Pretty Baby (1950)

90 or 92 mins | Comedy | 16 September 1950

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HISTORY

On 29 Jul 1949, HR reported that Jack Warner was negotiating with Cary Grant to co-star with Betsy Drake in this film. Drake and Grant, who had become romantically involved, eloped shortly after production started on the picture. According to the production notes, Warner Bros. built a complete replica of the New York City Spring St. subway station, including the train, for the film. Dennis Morgan and Drake reprised their roles for a Lux Radio Theatre presentation of the story on 20 Nov ... More Less

On 29 Jul 1949, HR reported that Jack Warner was negotiating with Cary Grant to co-star with Betsy Drake in this film. Drake and Grant, who had become romantically involved, eloped shortly after production started on the picture. According to the production notes, Warner Bros. built a complete replica of the New York City Spring St. subway station, including the train, for the film. Dennis Morgan and Drake reprised their roles for a Lux Radio Theatre presentation of the story on 20 Nov 1950. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
29 Jul 1950.
---
Daily Variety
25 Jul 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
31 Jul 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jul 49
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 49
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 50
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 50
pp. 3-4.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
29 Jul 50
pp. 405-6.
New York Times
23 Sep 50
p. 11.
Variety
26 Jul 50
p. 10.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
From a story by
From a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
SOURCES
SONGS
"Pretty Baby," words by Gus Kahn, music by Egbert Van Alstyne and Tony Jackson.
DETAILS
Release Date:
16 September 1950
Production Date:
mid December 1949--early February 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
5 August 1950
Copyright Number:
LP277
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90 or 92
Length(in feet):
8,282
Country:
United States
PCA No:
14346
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Patsy Douglas, a mimeograph operator at the advertising firm owned by Sam Morley and Barry Holmes, can never get a seat on the crowded subway until one day, she volunteers to hold a baby for an over-burdened mother and discovers that people willingly give up their seats. Later, Patsy, who has a crush on Morley, is offered a temporary job as his secretary. Patsy is a failure as a secretary, but she is in Morley's office long enough to learn that Cyrus Baxter, owner of Baxter's Baby Foods, the company's main account, has rejected their latest campaign. Morley orders the Baxter display dismantled, and that night, as she leaves, Patsy grabs the baby doll that was part of the display. Wrapping the doll in a blanket, she masquerades as a mother with a baby and thus is able to get a seat on the subway. The next day, Baxter, who has a violent temper, gets stuck in traffic, and takes out his frustration on his chauffeur, who quits on the spot. Baxter is forced to take the subway and sits next to Patsy, who is carrying the disguised doll. In response to a question from another passenger, Patsy reveals that her "baby" is named Cyrus after the founder of Baxter's Baby Foods. Baxter is thrilled and strikes up a conversation with her, although he does not reveal his identity. When he learns that she works for Morley-Holmes, he determines to help her out. Later, he orders Morley and Holmes to make sure that she is happy at work. In the meantime, however, Patsy is fired. Morley and Holmes immediately search ... +


Patsy Douglas, a mimeograph operator at the advertising firm owned by Sam Morley and Barry Holmes, can never get a seat on the crowded subway until one day, she volunteers to hold a baby for an over-burdened mother and discovers that people willingly give up their seats. Later, Patsy, who has a crush on Morley, is offered a temporary job as his secretary. Patsy is a failure as a secretary, but she is in Morley's office long enough to learn that Cyrus Baxter, owner of Baxter's Baby Foods, the company's main account, has rejected their latest campaign. Morley orders the Baxter display dismantled, and that night, as she leaves, Patsy grabs the baby doll that was part of the display. Wrapping the doll in a blanket, she masquerades as a mother with a baby and thus is able to get a seat on the subway. The next day, Baxter, who has a violent temper, gets stuck in traffic, and takes out his frustration on his chauffeur, who quits on the spot. Baxter is forced to take the subway and sits next to Patsy, who is carrying the disguised doll. In response to a question from another passenger, Patsy reveals that her "baby" is named Cyrus after the founder of Baxter's Baby Foods. Baxter is thrilled and strikes up a conversation with her, although he does not reveal his identity. When he learns that she works for Morley-Holmes, he determines to help her out. Later, he orders Morley and Holmes to make sure that she is happy at work. In the meantime, however, Patsy is fired. Morley and Holmes immediately search for her, then offer her a new job as a copywriter. That night, Baxter delivers a high chair to Patsy's apartment, but, believing him to be only a low-paid watchman, she insists on returning it the next day. At the store, Patsy is treated to a display of Baxter's bad temper and advises him to recite the poem The Song of Hiawatha whenever he becomes angry. Patsy then meets Morley for lunch and reveals that she is unmarried. Startled, Morley says nothing, assuming that her "baby" is illegitimate. Late that night, Patsy stops by the office to offer her help to Morley, who is working overtime on a new campaign for Baxter. She suggests that he stop trying to guess what will please Baxter and write a campaign that he likes. By the end of the evening, Morley has fallen in love with Patsy. Holmes then suggests that Patsy present the new ideas to Baxter. In so doing, Patsy discovers Baxter's real identity and, realizing that a misunderstanding has been behind her promotion, leaves without showing him the proposal. Patsy tells the truth to Morley and Holmes, who insist that she keep up the deception until Baxter signs a new contract. She refuses and quits, but Morley follows her home, where he explains the damage that will result if they lose the Baxter account because of her. When Baxter unexpectedly arrives, Morley is forced to hide in Patsy's apartment. After a series of mishaps, Morley encounters Baxter and shows him Holmes's baby picture, claiming it is a photograph of little Cyrus. Baxter soon recognizes that the baby resembles Holmes and, assuming that he is the baby's father, insists that Holmes marry Patsy. Although Holmes agrees to pretend to be engaged to Patsy, she has other ideas, and he then sets out to woo her. Morley becomes jealous, and when the two men argue over her at a nightclub, Patsy decides it is time for her to leave. Encountering Baxter outside her apartment, Patsy starts to tell him the truth, but when he explains how his life has changed since he met her, she backs down. Instead, she tells Baxter that she is leaving New York for good. Without Patsy, Baxter returns to his contentious behavior. He then hires Corcoran, a private investigator, to find her. Although Corcoran reports that he has been unable to find Patsy, he does learn that she does not have a baby. Morley finally explains everything to Baxter and admits that he is in love with Patsy. Then, when Corcoran suddenly starts to recite the poem The Song of Hiawatha to calm his temper, as Patsy always recommended, they all realize that without knowing it, he has found her. Later Morley waits for Patsy outside her new job and follows her to the subway. She accepts his proposal, and they leave the subway at the City Hall stop. +

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.