Hers to Hold (1943)

93-94 mins | Romantic comedy | 16 July 1943

Director:

Frank Ryan

Writer:

Lewis R. Foster

Producer:

Felix Jackson

Cinematographer:

Elwood Bredell

Editor:

Ted J. Kent

Production Designers:

John Goodman, Richard H. Riedel

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Three Smart Girls Join Up . According to a Mar 1942 HR news item, Universal's London office purchased a story by that title from Derek Bolton, a flyer with the RAF. Bolton is not credited onscreen or in reviews, however, and his contribution to the completed film has not been confirmed. Three Smart Girls Join Up was then slated to begin production in May 1942, but it was shelved until Jan 1943, when Universal announced that it had renamed the project Hers to Hold . This was the third and final film in Universal's "Three Smart Girls" series, which began in 1936 with Three Smart Girls and was followed in 1939 by Three Smart Girls Grow Up (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.4623 and F3.4624). While actors Deanna Durbin, Charles Winninger and Nella Walker reprised their roles as "Penelope, Judson and Dorothy Craig," characters "Kay and Joan Craig," the two eldest daughters, were dropped for the final entry in the series.
       Actor Joseph Cotten was borrowed by Universal from David O. Selznick for the film, and according to HR , this was one of nine projects offered to Cotten at that time. According to Universal press information, portions of the film were shot on location at the Vega Aircraft Factory in Burbank, CA. These scenes were shot on Sundays, so that filming would not interfere with the plant workers' regular schedule. Press information also states that Deanna Durbin actually gave blood during the filming of the blood bank sequence. The home movie ... More Less

The working title of this film was Three Smart Girls Join Up . According to a Mar 1942 HR news item, Universal's London office purchased a story by that title from Derek Bolton, a flyer with the RAF. Bolton is not credited onscreen or in reviews, however, and his contribution to the completed film has not been confirmed. Three Smart Girls Join Up was then slated to begin production in May 1942, but it was shelved until Jan 1943, when Universal announced that it had renamed the project Hers to Hold . This was the third and final film in Universal's "Three Smart Girls" series, which began in 1936 with Three Smart Girls and was followed in 1939 by Three Smart Girls Grow Up (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.4623 and F3.4624). While actors Deanna Durbin, Charles Winninger and Nella Walker reprised their roles as "Penelope, Judson and Dorothy Craig," characters "Kay and Joan Craig," the two eldest daughters, were dropped for the final entry in the series.
       Actor Joseph Cotten was borrowed by Universal from David O. Selznick for the film, and according to HR , this was one of nine projects offered to Cotten at that time. According to Universal press information, portions of the film were shot on location at the Vega Aircraft Factory in Burbank, CA. These scenes were shot on Sundays, so that filming would not interfere with the plant workers' regular schedule. Press information also states that Deanna Durbin actually gave blood during the filming of the blood bank sequence. The home movie sequence in the picture is made up of footage from previous Universal Deanna Durbin films, including Three Smart Girls , Three Smart Girls Grow Up , Mad About Music and It's a Date (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.2185, F3.2637, F3.4623 and F3.4624). HR news items include Mary Treen in the cast, but her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The song "Say a Prayer for the Boys Over There" by Jimmy McHugh and Herb Magidson was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Song, but lost to "You'll Never Know" by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon from the Twentieth Century-Fox film Hello Frisco, Hello (See Entry). According to modern sources, Hers to Hold was one of the top moneymaking films of 1943. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
17 Jul 1943.
---
Daily Variety
26 Mar 1943.
---
Daily Variety
13 Jul 43
p. 3, 6
Film Daily
16 Jul 43
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jan 43
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jan 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Mar 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Mar 43
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Apr 43
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 43
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 Jun 43
p. 1375.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 Jul 43
p. 1425.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
6 Nov 43
p. 1617.
New York Times
22 Jul 43
p. 15.
Variety
14 Jul 43
p. 18.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
William Davidson
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
Miss Durbin's gowns by
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus score
Vocal coach
SOUND
[Sd] tech
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Where the Buffalo Roam" by Tex Ritter, Frank Sanucci and Frank Harford.
SONGS
"Begin the Beguine," music and lyrics by Cole Porter
"Say a Prayer for the Boys Over There," music by Jimmy McHugh, lyrics by Herb Magidson
"The Kashmiri Song," music by Amy Woodforde-Finden, lyrics by Laurence Hope
+
SONGS
"Begin the Beguine," music and lyrics by Cole Porter
"Say a Prayer for the Boys Over There," music by Jimmy McHugh, lyrics by Herb Magidson
"The Kashmiri Song," music by Amy Woodforde-Finden, lyrics by Laurence Hope
"The Seguidilla" from the opera Carmen , music by Georges Bizet, libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Three Smart Girls Join Up
Release Date:
16 July 1943
Production Date:
15 March--early June 1943
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
22 July 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12148
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
93-94
Length(in feet):
8,487
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
9488
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Friends Bill Morley and Rosey Blake both spy debutante Penelope Craig at an American Red Cross blood drive and are attracted. Bill, a playboy flyer, pretends to be a doctor in order to meet Penny and get her address and phone number for his "little black book." That night, Bill and Rosey crash Penny's parents' anniversary party at the Craigs' home, and to get even, Penny exposes Bill's deception by introducing him to some old family friends: hypochondriac Mrs. Cartwright and physician Dr. Crane. Before he leaves her parents' home, however, Bill kisses Penny, and she immediately falls in love with him. Penny then follows Bill to a Burbank nightclub, which is near the Vega Aircraft factory where Bill and Rosey work on the assembly lines. Later, Penny and Bill go to the beach, and Bill tells her that she should not get involved with him, as he is not the domestic type and is merely waiting for his papers to join the Air Force. Not to be dissuaded, Penny gets a job at the aircraft factory, and when she is unable to find Bill in the giant plant, she performs a song at lunch to attract his attention. That night, while the Craigs are screening home movies, Bill comes over to their house and tells Penny that he has gotten his orders. They try to break up, but quickly discover that they have fallen in love and decide to spend what little time he has left in the United States together. Just before Bill is about to leave for overseas duty, however, Hannah Gordon, one of Penny's friends at the factory, learns that ... +


Friends Bill Morley and Rosey Blake both spy debutante Penelope Craig at an American Red Cross blood drive and are attracted. Bill, a playboy flyer, pretends to be a doctor in order to meet Penny and get her address and phone number for his "little black book." That night, Bill and Rosey crash Penny's parents' anniversary party at the Craigs' home, and to get even, Penny exposes Bill's deception by introducing him to some old family friends: hypochondriac Mrs. Cartwright and physician Dr. Crane. Before he leaves her parents' home, however, Bill kisses Penny, and she immediately falls in love with him. Penny then follows Bill to a Burbank nightclub, which is near the Vega Aircraft factory where Bill and Rosey work on the assembly lines. Later, Penny and Bill go to the beach, and Bill tells her that she should not get involved with him, as he is not the domestic type and is merely waiting for his papers to join the Air Force. Not to be dissuaded, Penny gets a job at the aircraft factory, and when she is unable to find Bill in the giant plant, she performs a song at lunch to attract his attention. That night, while the Craigs are screening home movies, Bill comes over to their house and tells Penny that he has gotten his orders. They try to break up, but quickly discover that they have fallen in love and decide to spend what little time he has left in the United States together. Just before Bill is about to leave for overseas duty, however, Hannah Gordon, one of Penny's friends at the factory, learns that her flyer husband has been shot down over the Pacific. Penny then goes to her father Judson and asks him to use his influence to keep Bill at the aircraft factory. Judson refuses and tells Penny that it is her duty to support Bill's induction into the military. Penny then returns to the factory to learn that Bill has decided to end their relationship. Later, Bill tells Rosey that he ended his romance with Penny to spare her the pain he saw Hannah suffer. Rosey then goes to the Craig home and tries to give Penny a note, telling her that Bill really loves her, but Judson has ordered Binns, the family butler, not to allow either Bill or Rosey in the house. Penny receives the note, however, and races to the airport in time to say goodbye to Bill. When he tells her that he is still worried about her, Penny, paraphrasing Hannah, replies that "if he flies 'em, then she'll build 'em." +

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.