Green Dolphin Street (1947)

140-141 mins | Romance | 5 November 1947

Director:

Victor Saville

Producer:

Carey Wilson

Cinematographer:

George Folsey

Editor:

George White

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Malcolm Brown

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

According to the onscreen credits, the novel on which this film is based was a "prize-winning novel of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's First Annual [novel-of-the-year] Contest." The contest was discontinued in 1948, and only one other prize-winning novel, Raintree County , was made into a film. In May 1945, a HR news item noted that production was set to start in the summer of that year with Gregory Peck and Laraine Day in the starring roles. A 1945 M-G-M News news item contained in the film's production file in the AMPAS Library, noted that Katharine Hepburn was slated for a starring role in the film. An Aug 1946 NYT article notes that Reverend John J. Devlin, the Hollywood representative of the National Catholic Legion of Decency, who consulted with M-G-M on matters concerning religion in the film, successfully urged the studio to alter the story so that it did not imply that "Marguerite Patourel" turned to religion solely as a result of having been spurned by the man she loved. The article also listed June Allyson in the role that was eventually played by Donna Reed.
       In a Jan 1986 HR article, Reed, who initially did not want to play the role of "Marguerite" because she thought that Lana Turner was prettier and that audiences would not believe that "William" would chose her over Lana, is quoted as saying, "Lana's gorgeous. If I play that part, it'll ruin the picture." According to a 1947 article in Look magazine, which referred to this picture as a "$3,000,000 film," $500,000 was spent on the earthquake scene alone. The ... More Less

According to the onscreen credits, the novel on which this film is based was a "prize-winning novel of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's First Annual [novel-of-the-year] Contest." The contest was discontinued in 1948, and only one other prize-winning novel, Raintree County , was made into a film. In May 1945, a HR news item noted that production was set to start in the summer of that year with Gregory Peck and Laraine Day in the starring roles. A 1945 M-G-M News news item contained in the film's production file in the AMPAS Library, noted that Katharine Hepburn was slated for a starring role in the film. An Aug 1946 NYT article notes that Reverend John J. Devlin, the Hollywood representative of the National Catholic Legion of Decency, who consulted with M-G-M on matters concerning religion in the film, successfully urged the studio to alter the story so that it did not imply that "Marguerite Patourel" turned to religion solely as a result of having been spurned by the man she loved. The article also listed June Allyson in the role that was eventually played by Donna Reed.
       In a Jan 1986 HR article, Reed, who initially did not want to play the role of "Marguerite" because she thought that Lana Turner was prettier and that audiences would not believe that "William" would chose her over Lana, is quoted as saying, "Lana's gorgeous. If I play that part, it'll ruin the picture." According to a 1947 article in Look magazine, which referred to this picture as a "$3,000,000 film," $500,000 was spent on the earthquake scene alone. The article also noted that although much of the earthquake special effects were achieved through the use of miniatures, some of it was shot using "agitated mirrors" at Klamath Lake in Oregon. Modern sources note that M-G-M deleted an elaborate special effects sequence in which a ship that the studio had constructed for the film was destroyed. Green Dolphin Street received an Academy Award for Best Special Effects, and was nominated for Best Sound Recording. Lana Turner and Van Heflin reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 19 Sep 1949. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
18 Oct 1947.
---
Film Daily
16 Oct 47
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 44
pp. 1-2.
Hollywood Reporter
17 May 45
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Sep 46
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jan 47
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Oct 47
p. 3.
Independent Film Journal
28 Sep 46
p. 42.
Look
29 Apr 1947.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
25 Oct 47
p. 3894
New York Times
12 Aug 1946.
---
New York Times
16 Oct 47
p. 34.
Variety
22 Oct 47
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Women's cost
Men's cost
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus cond
SOUND
Rec dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Sp sd eff
MAKEUP
Hair styles des by
Makeup created by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge (New York, 1944).
DETAILS
Release Date:
5 November 1947
Production Date:
mid September 1946--mid January 1947
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
22 October 1947
Copyright Number:
LP1283
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
140-141
Length(in feet):
12,689
Length(in reels):
15
Country:
United States
PCA No:
12229
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In the 1840s, after a lengthy absence, Dr. Edmond Ozanne, a widower, and his handsome young son William return to their home on Green Dolphin Street on the English Channel island of St. Pierre. Their arrival causes a stir at a nearby convent and prompts the worried Mother Superior to rush to the home of Sophie Patourel, Edmond's former sweetheart, with the news of their arrival. Sophie, now married to the dull Octavius Patourel, was once madly in love with Edmond, but his drinking and her parents put an end to their romance. Sophie's two daughters, the shy Marguerite and the outgoing Marianne, both fall instantly in love with William and pay a friendly visit to the Ozannes. Later, while strolling through the town market, Marguerite receives a bouquet of flowers from her secret admirer, Timothy Haslam. After killing a man in a knife fight, Timothy takes refuge aboard the New Zealand-bound clipper Green Dolphin . Although the captain of the ship, Captain O'Hara, discovers Timothy before the ship leaves port, he allows the stowaway to sail with him because he is undermanned. Back on St. Pierre, William tells Marianne that he dreams of sailing the world, and she, hoping to win his favor, arranges to have him enlisted in the Navy. Years pass, and William, home on a furlough, professes his love not for Marianne, but for Marguerite, who responds in kind. Later, while docked in a port town in China, William misses his ship and inadvertently becomes a deserter when a shopgirl drugs and robs him. After regaining consciousness, William stows away on the Green Dolphin and disembarks in ... +


In the 1840s, after a lengthy absence, Dr. Edmond Ozanne, a widower, and his handsome young son William return to their home on Green Dolphin Street on the English Channel island of St. Pierre. Their arrival causes a stir at a nearby convent and prompts the worried Mother Superior to rush to the home of Sophie Patourel, Edmond's former sweetheart, with the news of their arrival. Sophie, now married to the dull Octavius Patourel, was once madly in love with Edmond, but his drinking and her parents put an end to their romance. Sophie's two daughters, the shy Marguerite and the outgoing Marianne, both fall instantly in love with William and pay a friendly visit to the Ozannes. Later, while strolling through the town market, Marguerite receives a bouquet of flowers from her secret admirer, Timothy Haslam. After killing a man in a knife fight, Timothy takes refuge aboard the New Zealand-bound clipper Green Dolphin . Although the captain of the ship, Captain O'Hara, discovers Timothy before the ship leaves port, he allows the stowaway to sail with him because he is undermanned. Back on St. Pierre, William tells Marianne that he dreams of sailing the world, and she, hoping to win his favor, arranges to have him enlisted in the Navy. Years pass, and William, home on a furlough, professes his love not for Marianne, but for Marguerite, who responds in kind. Later, while docked in a port town in China, William misses his ship and inadvertently becomes a deserter when a shopgirl drugs and robs him. After regaining consciousness, William stows away on the Green Dolphin and disembarks in New Zealand, where he befriends Timothy. While settling in New Zealand, William writes Octavius for permission to marry Marguerite, but he accidentally writes Marianne's name in the request instead. Upon learning of this, Timothy insists that William shield Marianne from the truth and that he marry her out of pity. Meanwhile, Marguerite has become despondent following the death of her parents and has joined the convent seeking comfort and direction. Years later, Marianne and William have settled in New Zealand. Tragedy strikes, however, when a massive earthquake destroys the New Zealand town where they have settled, and Marianne nearly loses William and her unborn daughter. Several more years pass, and Marianne, William and their daughter Veronica are forced to leave their home when the region becomes a battlefield in the civil war between the Maoris and the colonists. William, Marianne and Veronica eventually return to St. Pierre after Marianne has her husband officially absolved by the Navy for his desertion. Soon after they arrive on St. Pierre, however, Marianne discovers a letter proving that William really intended to marry Marguerite. Marianne confronts William with the truth, and although he admits to the deception, he insists that he now loves Marianne. Marianne is hurt by the truth and tells Marguerite about William's blunder. When Marguerite assures Marianne that she has forgiven William and has found true happiness in her religious pursuits, Marianne puts aside her anger and vows to repair her marriage. +

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.