The Time of Your Life (1948)

109 mins | Comedy-drama | 3 September 1948

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HISTORY

The prologue to the film states: "This is a motion picture of many stories and plots...a living part of life itself." The onscreen credit state that the play was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and a Drama Critics Circle Award (although, as noted in Var , playwright William Saroyan refused to accept the Pulitzer award). In 1942, James Cagney and his brother William formed Cagney Productions. Actress Jeanne Cagney was their sister. According to the film's file in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, PCA officers insisted that the play's tragic ending be revised for the film. Consequently, in the film's original script, "Blick" is shot dead by "Kit" in the alley behind the saloon. "Joe" then accompanies "Kit" to the police station to face arrest, and the film fades out. The Var review states: "After shooting a Johnston office version of the original finale, it was discovered in sneak previews that it `didn't play.' The heavy Saroyanism left audiences bewildered." Thus, the closing scenes were reshot. At the PCA's request, "Blick," who was originally a police detective, was made into a informer and blackmailer. Regarding the character of "Kitty," the PCA ordered that no reference to prostitution be made; thus, she is depicted as a "B" girl in the film, and the circumstance surrounding her criminal record in Chicago are never fully ... More Less

The prologue to the film states: "This is a motion picture of many stories and plots...a living part of life itself." The onscreen credit state that the play was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and a Drama Critics Circle Award (although, as noted in Var , playwright William Saroyan refused to accept the Pulitzer award). In 1942, James Cagney and his brother William formed Cagney Productions. Actress Jeanne Cagney was their sister. According to the film's file in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, PCA officers insisted that the play's tragic ending be revised for the film. Consequently, in the film's original script, "Blick" is shot dead by "Kit" in the alley behind the saloon. "Joe" then accompanies "Kit" to the police station to face arrest, and the film fades out. The Var review states: "After shooting a Johnston office version of the original finale, it was discovered in sneak previews that it `didn't play.' The heavy Saroyanism left audiences bewildered." Thus, the closing scenes were reshot. At the PCA's request, "Blick," who was originally a police detective, was made into a informer and blackmailer. Regarding the character of "Kitty," the PCA ordered that no reference to prostitution be made; thus, she is depicted as a "B" girl in the film, and the circumstance surrounding her criminal record in Chicago are never fully explained. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
22 May 48
p. 8.
Daily Variety
25 May 48
p. 3, 10
Film Daily
26 May 48
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
9 May 47
p. 21.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 47
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
25 May 48
pp. 3-4.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jun 48
p. 6.
Motion Picture Daily
25 May 1948.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 May 48
p. 4174.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
29 May 48
p. 4182.
New York Times
27 May 48
p. 29.
Variety
26 May 48
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
Adpt for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
Still photog
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Piano compositions
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Talent dept
Scr supv
Tech adv on Salvation Army scenes
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play The Time of Your Life by William Saroyan (New York, 25 Oct 1939), as produced by the Theatre Guild, Inc. in association with Eddie Dowling.
SONGS
"Wait 'Til the Sun Shines, Nellie," music by Harry Von Tilzer, lyrics by Andrew B. Sterling
"When Irish Eyes Are Smiling," music by Ernest R. Ball, lyrics by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr.
DETAILS
Release Date:
3 September 1948
Premiere Information:
World Premiere in New York: 26 May 1948
Production Date:
early May--early August 1947
mid April 1948.
Copyright Claimant:
Cagney Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
27 May 1948
Copyright Number:
LP1752
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
109
Length(in feet):
9,853
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
PCA No:
12768
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

A sign in front of Nick's Pacific Street saloon, restaurant and entertainment palace in San Francisco invites customers to come in and be themselves. Among the motley group that frequents Nick's saloon are: Joe, a wealthy man who helps lonely drifters who take refuge in the saloon; Joe's faithful friend Tom, who three years before Joe had nursed back to health, and who now runs errands for him; and Willie, who endlessly plays a marbles pinball machine. One day at Nick's, a woman who calls herself Kitty Duval wanders in and is befriended by Joe. She tells Joe that her real name is Katerina Koronovski, but became Kitty Duval when she toured the country as a burlesque singer and dancer. Joe asks Tom to dance with Kitty, and they fall in love. Meanwhile, Dudley Raoul Bostwick, a lovesick young man desperately trying to reach his girl friend, Elsie Mandelspiegel, on the telephone, dials the wrong number, and ends up telling a strange, lonely woman that he is going to kill himself if she does not marry him. The woman, Lorene Smith, eagerly arrives at Nick's, but when Dudley sees that she is a homely, middle-aged spinster, he pretends to be somebody else. Kitty and Tom go out, and while they are away, an informer named Freddy Blick questions Nick about a blonde named Kitty Duval who has a police record in Chicago. Next, Joe tells a beautiful stranger with the initials "M. L." that he was once in love with a woman named Mary, whom he met in Mexico City, but who was engaged to another man. For a moment, the woman imagines ... +


A sign in front of Nick's Pacific Street saloon, restaurant and entertainment palace in San Francisco invites customers to come in and be themselves. Among the motley group that frequents Nick's saloon are: Joe, a wealthy man who helps lonely drifters who take refuge in the saloon; Joe's faithful friend Tom, who three years before Joe had nursed back to health, and who now runs errands for him; and Willie, who endlessly plays a marbles pinball machine. One day at Nick's, a woman who calls herself Kitty Duval wanders in and is befriended by Joe. She tells Joe that her real name is Katerina Koronovski, but became Kitty Duval when she toured the country as a burlesque singer and dancer. Joe asks Tom to dance with Kitty, and they fall in love. Meanwhile, Dudley Raoul Bostwick, a lovesick young man desperately trying to reach his girl friend, Elsie Mandelspiegel, on the telephone, dials the wrong number, and ends up telling a strange, lonely woman that he is going to kill himself if she does not marry him. The woman, Lorene Smith, eagerly arrives at Nick's, but when Dudley sees that she is a homely, middle-aged spinster, he pretends to be somebody else. Kitty and Tom go out, and while they are away, an informer named Freddy Blick questions Nick about a blonde named Kitty Duval who has a police record in Chicago. Next, Joe tells a beautiful stranger with the initials "M. L." that he was once in love with a woman named Mary, whom he met in Mexico City, but who was engaged to another man. For a moment, the woman imagines that she is Joe's Mary, and he admits that he is still in love with Mary before she says goodbye. Later, Tom returns, and after he tells Joe that he wants to marry Kitty, Joe sends him out to buy a gun. Kit Carson, an old cowboy, then enters and tells Joe fantastic tales of adventure from his youth and comments that Joe is the first person ever to believe them. Elsie finally arrives and agrees to marry Dudley, and they leave together. After Willie finally wins his perpetual game of marbles, he leaves the bar. When Tom returns with a gun, Joe sends him on a job interview as a truck driver. Kitty then comes back and confesses to Joe that she was never in burlesque, but was involved in "other" things that make her unworthy of Tom. While Joe is away collecting poetry to cheer up Kitty, Blick returns and accuses her of being Katerina Koronovski, an ex-convict who spent two years in prison. Kit comes to Kitty's defense, but Blick beats him up and throws him out of the saloon. Blick then forces Kitty to prove she was a burlesque dancer by insisting she perform her routine on the stage. After Blick orders her to take off her clothes, she admits who she really is, defiantly asking Blick if he has the courage to admit the same. After Joe returns, a fight starts in which Joe tries to shoot Blick with his defective gun, then knocks him out with his fists. Nick enters and throws Blick out, and Tom announces that he got the job and will marry Kitty. Nick then tears up his sign, saying "Enough is enough." +

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.