The Affairs of Martha (1942)

63 or 65-66 mins | Romantic comedy | August 1942

Director:

Jules Dassin

Producer:

Irving Starr

Cinematographer:

Charles Lawton

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Once Upon a Thursday , the title under which it was reviewed in trade publications. According to news items in HR , S. Sylvan Simon was originally set to direct the picture, Eddie Imazu was to be the Art Direction Associate, and Leonard Smith was to be the Director of Photography. The Affairs of Martha marked the last screen appearance of actress Frances ... More Less

The working title of this film was Once Upon a Thursday , the title under which it was reviewed in trade publications. According to news items in HR , S. Sylvan Simon was originally set to direct the picture, Eddie Imazu was to be the Art Direction Associate, and Leonard Smith was to be the Director of Photography. The Affairs of Martha marked the last screen appearance of actress Frances Drake. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
23 May 1942.
---
Film Daily
21 May 42
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jan 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Feb 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Feb 42
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 42
p. 26.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Mar 42
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Mar 42
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
20 May 42
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
20 May 1942.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 May 42
p. 673.
The Exhibitor
3 Jun 1942.
---
Variety
20 May 42
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig story and scr
Orig story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
MAKEUP
Hair styles by
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Once Upon a Thursday
Release Date:
August 1942
Production Date:
23 February--21 March 1942
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
7 July 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11474
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
63 or 65-66
Length(in feet):
5,977
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
8278
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

The serenity of suburban Rock Bay is shattered when a newspaper gossip column reveals that a new book has been written with "a kitchen's eye view" of a local household, and as they read their morning papers, each family fears that their maid is the author. Miranda Sommerfield, daughter of "the nuttiest family in town," is convinced that the culprit is one of their servants, either sweet young maid Martha Lindstrom or cranky cook Mrs. McKissick, but her mother Sophie dismisses the idea. That night, Jeff, the Sommerfields' anthropologist son, returns unexpectedly from the Arctic, accompanied by his new fiancée, Sylvia Norwood, a snooty mathematician. When Martha sees him, she begs McKissick to swap days off and immediately goes to New York. There she sees publisher Joel Archer and tells him not to plant any more gossip about her book. Joel is the only person who knows that Martha and Jeff were secretly married before he left and that Martha has spent the last eighteen months going to night school and writing a book to impress him. After Joel drives Martha home, he sympathetically kisses her goodnight and is seen by Danny O'Brien, a local handyman who likes to flirt with her. A few minutes later, Jeff visits Martha's room and asks her if she got the divorce they agreed upon, and she says she did not because she couldn't get the time off. As she formerly had agreed that their hasty marriage was a mistake, he doesn't understand. Just then Danny comes through Martha's window and asks about the man she just kissed. He and Jeff get in a ... +


The serenity of suburban Rock Bay is shattered when a newspaper gossip column reveals that a new book has been written with "a kitchen's eye view" of a local household, and as they read their morning papers, each family fears that their maid is the author. Miranda Sommerfield, daughter of "the nuttiest family in town," is convinced that the culprit is one of their servants, either sweet young maid Martha Lindstrom or cranky cook Mrs. McKissick, but her mother Sophie dismisses the idea. That night, Jeff, the Sommerfields' anthropologist son, returns unexpectedly from the Arctic, accompanied by his new fiancée, Sylvia Norwood, a snooty mathematician. When Martha sees him, she begs McKissick to swap days off and immediately goes to New York. There she sees publisher Joel Archer and tells him not to plant any more gossip about her book. Joel is the only person who knows that Martha and Jeff were secretly married before he left and that Martha has spent the last eighteen months going to night school and writing a book to impress him. After Joel drives Martha home, he sympathetically kisses her goodnight and is seen by Danny O'Brien, a local handyman who likes to flirt with her. A few minutes later, Jeff visits Martha's room and asks her if she got the divorce they agreed upon, and she says she did not because she couldn't get the time off. As she formerly had agreed that their hasty marriage was a mistake, he doesn't understand. Just then Danny comes through Martha's window and asks about the man she just kissed. He and Jeff get in a fistfight and Martha sends them both out. The next morning, Jeff's black-eye puzzles his family, but Sylvia says he doesn't need to explain. When Miranda finds another item in the paper, Jeff suspects Martha. He then bursts into the kitchen and accuses her of blackmail, after which she slaps him, throws down the money he had given her for a divorce and accepts a date with Danny. When Joel calls, she agrees to meet him for dinner and promises to bring the final manuscript, but says that she needs to be back by 9:00. At dinner, Martha drinks too much and resolves to have fun, then misses her date because she loses track of time. When Joel finally takes her home, Danny again sees him kiss her. Inside, Jeff confronts her, but she pretends to pass out before they can talk, and he carries her to her room. Sylvia secretly sees them, as does Danny. In the morning, Danny expresses admiration for Martha's ability to juggle so many men, and when Jeff sees them in the kitchen, she pretends to make another date with Danny. When the determined Sylvia then tells Jeff that she is moving up their wedding date, Martha asks him to meet her later. That night she agrees to go to Reno and admits that she had always had a crush on him and hoped that by educating herself, he might fall in love with her. Now confused, he tells her not to throw herself at men like Danny, and she storms off. Later, his father and Miranda try to talk him out of marrying Sylvia and, after having a cocktail, he agrees, but Sylvia won't listen. At their engagement party, Joel comes to the kitchen to talk with Martha, but when Sophie sees him, she thinks he is a guest and brings him into the party. During dinner Joel finally reveals that he is the publisher of the "dynamite" Rock Bay book, inciting Jeff to lambast the unnamed author. A verbal mêlée ensues which ends when Joel says that the book is a fine one that has been selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club and that Martha is the author. The embarrassed Martha runs out, followed by Joel. Jeff then reveals his marriage and goes after her. With the aid of a motorcycle officer, he catches up to Joel's car and tells her that he loves her, while the officer writes him a ticket. +

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

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