This Is My Affair (1937)

99 mins | Drama | 28 May 1937

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HISTORY

Working titles for this film were The McKinley Case , Living Dangerously , The Turn of the Century and Private Enemy . Film editor Allen McNeil's first name was misspelled "Allan" in the onscreen credits. According to a HR news item in Sep 1936, the film was originally envisioned by Twentieth Century-Fox to "dwell on the detective angle" of the investigation into the assassination of President William McKinley. The news item states that the subject of the film was changed when the studio decided to make a film about the career of detective Allan Pinkerton. That film was never made. According to the news item, in Sep 1936, when the film was to be called Living Dangerously , the emphasis was to be on "events of the Spanish-American war period, including the sinking of the Maine."
       MPH speculated that the title may have been changed to This Is My Affair because of the interest in the romance between Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor, who was borrowed from M-G-M for this film. Stanwyck and Taylor were married in 1939. The Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library contains notes dated 5 Nov 1936 from a conference with Darryl Zanuck, which seem to indicate that the title was selected with little regard for its applicability to the story. In the notes, Zanuck instructed his writers, "For the time being, the new title This Is My Affair is to be kept confidential. However, we want to work this title into the dialogue somewhere." Reviews state that the film was purported to ... More Less

Working titles for this film were The McKinley Case , Living Dangerously , The Turn of the Century and Private Enemy . Film editor Allen McNeil's first name was misspelled "Allan" in the onscreen credits. According to a HR news item in Sep 1936, the film was originally envisioned by Twentieth Century-Fox to "dwell on the detective angle" of the investigation into the assassination of President William McKinley. The news item states that the subject of the film was changed when the studio decided to make a film about the career of detective Allan Pinkerton. That film was never made. According to the news item, in Sep 1936, when the film was to be called Living Dangerously , the emphasis was to be on "events of the Spanish-American war period, including the sinking of the Maine."
       MPH speculated that the title may have been changed to This Is My Affair because of the interest in the romance between Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor, who was borrowed from M-G-M for this film. Stanwyck and Taylor were married in 1939. The Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library contains notes dated 5 Nov 1936 from a conference with Darryl Zanuck, which seem to indicate that the title was selected with little regard for its applicability to the story. In the notes, Zanuck instructed his writers, "For the time being, the new title This Is My Affair is to be kept confidential. However, we want to work this title into the dialogue somewhere." Reviews state that the film was purported to be based on a true incident and that Lieutenant Richard L. Perry was an actual person. According to information in the Produced Scripts Collection, a story entitled "Arm of the Law" by cameraman Bert Glennon was purchased in 1936 in connection with this film. A story entitled "A Pinkerton Man" by John W. Considine, Jr. is also included in the file for the film in the Produced Scripts Collection, but it is not known whether any material from either story was used in the final film. The MPH "In the Cutting Room" column states that the film was based on a story written by Melville Crossman (Darryl Zanuck's pseudonym), which appeared in Liberty Magazine . No other source mentions that story.
       According to a HR news item, at various times, George Marshall and John Cromwell, were scheduled to direct. According to NYT , the team of Rice and Cady performed a forty-year-old vaudeville routine in the film. According to a HR news item, June Terry was engaged to perform a specialty dance, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. The film was previewed in Hollywood on 13 May 1937 at which time it was 90 minutes, according to MPH . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
22 May 1937.
---
Daily Variety
15 May 37
p. 3.
Film Daily
18 May 37
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Sep 36
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jan 37
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Feb 37
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Feb 37
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Feb 37
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Mar 37
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
14 May 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Nov 37
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Dec 37
sect. II, p. 90.
Motion Picture Herald
20 Mar 37
p. 35.
Motion Picture Herald
22 May 37
p. 57.
New York Times
28 May 37
p. 17.
Variety
2 Jun 37
p. 15.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Jack Nasboro
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Darryl F. Zanuck in charge of production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Story and scr
Story and scr
Contr to trmt
Contr to constr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
Vocal supv
Mus comp and arr
SOURCES
SONGS
"I Hum a Waltz," "Fill It Up" and "Put Down Your Glass--Pick Up Your Girl," music and lyrics by Mack Gordon and Harry Revel.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Living Dangerously
Private Enemy
The Turn of the Century
The McKinley Case
Release Date:
28 May 1937
Production Date:
8 February--27 March 1937
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
28 May 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7219
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
99
Length(in feet):
8,800
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3200
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At Arlington National Military Cemetery, children ask a nun why Lieutenant Richard L. Perry, whose grave they pass, is not listed in the guidebook. She replies that no doubt he did some unusual service for his country. Perry's story then begins. On the night of April 22, 1901, at a White House reception, President William McKinley meets with Perry, who had an amazing record for getting out of scrapes when he served under Admiral Dewey in the Battle of Manila. McKinley sends Perry on a secret mission to investigate an epidemic of bank robberies in the Midwest, which the Secret Service has been unable to stop. At the Capitol Cafe in St. Paul, Perry, using the name Joe Patrick, romances singer Lil Duryea. Lil's stepbrother Batiste, the owner of the cafe, has committed the robberies with his partner Jock Ramsay, a childish practical joker who loves Lil. To gain their confidence so that he can find the man higher up who has supplied the inside information, Perry robs a jewelry store. When Lil confesses her love for Perry to Batiste, he offers Perry the chance to join them. After Vice President Theodore Roosevelt advises McKinley to put police around every Midwest bank, Batiste plans to rob a bank in Baltimore. Perry almost resigns his commission because he loves Lil, who demands that he stay, but after a confrontation with Jock, Perry convinces Lil that he must go. During the robbery, two officers and Batiste are killed, and afterward, Perry and Jock are sentenced to hang. As they wait in adjacent cells, Perry convinces Jock that the man higher up has ... +


At Arlington National Military Cemetery, children ask a nun why Lieutenant Richard L. Perry, whose grave they pass, is not listed in the guidebook. She replies that no doubt he did some unusual service for his country. Perry's story then begins. On the night of April 22, 1901, at a White House reception, President William McKinley meets with Perry, who had an amazing record for getting out of scrapes when he served under Admiral Dewey in the Battle of Manila. McKinley sends Perry on a secret mission to investigate an epidemic of bank robberies in the Midwest, which the Secret Service has been unable to stop. At the Capitol Cafe in St. Paul, Perry, using the name Joe Patrick, romances singer Lil Duryea. Lil's stepbrother Batiste, the owner of the cafe, has committed the robberies with his partner Jock Ramsay, a childish practical joker who loves Lil. To gain their confidence so that he can find the man higher up who has supplied the inside information, Perry robs a jewelry store. When Lil confesses her love for Perry to Batiste, he offers Perry the chance to join them. After Vice President Theodore Roosevelt advises McKinley to put police around every Midwest bank, Batiste plans to rob a bank in Baltimore. Perry almost resigns his commission because he loves Lil, who demands that he stay, but after a confrontation with Jock, Perry convinces Lil that he must go. During the robbery, two officers and Batiste are killed, and afterward, Perry and Jock are sentenced to hang. As they wait in adjacent cells, Perry convinces Jock that the man higher up has betrayed them. Jock then blurts out his identity: United States Bank Examiner Henry Maxwell, one of McKinley's advisers. Perry writes to McKinley, but before the letter arrives, the president is assassinated. When Lil visits Perry in prison, he confesses his ruse, and she angrily refuses to help because she thinks that he just used her, but after thinking about him, she talks to Admiral Dewey, who takes her to President Roosevelt. After ascertaining the truth of her story, Roosevelt calls the warden just after Jock's execution and stays Perry's. He returns to Lil in St. Paul and she accepts him. +

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.