George Washington Slept Here (1942)

93 mins | Comedy | 28 November 1942

Director:

William Keighley

Writer:

Everett Freeman

Producer:

Jerry Wald

Cinematographer:

Ernest Haller

Editor:

Ralph Dawson

Production Designers:

Max Parker, Mark-Lee Kirk

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

A NYT article dated 26 Apr 1942 reports that in order to create the dilapidated Bucks County, PA farmhouse, demolition crews knocked out bannisters, rafters and plaster on the $8,000 set for the Warner Bros. film Arsenic and Old Lace (released in 1944 but filmed in 1941, see above). The article goes on to list the differences between the play George Washington Slept Here and the film: In the film the lead characters are younger, the wife rather than the husband admires antiques, the couple's daughter becomes the wife's sister and she does not actually elope with the married actor. The article also reports that there was to be a dream sequence in which Ann Sheridan would appear as Martha Washington and Jack Benny would appear as George Washington.
       Press releases included in the file on the film at the AMPAS Library announce that Philip G. and Julius J. Epstein were assigned to write the screenplay and that Olivia De Havilland was initially cast as Benny's wife. The National Screen Council voted George Washington Slept Here the best picture for the entire family for the month of Dec 1942. Max Parker, Mark-Lee Kirk and Casey Roberts were nominated for Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration in a Black and White ... More Less

A NYT article dated 26 Apr 1942 reports that in order to create the dilapidated Bucks County, PA farmhouse, demolition crews knocked out bannisters, rafters and plaster on the $8,000 set for the Warner Bros. film Arsenic and Old Lace (released in 1944 but filmed in 1941, see above). The article goes on to list the differences between the play George Washington Slept Here and the film: In the film the lead characters are younger, the wife rather than the husband admires antiques, the couple's daughter becomes the wife's sister and she does not actually elope with the married actor. The article also reports that there was to be a dream sequence in which Ann Sheridan would appear as Martha Washington and Jack Benny would appear as George Washington.
       Press releases included in the file on the film at the AMPAS Library announce that Philip G. and Julius J. Epstein were assigned to write the screenplay and that Olivia De Havilland was initially cast as Benny's wife. The National Screen Council voted George Washington Slept Here the best picture for the entire family for the month of Dec 1942. Max Parker, Mark-Lee Kirk and Casey Roberts were nominated for Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration in a Black and White film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Sep 1942.
---
Daily Variety
18 Sep 42
p. 3.
Film Daily
18 Sep 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jan 43
p. 2.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 Sep 42
p. 909.
New York Times
26 Apr 1942.
---
New York Times
31 Oct 42
p. 11.
Variety
23 Sep 42
p. 8.
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
Prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Montages
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play George Washington Slept Here by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, produced by Sam H. Harris (New York, 18 Oct 1940).
DETAILS
Release Date:
28 November 1942
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 30 October 1942
Production Date:
early April--mid June 1942
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
28 November 1942
Copyright Number:
LP12094
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
93
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

After Bill and Connie Fuller are forced to move from their New York City apartment because their small dog has damaged the carpets, antique-loving Connie secretly purchases a dilapidated farmhouse in which George Washington supposedly slept. Soon after, Connie takes Bill on a drive in the Pennsylvania countryside, hoping that he will fall in love with the place before she breaks the news that they already own it. As they drive, Connie points out the rich history of the area, but to her dismay, Bill hates everything about the house. Added to the fact that there are rotten floors, no bathroom, no water and no roof are trains that depart at odd hours making commuting almost impossible. Despite Bill's objections, the Fullers, together with Connie's young sister Madge, move into the house and begin renovations with the questionable help of local handyman Mr. Kimber. While Kimber continues to dig for water, the Fullers learn that, contrary to the legend, Benedict Arnold, not George Washington, slept in their house. One rainy day, when leaks spring up all through the house, married actors Rena Leslie and Clayton Evans stop by to get out of the rain, and the impressionable Madge is quite taken by Clayton. By the end of the summer, there is still no water, Raymond, Connie's bratty nephew, has come to live with them, and they face a visit from Connie's wealthy uncle Stanley. Madge has become enamored with Clayton and imagines eloping with him, and Bill believes that Connie is having an affair with local antique dealer Jeff Douglas. Faced with Bill's accusations, Connie admits that she has been planning ... +


After Bill and Connie Fuller are forced to move from their New York City apartment because their small dog has damaged the carpets, antique-loving Connie secretly purchases a dilapidated farmhouse in which George Washington supposedly slept. Soon after, Connie takes Bill on a drive in the Pennsylvania countryside, hoping that he will fall in love with the place before she breaks the news that they already own it. As they drive, Connie points out the rich history of the area, but to her dismay, Bill hates everything about the house. Added to the fact that there are rotten floors, no bathroom, no water and no roof are trains that depart at odd hours making commuting almost impossible. Despite Bill's objections, the Fullers, together with Connie's young sister Madge, move into the house and begin renovations with the questionable help of local handyman Mr. Kimber. While Kimber continues to dig for water, the Fullers learn that, contrary to the legend, Benedict Arnold, not George Washington, slept in their house. One rainy day, when leaks spring up all through the house, married actors Rena Leslie and Clayton Evans stop by to get out of the rain, and the impressionable Madge is quite taken by Clayton. By the end of the summer, there is still no water, Raymond, Connie's bratty nephew, has come to live with them, and they face a visit from Connie's wealthy uncle Stanley. Madge has become enamored with Clayton and imagines eloping with him, and Bill believes that Connie is having an affair with local antique dealer Jeff Douglas. Faced with Bill's accusations, Connie admits that she has been planning a surprise with Jeff. The surprise is the original map of the area which reveals that they own the working well and the access road that have been claimed by their unpleasant neighbor Prescott. When Bill gleefully tells this news to Prescott, he responds by pointing out that the Fullers are facing foreclosure and that he intends to buy their newly remodeled house and land when that happens. Desperate to save their home, Bill and Connie ask Stanley for the necessary money, but he turns them down, confessing that he went broke in 1929 and has been lying about his fortune in order to ensure that his relatives will treat him well. Stanley tries to help Connie anyway by threatening Prescott with a lawsuit over the boundaries of the property, but when Stanley's real financial state is inadvertently exposed, Prescott is emboldened to stand firm. Things look hopeless, but then the Fuller's small dog finds an old letter in a boot that Kimber discovered while digging for a well. It is a letter from George Washington which is valuable enough to pay the mortgage, thus saving the house just in time for the arrival of a swarm of seventeen-year locusts. +

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

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