 46
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 46
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 46
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jun 46
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Oct 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Dec 46
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Feb 47
p. 2.
Variety
2 Oct 46
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based on a story by
Contr to trmt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Props
COSTUMES
Cost supv
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
MAKEUP
Hair styles des by
Makeup created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
STAND INS
Stand-in for Katharine Hepburn
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the serial story You Were There by Thelma Strabel in Woman's Home Companion (Dec 1944--Jan 1945).
MUSIC
Excerpt from Symphony No. 3 by Johannes Brahms.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
You Were There
Release Date:
November 1946
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 28 November 1946
Production Date:
early January--early May 1946
addl scenes mid June 1946
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
9 October 1946
Copyright Number:
LP630
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
114 or 116
Country:
United States
PCA No:
11781
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

When industrialist Alan Garroway is introduced to Ann Hamilton, the unsophisticated daughter of chemistry professor "Dink" Hamilton, he falls instantly in love with her and proposes marriage. A short time after their wedding, Ann accompanies Alan on a trip to Washington, D.C., where she is introduced to Mr. Warmsley, Alan's manager, and many of Alan's socialite friends. Her plain clothes and lack of style embarrass Ann, who then tearfully asks Alan to show her how to dress and behave. One day, Alan tells Ann that after his father died he and his brother Michael took over their father's mechanical gadget business, and that he has not seen or heard from Michael since Michael was caught stealing from him. While visiting Alan's family home in Middleburg, Virginia, Ann is startled when a horse suddenly becomes wild in the stable, and later learns from the stablehand that Alan once beat the horse severely. Later, when Alan angrily orders Ann to cease playing a familiar tune on the piano, she begins to suspect that his odd behavior is symptomatic of some deep psychological wound. Her suspicions are confirmed when George, the estate caretaker, tells Ann that the song she was playing was one that Michael used to play. Believing that Alan has been deeply hurt by his brother's betrayal, Ann decides to help her husband overcome his problems. After Alan leaves for Seattle on a business trip, Ann visits his office and asks Warmsley to give her directions to Michael's ranch house near the ocean. At the house, Ann meets Michael, but she is not aware of who he is because he introduces himself to her as ... +


When industrialist Alan Garroway is introduced to Ann Hamilton, the unsophisticated daughter of chemistry professor "Dink" Hamilton, he falls instantly in love with her and proposes marriage. A short time after their wedding, Ann accompanies Alan on a trip to Washington, D.C., where she is introduced to Mr. Warmsley, Alan's manager, and many of Alan's socialite friends. Her plain clothes and lack of style embarrass Ann, who then tearfully asks Alan to show her how to dress and behave. One day, Alan tells Ann that after his father died he and his brother Michael took over their father's mechanical gadget business, and that he has not seen or heard from Michael since Michael was caught stealing from him. While visiting Alan's family home in Middleburg, Virginia, Ann is startled when a horse suddenly becomes wild in the stable, and later learns from the stablehand that Alan once beat the horse severely. Later, when Alan angrily orders Ann to cease playing a familiar tune on the piano, she begins to suspect that his odd behavior is symptomatic of some deep psychological wound. Her suspicions are confirmed when George, the estate caretaker, tells Ann that the song she was playing was one that Michael used to play. Believing that Alan has been deeply hurt by his brother's betrayal, Ann decides to help her husband overcome his problems. After Alan leaves for Seattle on a business trip, Ann visits his office and asks Warmsley to give her directions to Michael's ranch house near the ocean. At the house, Ann meets Michael, but she is not aware of who he is because he introduces himself to her as the caretaker. Later that night, Alan comes back to Seattle and surprises Ann at the house. He angrily demands to know why Ann is there, and Ann tells him that her only interest is to save their marriage and to help him by finding out more about his past. Alan returns to Seattle to resume his business while Ann returns to Middleburg. When Alan returns to Middleburg, Michael accuses him of having killed an engineer at their plant in order to steal his plans for a remote control explosive device. Michael tells Alan that he has decided to expose his crime now because he met Ann and believes that she is too fine a person to be involved with a murderer. When Alan informs Michael that he has reformed and that he plans to tell Ann the truth about his past, however, Michael decides to remain silent about the murder. Fearing that Ann will leave him if he confesses the truth, Alan keeps his past a secret and vows to let nothing and no person come between them. Ann later confesses that she is obsessed with thoughts of Michael and that she wants to meet him so that she can forget him. As Alan grows insanely jealous of Ann's obsession with his brother, she becomes fearful of him and tries to escape from the house. Alan prevents Ann from leaving, and realizes that he must kill her to prevent her from leaving him again. While Alan and Ann ride on horseback to visit a friend, he makes a failed attempt to push her off a steep ledge. Ann races ahead for help but falls off her horse when she hits a branch. Alan catches up with Ann, but when he raises his arms to knock her on the head with a rock, his horse pounces on him with its hooves and kills him. Ann recovers at her father's home, where, one day, she is visited by Michael. Ann tells Michael that she knew who he was a short time after they met, and that she wanted to see him again. After Michael tells Ann that he has special feelings for her, the two play a duet on the piano. +

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.