Rings on Her Fingers (1942)

85-86 mins | Romantic comedy | 20 March 1942

Director:

Rouben Mamoulian

Writer:

Ken Englund

Producer:

Milton Sperling

Cinematographer:

George Barnes

Editor:

Barbara McLean

Production Designers:

Richard Day, Albert Hogsett

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Double or Nothing. Although the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library indicate that the studio purchased a book in 1936 entitled Rings on Her Fingers, written by Laurence Kirk, it is unrelated to the picture and does not appear to have been the basis of any other film produced by the studio. According to studio records and HR news items, Irving Cummings was originally set to direct the picture, and the cast was to include Sara Allgood, Catherine Doucet, Donald MacBride and Lynne Roberts. HR and studio publicity also noted that Helen Broderick was replaced by Spring Byington in the role of "Maybelle Worthington" after Broderick flew to New York to tend to her ill mother. Studio publicity reported that the yacht in the picture, the Bali, was owned by actor John Carradine. According to publicity material, Dale Evans was signed to play a lingerie model in the picture, which would have marked her screen debut. She could not be identified in the viewed print, however. HR news items note that some of the film was shot on location on Santa Catalina Island, CA.
       According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, a 17 Oct 1941 version of the script was deemed "unacceptable" by the PCA "because of the definite indication of a sex affair without compensating moral values." The PCA perceived that the affair took place between "Susie" and "John" on the night they meet at "Tod's" home and decide to marry. In a 28 ...

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The working title of this film was Double or Nothing. Although the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library indicate that the studio purchased a book in 1936 entitled Rings on Her Fingers, written by Laurence Kirk, it is unrelated to the picture and does not appear to have been the basis of any other film produced by the studio. According to studio records and HR news items, Irving Cummings was originally set to direct the picture, and the cast was to include Sara Allgood, Catherine Doucet, Donald MacBride and Lynne Roberts. HR and studio publicity also noted that Helen Broderick was replaced by Spring Byington in the role of "Maybelle Worthington" after Broderick flew to New York to tend to her ill mother. Studio publicity reported that the yacht in the picture, the Bali, was owned by actor John Carradine. According to publicity material, Dale Evans was signed to play a lingerie model in the picture, which would have marked her screen debut. She could not be identified in the viewed print, however. HR news items note that some of the film was shot on location on Santa Catalina Island, CA.
       According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, a 17 Oct 1941 version of the script was deemed "unacceptable" by the PCA "because of the definite indication of a sex affair without compensating moral values." The PCA perceived that the affair took place between "Susie" and "John" on the night they meet at "Tod's" home and decide to marry. In a 28 Nov 1941 letter to Colonel Jason S. Joy, the studio's public relations director, PCA official Geoffrey Shurlock noted that, "we must insist that Kellogg's enumeration of the names '...Irene, Mabel, Betty' be changed and new names inserted, because of the fact that these names are associated with a type of contraceptive." [At the time, some brands of prophylactics were contained in tins bearing the face of a woman and a name such as those listed above.] In a memo to Joy and producer Milton Sperling, writer Ken Englund pointed out that his wife's name was Mabel and that it was "the jocular custom of this writer to insert his wife's first name in each script," although he was considering "having my wife's name legally changed to Sam." He also recommended that Sperling change his wife's name from Betty to Fred. The PCA raised objections to other sexually suggestive situations and dialogue as well as to scenes showing excessive drinking, but later approved a revised script. According to studio records, Twentieth Century-Fox was sued for plagiarism in 1950 by Dr. Andrea Dello Siesto, who claimed that the film was based on his play Le due leggi di Maud (The Two Laws of Maud). In its defense, the studio noted that although the picture was not based on Laurence Kirk's book, the similarities between the two stories proved that the ideas contained in Dello Siesto's play were not unique. The case was settled when the studio paid Dello Siesto $1,500.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
14 Mar 1942
---
Daily Variety
11 Mar 1942
pp. 3-4
Film Daily
12 Mar 1942
p. 5
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 1941
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
19 Nov 1941
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
26 Nov 1941
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
28 Nov 1941
p. 9
Hollywood Reporter
3 Dec 1941
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
4 Dec 1941
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jan 1942
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jan 1942
p. 11
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jan 1942
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 1942
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
11 Mar 1942
p. 3
Motion Picture Daily
11 Mar 1942
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Mar 1942
p. 550
New York Times
24 Apr 1942
p. 21
Variety
11 Mar 1942
p. 8
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Joe Behm
Props
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
Joseph E. Aiken
Sd
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Pub dir
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Double or Nothing
Release Date:
20 March 1942
Production Date:
early Dec 1941--late Jan 1942; retakes began 5 Feb 1942
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
20 March 1942
LP11174
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
85-86
Length(in feet):
7,761
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
8087
SYNOPSIS

Lingerie salesclerk Susan Miller longs for a luxurious life full of interesting people. Susie's opportunity comes in the form of Mrs. Maybelle Worthington and Warren, two swindlers who use pretty girls as decoys to bilk weathly men. As their latest girl has gotten married, Maybelle and Warren need a replacement, and convince the reluctant Susie that all she has to do is be "beautiful but unobtainable." The trio soon establish themselves with Susie posing as Linda Worthington, Maybelle's daughter. They live off rich men who become attracted to Susie, until one day, on Santa Catalina Island, they meet John Wheeler, whom they mistake for a millionaire because he is trying to buy a yacht. Susie and Maybelle pretend to be interested in a particular boat, which they allow John to buy instead. Unknown to John, the man he buys the boat from is not the real owner, Harvey Beasley, but Warren. John does not realize that Maybelle and Susie, of whom he is genuinely fond, are involved in the swindle, and promises them that he will catch the culprits. Sometime later, Susie, Maybelle and Warren take up residence in Connecticut at the home of wealthy Tod Fenwick and his parents. Tod is in love with Susie, and Maybelle and Warren plan on making a million dollars from their marriage. They are surprised by the appearance of John, who is an accountant, and is there to discuss business with Tod. When Susie tries to distract John until his train leaves, she learns that he makes only sixty-five dollars a week and had saved for fifteen years for the $15,000 to buy the ...

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Lingerie salesclerk Susan Miller longs for a luxurious life full of interesting people. Susie's opportunity comes in the form of Mrs. Maybelle Worthington and Warren, two swindlers who use pretty girls as decoys to bilk weathly men. As their latest girl has gotten married, Maybelle and Warren need a replacement, and convince the reluctant Susie that all she has to do is be "beautiful but unobtainable." The trio soon establish themselves with Susie posing as Linda Worthington, Maybelle's daughter. They live off rich men who become attracted to Susie, until one day, on Santa Catalina Island, they meet John Wheeler, whom they mistake for a millionaire because he is trying to buy a yacht. Susie and Maybelle pretend to be interested in a particular boat, which they allow John to buy instead. Unknown to John, the man he buys the boat from is not the real owner, Harvey Beasley, but Warren. John does not realize that Maybelle and Susie, of whom he is genuinely fond, are involved in the swindle, and promises them that he will catch the culprits. Sometime later, Susie, Maybelle and Warren take up residence in Connecticut at the home of wealthy Tod Fenwick and his parents. Tod is in love with Susie, and Maybelle and Warren plan on making a million dollars from their marriage. They are surprised by the appearance of John, who is an accountant, and is there to discuss business with Tod. When Susie tries to distract John until his train leaves, she learns that he makes only sixty-five dollars a week and had saved for fifteen years for the $15,000 to buy the yacht. John has big dreams and his ambitions thrill Susie, who finds that she returns his affections. They decide to marry, and despite Maybelle's warnings that she cannot quit so easily, Susie leaves with John. She moves into John's New York boardinghouse, and the young couple plan their future. Wanting to return John's money without him knowing, Susie gives $15,000 to a casino owner friend, Colonel Prentiss, who arranges for John to win the money while gambling. John and Susie decide to go to California to buy a boat, but while they are in the airport awaiting their flight, Susie runs into Tod. Also present are Maybelle and Warren, who have accepted Tod's marriage proposal on her behalf. Susie excuses herself from John, who returns to the casino to gamble again until their flight leaves. Warren tells the colonel that the money Susie gave him was actually his, and threatens to reveal old secrets unless he arranges for John to lose it all. Desperate for John to have his boat, Susie agrees to jilt him and marry Tod if Warren will allow him to keep the money. John, who has been losing, is allowed to win back the $15,000 and returns to the airport, where a goodbye note from Susie awaits him. Just then, however, Kellogg, the private detective hired by John to find the swindler who sold him the boat, arrives and tells John that he has found the culprits. After Kellogg reveals how Maybelle and Warren have been using Susie, John returns to the casino to rescue her. As Kellogg is taking Maybelle and Warren off to be arrested, John assures Susie that he still loves her and believes her to be innocent. The young couple then go off to catch the next flight to California.

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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.