Louisiana Purchase (1941)

95 or 98 mins | Comedy | 25 December 1941

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HISTORY

Actors Vera Zorina, Irene Bordoni, Victor Moore, Charles Laskey and Lynda Grey appeared in the original stage production of the play, which had been produced by Paramount production head B. G. DeSylva. According to a NYT news item, Paramount purchased the rights to the hit play for $150,000. Var notes that except for a new finish, the film was "an almost literal translation from the stage." HR news items indicate the following: Ethel Merman was initially considered for a leading role in the film; New York fashion model Laurie Douglas was cast, but her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed; the airport scene was filmed on location at Lockheed Aircraft in Los Angeles, CA. This film marked the motion picture debut of actress Jean Wallace. Louisiana Purchase was nominated for Academy Awards in the following categories: Cinematography (Color), Harry Hallenberger and Ray Rennahan; and Art Direction/Interior Decoration (Color), Raoul Pène du Bois/Stephen ... More Less

Actors Vera Zorina, Irene Bordoni, Victor Moore, Charles Laskey and Lynda Grey appeared in the original stage production of the play, which had been produced by Paramount production head B. G. DeSylva. According to a NYT news item, Paramount purchased the rights to the hit play for $150,000. Var notes that except for a new finish, the film was "an almost literal translation from the stage." HR news items indicate the following: Ethel Merman was initially considered for a leading role in the film; New York fashion model Laurie Douglas was cast, but her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed; the airport scene was filmed on location at Lockheed Aircraft in Los Angeles, CA. This film marked the motion picture debut of actress Jean Wallace. Louisiana Purchase was nominated for Academy Awards in the following categories: Cinematography (Color), Harry Hallenberger and Ray Rennahan; and Art Direction/Interior Decoration (Color), Raoul Pène du Bois/Stephen Seymour. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
6 Dec 1941.
---
Daily Variety
28 Nov 1941.
---
Film Daily
1 Dec 41
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
29 May 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jun 41
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 41
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jul 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Nov 41
p. 3.
Life
19 Jan 1942.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
29 Nov 41
p. 385.
New York Times
26 Feb 1941.
---
New York Times
1 Jan 42
p. 37.
New Yorker
10 Jan 1942.
---
Variety
26 Nov 41
p. 9.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Charles Latorre
Katharine Booth
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Contr to dial
Contr to dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art supv
Art supv
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Int dec
Props
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus asst
DANCE
Dance dir
Dance supv
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the musical Louisiana Purchase , score by Irving Berlin, book and lyrics by Morrie Ryskind (New York, 28 May 1940), which was based on a story by B. G. DeSylva.
SONGS
"Louisiana Purchase," "You're Lonely and I'm Lonely," "It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow" and "You Can't Brush Me Off," music and lyrics by Irving Berlin.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 December 1941
Production Date:
11 July--late August 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
24 November 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10946
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
95 or 98
Length(in feet):
8,829
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
7578
SYNOPSIS

Film studio lawyer Sam Horowitz reads the book for the Broadway musical comedy Louisiana Purchase and advises the studio that they cannot produce the show unless they make all the characters fictional. As a result, the lyrics sung by the performers on stage introduce the film noting that everything is fictional except the name of the state: Louisiana state representative Jim Taylor is framed by his four business partners, Colonel Davis, Sr., Davis, Jr., Captain Whitfield and Dean Manning, to take the rap for a graft investigation that Senator Oliver P. Loganberry, New England Republican, is launching against their Louisiana Purchasing Company. Although Jim is president of the company, he is a mere figurehead appointed by the four guilty partners and is innocent of graft. Jim unsuccessfully tries to distract the prudish and befuddled Loganberry from his investigation. He then enlists the help of Madame Bordelaise, a notorious New Orleans restaurateur, who hires Marina Von Minden, a beautiful young emigrant from Austria who boards with her, to ruin Loganberry's reputation. Marina, who is desperate to earn enough money to bring her mother to the U.S., goes along with the ploy in a private room at the restaurant. Disguised as a waiter, Jim tricks the teetotaler Loganberry into getting drunk, and then the four partners photograph him in compromising positions with Marina. When the evidence is presented to Loganberry, Marina defends him by claiming that they are engaged, as he has promised to use his influence to get her mother into the country. Jim, who has fallen in love with Marina, feels betrayed by her and convinces Madame Bordelaise to use her ... +


Film studio lawyer Sam Horowitz reads the book for the Broadway musical comedy Louisiana Purchase and advises the studio that they cannot produce the show unless they make all the characters fictional. As a result, the lyrics sung by the performers on stage introduce the film noting that everything is fictional except the name of the state: Louisiana state representative Jim Taylor is framed by his four business partners, Colonel Davis, Sr., Davis, Jr., Captain Whitfield and Dean Manning, to take the rap for a graft investigation that Senator Oliver P. Loganberry, New England Republican, is launching against their Louisiana Purchasing Company. Although Jim is president of the company, he is a mere figurehead appointed by the four guilty partners and is innocent of graft. Jim unsuccessfully tries to distract the prudish and befuddled Loganberry from his investigation. He then enlists the help of Madame Bordelaise, a notorious New Orleans restaurateur, who hires Marina Von Minden, a beautiful young emigrant from Austria who boards with her, to ruin Loganberry's reputation. Marina, who is desperate to earn enough money to bring her mother to the U.S., goes along with the ploy in a private room at the restaurant. Disguised as a waiter, Jim tricks the teetotaler Loganberry into getting drunk, and then the four partners photograph him in compromising positions with Marina. When the evidence is presented to Loganberry, Marina defends him by claiming that they are engaged, as he has promised to use his influence to get her mother into the country. Jim, who has fallen in love with Marina, feels betrayed by her and convinces Madame Bordelaise to use her own vast experience to get Loganberry to drop the investigation. Her ruse only results in her marrying Loganberry, and Jim's partners desert him. To save himself, Jim, inspired by the film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington , creates a filibuster in the House of Representatives by reading Gone With the Wind and other enormous novels. When he collapses, Loganberry receives a telegram revealing that Jim is innocent and that the corrupt business partners have been arrested. The House members applaud and Jim and Marina kiss. +

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

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