The Petty Girl (1950)

86 or 88 mins | Comedy | September 1950

Director:

Henry Levin

Writer:

Nat Perrin

Producer:

Nat Perrin

Cinematographer:

William Snyder

Editor:

Al Clark

Production Designer:

Walter Holscher

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The film's working title was Girl of the Year . George Petty first drew "The Petty Girl" around 1930 for a Midwestern brewery's "near-beer" advertisement. In 1933, The Petty Girl first appeared in Esquire . According to a 12 Oct 1942 HR news item, the rights to "The Petty Girl" were first sold to RKO. That company planned to hold a nationwide search for an unknown actress to play the title role and had enlisted Petty as a technical advisor. According to a 7 Sep 1946 LAEx news item and a 16 Sep 1946 HR news item, Al Bloomingdale, who was to have produced the film for RKO, sold the property to Columbia. According to a 2 Jan 1947 HR news item, Ann Miller was slated to star in the film. A 9 Aug 1949 HR news item notes that Henry Levin replaced Charles Vidor as director after the latter was suspended for breach of contract. The film marked the motion picture debut of Tippi Hedren. Hedren, who was the "Ice box" Petty girl model, did not make another film until The Birds , the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock-directed picture in which she had the lead role (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ; ... More Less

The film's working title was Girl of the Year . George Petty first drew "The Petty Girl" around 1930 for a Midwestern brewery's "near-beer" advertisement. In 1933, The Petty Girl first appeared in Esquire . According to a 12 Oct 1942 HR news item, the rights to "The Petty Girl" were first sold to RKO. That company planned to hold a nationwide search for an unknown actress to play the title role and had enlisted Petty as a technical advisor. According to a 7 Sep 1946 LAEx news item and a 16 Sep 1946 HR news item, Al Bloomingdale, who was to have produced the film for RKO, sold the property to Columbia. According to a 2 Jan 1947 HR news item, Ann Miller was slated to star in the film. A 9 Aug 1949 HR news item notes that Henry Levin replaced Charles Vidor as director after the latter was suspended for breach of contract. The film marked the motion picture debut of Tippi Hedren. Hedren, who was the "Ice box" Petty girl model, did not make another film until The Birds , the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock-directed picture in which she had the lead role (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ; F6.0416). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Sep 1950.
---
Daily Variety
18 Aug 50
p. 3, 10
Film Daily
23 Aug 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Oct 1942.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 1946.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 49
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Sep 49
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Oct 49
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 50
p. 3.
Look
6 Feb 1950.
---
Los Angeles Examiner
7 Sep 1946.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 Aug 50
p. 441.
New York Times
18 Aug 50
p. 17.
Variety
23 Aug 50
p. 8.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
John Ridgeley
Movita Castañeda
Dorothy Vaughn
Paul E. Burns
Loren Raker
Don Dillaway
Jack Barnett
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITERS
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus adpt
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd eng
DANCE
Mus numbers staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
SONGS
"Fancy Free," "I Love's Ya," "Calypso Song" and "The Petty Girl," music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Girl of the Year
Release Date:
September 1950
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 17 August 1950
Production Date:
6 September--15 October 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
7 September 1950
Copyright Number:
LP321
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
86 or 88
Length(in feet):
7,865
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Artist George Petty fails to interest automobile magnate B. J. Manton in his idea for advertising his newest car with drawings of attractive women, but Manton's daughter Connie likes the drawings and the artist, and even though she is married, makes George her protegé. She encourages him to take up serious painting, and soon he becomes a successful portrait painter and acquires a penthouse, good clothes and a butler. Meanwhile, attractive young Victoria Braymore, a professor at Braymore College, plans a trip to a conference in New York, where she will answer criticisms that Braymore is old-fashioned. Victoria has been reared by a group of older professors since the death of her parents when she was a child, and her guardians, concerned about the dangers of the city, send a professor, Victoria's friend, Dr. Crutcher, as her chaperon. George spots Victoria in an art museum and tries to pick her up. After Victoria refuses to speak with a man she does not know, George pretends to be a former student of Dr. Crutcher's and so charms the professor that she pretends to believe his lie. George then invites Victoria to dinner, and when she refuses to go without Dr. Crutcher, asks his butler to be Dr. Crutcher's date. At dinner, the butler, whom George introduces as his Uncle Ben, proceeds to get very drunk. While Ben keeps Dr. Crutcher amused, George and Victoria go to a nightclub which features a scantily dressed model, who poses for the artists in the audience. After a drink is spilled on Victoria's dress, she asks the powder room attendant to iron it dry. ... +


Artist George Petty fails to interest automobile magnate B. J. Manton in his idea for advertising his newest car with drawings of attractive women, but Manton's daughter Connie likes the drawings and the artist, and even though she is married, makes George her protegé. She encourages him to take up serious painting, and soon he becomes a successful portrait painter and acquires a penthouse, good clothes and a butler. Meanwhile, attractive young Victoria Braymore, a professor at Braymore College, plans a trip to a conference in New York, where she will answer criticisms that Braymore is old-fashioned. Victoria has been reared by a group of older professors since the death of her parents when she was a child, and her guardians, concerned about the dangers of the city, send a professor, Victoria's friend, Dr. Crutcher, as her chaperon. George spots Victoria in an art museum and tries to pick her up. After Victoria refuses to speak with a man she does not know, George pretends to be a former student of Dr. Crutcher's and so charms the professor that she pretends to believe his lie. George then invites Victoria to dinner, and when she refuses to go without Dr. Crutcher, asks his butler to be Dr. Crutcher's date. At dinner, the butler, whom George introduces as his Uncle Ben, proceeds to get very drunk. While Ben keeps Dr. Crutcher amused, George and Victoria go to a nightclub which features a scantily dressed model, who poses for the artists in the audience. After a drink is spilled on Victoria's dress, she asks the powder room attendant to iron it dry. While she is waiting in her slip, the club is raided, and the police mistake her for the model. The following morning her picture and a report about her arrest is on the front page of the newspaper. When Victoria returns to Braymore, George follows her and gets a job there as a handyman. George's efforts to spend time alone with Victoria are made more difficult by the surveillance of suspicious Professor Whitman. When the professor sees Victoria sneak out to George's room so that he can sketch her, she summons the others and George is forced to leave. The next day, after her guardians discuss what disciplinary measures should be taken, Victoria sweetly announces that she is in love and plans to follow George to New York. In New York, Victoria tries to convince George to give up his serious paintings and stick to drawing the "Petty Girl," as she dubs his sexy drawings of women. When an angry George throws her out, Victoria sneaks his painting of her into the art museum. The resulting publicity lands Victoria a job in burlesque, but before the first performance, George delivers an injunction forbidding her to appear publicly as the Petty Girl. Learning that Connie is giving a party for George, Victoria decides that the injunction does not prevent her from appearing privately and imports her entire act to the party. Manton is so impressed by Victoria's number that he offers George an advertising contract. George realizes that Victoria has been right about his talent and reconciles with her. +

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.