The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend (1949)

76-77 mins | Western | June 1949

Director:

Preston Sturges

Writer:

Preston Sturges

Producer:

Preston Sturges

Cinematographer:

Harry Jackson

Editor:

Robert Fritch

Production Designers:

Lyle Wheeler, George W. Davis

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Teacher's Pet and The Blonde from Bashful Bend . The title of Earl Felton's original screen story was "The Lady from Laredo." Preston Sturges' onscreen credit reads: "Written, Directed and Produced by Preston Sturges." According to HR news items, the film originally was scheduled to begin filming in Sep 1947, but was "temporarily shelved" in Oct 1947. According to modern sources, the delay was necessitated by financial concerns, as studio production chief Darryl F. Zanuck was reluctant to make a high-budget Technicolor film at the time. During the interim, Sturges wrote and directed Unfaithfully Yours as his first production for Twentieth Century-Fox (see below). On a 29 Dec 1947 screenplay draft for The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend , contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Library, Sturges wrote the following note: "It is my habit, when writing a play, to cast the parts as, in my mind, each character makes his first appearance. Occasionally a stranger walks in and I am uneasy about his looks and the sound of his voice, but usually as he pauses in the doorway I recognize an old friend whose talents I admire and about whose fitness for the part I have no doubts." Although Betty Grable had already been announced as the film's star, Sturges' note reveals that he envisioned June Haver in the part of "Freddie."
       The file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library reveals that the PCA judged the 29 Dec 1947 draft to contain "a number of unacceptable elements ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Teacher's Pet and The Blonde from Bashful Bend . The title of Earl Felton's original screen story was "The Lady from Laredo." Preston Sturges' onscreen credit reads: "Written, Directed and Produced by Preston Sturges." According to HR news items, the film originally was scheduled to begin filming in Sep 1947, but was "temporarily shelved" in Oct 1947. According to modern sources, the delay was necessitated by financial concerns, as studio production chief Darryl F. Zanuck was reluctant to make a high-budget Technicolor film at the time. During the interim, Sturges wrote and directed Unfaithfully Yours as his first production for Twentieth Century-Fox (see below). On a 29 Dec 1947 screenplay draft for The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend , contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Library, Sturges wrote the following note: "It is my habit, when writing a play, to cast the parts as, in my mind, each character makes his first appearance. Occasionally a stranger walks in and I am uneasy about his looks and the sound of his voice, but usually as he pauses in the doorway I recognize an old friend whose talents I admire and about whose fitness for the part I have no doubts." Although Betty Grable had already been announced as the film's star, Sturges' note reveals that he envisioned June Haver in the part of "Freddie."
       The file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library reveals that the PCA judged the 29 Dec 1947 draft to contain "a number of unacceptable elements which could not be approved in the finished picture." PCA head Joseph I. Breen cautioned the studio to take especial care with the women's costumes and noted: "This screenplay contains entirely too much dialogue and action which concerns itself--in a quite blunt and pointed way--with sex." Breen advised eliminating suggestions that "Judge Alfalfa J. O'Toole" was in the saloon's hotel room in order to have an affair, or that he was in an illicit relationship with "Conchita." The 23 Sep 1948 draft was approved, although Breen again advised the studio to be mindful of the camera angles when photographing the actresses.
       According to modern sources, the film's ending, in which Judge O'Toole was shot for the third time, was filmed by another director at the insistence of Zanuck, who did not like Sturges' original ending. A HR news item, however, stated that Sturges "had slated shooting on an added scene," for which Marie Windsor had been added to the cast. The film, which was Sturges' first Technicolor production, was his last American film. Sturges directed only one more picture, the 1955 French film Les carnets du Major Thompson , although he did receive story credits on the 1956 film The Birds and the Bees and the 1958 picture Rock-a-Bye Baby , both of which were remakes of earlier Sturges productions. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
25 May 49
p. 3, 11.
Film Daily
31 May 49
p. 5.
Harrison's Reports
28 May 49
pp. 86-87.
Hollywood Citizen-News
28 May 1949.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 47
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
2 May 47
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 47
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Sep 48
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Nov 48
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jan 49
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
25 May 49
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
26 May 1949.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
28 May 49
pp. 4626-27.
New York Times
28 May 49
p. 11.
Variety
25 May 49
p. 8.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward dir
Cost des
MUSIC
Vocal dir
Orch arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Assoc
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend," words and music by Don George and Lionel Newman
"Every Time I Meet You," words by Mack Gordon, music by Josef Myrow
"In the Gloaming," words and music by Annie Fortesque Harrison and Meta Orred.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Teacher's Pet
The Blonde from Bashful Bend
Release Date:
June 1949
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York opening: 27 May 1949
Production Date:
late September--late November 1948
addl seq early January 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
24 May 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2492
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
76-77
Length(in feet):
7,163
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13398
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

When Winifred "Freddie" Jones, a fiery saloon singer in the Old West city of Rimpau, catches her gambler boyfriend, Blackie Jobero, flirting with lovely French "entertainer" Roulette, she chases him into an upstairs bedroom at the saloon and accidentally shoots Judge Alfalfa J. O'Toole in the behind while aiming at Roulette. Freddie, a sharp-shooter since childhood, is arrested but convinces Sheriff Ambrose to let her return to the saloon and apologize to O'Toole, who is trying to explain to his shrewish wife Elvira why he was in one of the bedrooms. Just as she has almost charmed O'Toole into believing in her innocence, Blackie and Roulette enter, causing Freddie to grab Sheriff Ambrose's gun and, in a jealous rage, shoot the judge in the behind once again. In the confusion, she grabs her Mexican friend Conchita and runs to the train station, where Conchita steals some clothes and bags from a coffin. They board the train and assume the identities of the bag's owners, schoolteacher Hilda Swandumper and her Indian maid, Flat Feet. They soon reach Hilda's destination, Snake City, where Freddie, dressed in Hilda's conservative garb, is welcomed by the townspeople, including Julius Hingleman and his wife, their wealthy engineer son Charles, U.S. Marshal Jorgensen and the town troublemakers, led by Gus Basserman and his two sons. Later that day, Charlie takes Freddie sightseeing and kisses her in the church. The next day, back in Rimpau City, Blackie, who honestly loves Freddie despite his womanizing, begins to search for her. After overhearing a train conductor comment on the resemblance between his previous day's passengers and the two women described in a new wanted poster, Blackie ... +


When Winifred "Freddie" Jones, a fiery saloon singer in the Old West city of Rimpau, catches her gambler boyfriend, Blackie Jobero, flirting with lovely French "entertainer" Roulette, she chases him into an upstairs bedroom at the saloon and accidentally shoots Judge Alfalfa J. O'Toole in the behind while aiming at Roulette. Freddie, a sharp-shooter since childhood, is arrested but convinces Sheriff Ambrose to let her return to the saloon and apologize to O'Toole, who is trying to explain to his shrewish wife Elvira why he was in one of the bedrooms. Just as she has almost charmed O'Toole into believing in her innocence, Blackie and Roulette enter, causing Freddie to grab Sheriff Ambrose's gun and, in a jealous rage, shoot the judge in the behind once again. In the confusion, she grabs her Mexican friend Conchita and runs to the train station, where Conchita steals some clothes and bags from a coffin. They board the train and assume the identities of the bag's owners, schoolteacher Hilda Swandumper and her Indian maid, Flat Feet. They soon reach Hilda's destination, Snake City, where Freddie, dressed in Hilda's conservative garb, is welcomed by the townspeople, including Julius Hingleman and his wife, their wealthy engineer son Charles, U.S. Marshal Jorgensen and the town troublemakers, led by Gus Basserman and his two sons. Later that day, Charlie takes Freddie sightseeing and kisses her in the church. The next day, back in Rimpau City, Blackie, who honestly loves Freddie despite his womanizing, begins to search for her. After overhearing a train conductor comment on the resemblance between his previous day's passengers and the two women described in a new wanted poster, Blackie buys a ticket to Snake City. Meanwhile, Freddie nervously begins her teaching duties, and, with aid of some fancy shooting, scares the Basserman boys into worshipful submission. When Blackie arrives in town, he questions Conchita and arranges to meet Freddie at the schoolroom that night. She arrives early to surprise him with a gun, but is surprised herself by Marshal Jorgensen, who wants her to prove that she is not escaped convict Freddie Jones. She convinces him that she cannot shoot, but as soon as Jorgensen leaves, Blackie emerges from the closet and declares that he will reveal her true identity if she refuses to leave with him. Freddie, who believes Blackie only wants the reward money, signals out the window to the Basserman boys, who knock him unconscious and hide him under Freddie's desk. Just then, Charlie enters, and after Freddie hustles him outside so that he cannot meet Blackie, they hear gunshots and run back to find the Basserman boys lying in a heap. Believing that the boys are dead, Freddie and Charlie call a meeting of the townspeople at the Hinglemans' house. They are mystified, however, by the disappearance of the boys's "corpses," and are at a loss when Gus demands to reclaim his boys and learn the identity of their killer. Furious at the snobbish treatment they receive, Gus and his men start a shootout with the townspeople. As Freddie shoots out a window, she is greeted by the Basserman boys, who reveal that Blackie forced them to fake their deaths. Meanwhile, Blackie joins Gus's forces until he learns that Freddie is on the opposing side. Gus then orders his men to hang Blackie and Charlie, who has been captured, in the barn loft. Freddie foils his plan, however, by expertly shooting her way to the barn, taking the boys to Gus and shooting the hanging ropes. Despite their fall to earth, Charlie and Blackie are not seriously injured, although Freddie is arrested by Jorgensen. At Freddie's subsequent trial in Rimpau City, Blackie begs O'Toole to marry them before sentencing her, and the judge seems moved by their love. When it becomes obvious that Blackie spent the previous evening dancing with Frenchwoman La Belle Bergere, however, the infuriated Freddie grabs Ambrose's gun and again shoots O'Toole in the behind. +

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

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