Once More, My Darling (1949)

92 or 94 mins | Romantic comedy | August 1949

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Come Be My Love . Once More, My Darling marked the initial production of star Robert Montgomery's film company, Neptune Films, Inc. Audrey Totter was announced as Montgomery's probable co-star in a late Jan 1948 HCN item. According to HR news items, Michael Gordon was the picture's original director. In late Mar 1949, a week into principal photography, Montgomery took over as director by "mutual agreement" with Gordon. It has not been determined how much of Gordon's footage was included in the final film. Renowned stage actress Jane Cowl made her screen acting debut in the production, and according to modern sources, Montgomery personally sought her services. HR news items add Pat Shade to the cast, but his appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. Background footage was taken in Santa Barbara, CA, and Las Vegas, NV, according to a HR news item. According to studio publicity material, a hamburger stand on Highway 66 enroute to Las Vegas and the Bel Air Hotel in Los Angeles also were used as locations. Score composer Elizabeth Firestone, daughter of rubber tycoon Harvey S. Firestone, Jr., made her film debut with this picture. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the Sound Recording category. On 8 Jan 1951, Ann Blyth, Van Heflin and Janet Scott starred in a Lux Radio Theatre production of Once More, My Darling ... More Less

The working title of this film was Come Be My Love . Once More, My Darling marked the initial production of star Robert Montgomery's film company, Neptune Films, Inc. Audrey Totter was announced as Montgomery's probable co-star in a late Jan 1948 HCN item. According to HR news items, Michael Gordon was the picture's original director. In late Mar 1949, a week into principal photography, Montgomery took over as director by "mutual agreement" with Gordon. It has not been determined how much of Gordon's footage was included in the final film. Renowned stage actress Jane Cowl made her screen acting debut in the production, and according to modern sources, Montgomery personally sought her services. HR news items add Pat Shade to the cast, but his appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. Background footage was taken in Santa Barbara, CA, and Las Vegas, NV, according to a HR news item. According to studio publicity material, a hamburger stand on Highway 66 enroute to Las Vegas and the Bel Air Hotel in Los Angeles also were used as locations. Score composer Elizabeth Firestone, daughter of rubber tycoon Harvey S. Firestone, Jr., made her film debut with this picture. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the Sound Recording category. On 8 Jan 1951, Ann Blyth, Van Heflin and Janet Scott starred in a Lux Radio Theatre production of Once More, My Darling . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 Jul 1949.
---
Daily Variety
25 Jul 49
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 Jul 49
p. 8.
Hollywood Citizen-News
28 Jan 1948.
---
Hollywood Citizen-News
22 Apr 1949.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Feb 49
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Mar 49
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Mar 49
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Mar 49
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Apr 49
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Apr 49
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Apr 49
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 49
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
30 Jul 49
p. 4698.
New York Times
26 Sep 49
p. 17.
Variety
27 Jul 49
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
2d unit dir
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Story and scr
Addl dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Gaffer
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Makeup
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
STAND INS
Stand-in for Robert Montgomery
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the serial story "Come Be My Love" by Robert Carson in The Saturday Evening Post (2 Aug--16 Aug 1947).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Come Be My Love
Release Date:
August 1949
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 10 August 1949
Production Date:
16 March--late April 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Neptune Films, Inc.
Copyright Date:
8 September 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2528
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
92 or 94
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13533
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Upon completing his latest film role, Collier Laing is chastised by his mother, a high-powered lawyer, for forsaking his promising legal career to pursue acting and affairs with vapid women. Content to live as a single man in his mother's house, Collier dismisses her admonitions to settle down and start a family. The next day, Collier learns that the Army has reactivated his reserve status and has summoned him to Col. Head's office. There, Head and FBI agent Burke inform Collier, a captain, about the wartime theft of a valuable German jewel collection and their recent discovery that nineteen-year-old debutante Marita Connell wore a necklace from the collection in a "Passionelle" perfume ad. Head and Burke suspect that Peter Vellon, the man who gave the necklace to Marita, is the jewel thief, and assign Collier to romance Marita, in the hope that Vellon, whose whereabouts are unknown, will become jealous and try to see her. Though reluctant, Collier tries to see Marita at the exclusive Bel Air Hotel, but is thwarted by the hotel staff. While sitting in the hotel grounds, Collier is spotted by Marita, who flirts with him, but he fails to recognize her in her boyish hat and sunglasses. When Collier reveals that he is looking for the Connells, Marita, whose nickname is "Killer," leads him to her bungalow, and he finally realizes who she is. Marita is smitten with Collier, but her overprotective father has forbidden her to see men and throws Collier, who is posing as a survey taker, out. Collier dutifully waits for Marita to show up in the hotel parking lot, and when she finally does, he ... +


Upon completing his latest film role, Collier Laing is chastised by his mother, a high-powered lawyer, for forsaking his promising legal career to pursue acting and affairs with vapid women. Content to live as a single man in his mother's house, Collier dismisses her admonitions to settle down and start a family. The next day, Collier learns that the Army has reactivated his reserve status and has summoned him to Col. Head's office. There, Head and FBI agent Burke inform Collier, a captain, about the wartime theft of a valuable German jewel collection and their recent discovery that nineteen-year-old debutante Marita Connell wore a necklace from the collection in a "Passionelle" perfume ad. Head and Burke suspect that Peter Vellon, the man who gave the necklace to Marita, is the jewel thief, and assign Collier to romance Marita, in the hope that Vellon, whose whereabouts are unknown, will become jealous and try to see her. Though reluctant, Collier tries to see Marita at the exclusive Bel Air Hotel, but is thwarted by the hotel staff. While sitting in the hotel grounds, Collier is spotted by Marita, who flirts with him, but he fails to recognize her in her boyish hat and sunglasses. When Collier reveals that he is looking for the Connells, Marita, whose nickname is "Killer," leads him to her bungalow, and he finally realizes who she is. Marita is smitten with Collier, but her overprotective father has forbidden her to see men and throws Collier, who is posing as a survey taker, out. Collier dutifully waits for Marita to show up in the hotel parking lot, and when she finally does, he "confesses" that he saw her picture in the perfume ad and is crazy about her. The loquacious, naïve Marita admits to the same ardent feelings and begins discussing marriage with Collier. Panicked, Collier calls Col. Head to complain, but is ordered to stay on the job. That evening, Collier pretends to his mother that he weasled out of his assignment and is going on an ordinary date. To his horror, Marita insists on meeting his mother, who is entertaining several lawyer friends at home, and shocks everyone when she appears in hostess pajamas, having snuck out of her hotel. She also repulses Mrs. Laing's guests with the suffocating smell of "Passionelle," with which she has doused herself. Later, at a nightclub, Marita tells Collier about Vellon and suggests that, while she does not care for Vellon, he is obsessed with her and will be furious when he learns about their romance. When Marita then proposes marriage to Collier, he tries to stall her, but she cajoles him into agreeing to a quick Las Vegas wedding. At that moment, a club photographer snaps their picture, and Col. Head arranges for the "engagement" photo to be published in the newspaper. Although Col. Head and Burke assure him that they will capture Vellon before the wedding, Collier drives as slowly as possible to Las Vegas, arriving late in the day. When Collier suggests to Marita that they wait until morning to marry and check into an auto court in the meantime, she angrily accuses him of having immoral intentions. Marita nevertheless goes to the auto court with Collier and continues tearfully to berate him. Just as the beleagured Collier announces that he has no intention of marrying her, Vellon bursts into their bungalow in a jealous rage. After Collier knocks Vellon unconscious, he starts to explain the situation to Marita, but is interrupted by her doting chauffeur, as well as a family-minded truck driver. Collier knocks both of them out, then is found by the colonel. Once Marita realizes how Collier has used her, she runs from the bungalow crying. The next day, as his mother and the colonel congratulate him on completing his assignment, Collier realizes that he has truly fallen in love with the debutante. Over a slot machine, Collier begs Marita's forgiveness and professes his genuine love. +

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.