His Butler's Sister (1943)

92-93 mins | Comedy-drama | 26 November 1943

Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of this film was My Girl Godfrey . The film's title initially was His Butler's Sister , but was changed to My Girl Godfrey while the film was in pre-production, then changed back to the original title once production began. In Mar 1941, HR announced that Universal was planning to make a film entitled His Butler's Sister , which was to star Deanna Durbin and be produced by Bruce Manning, directed by William A. Seiter, and written by Felix Jackson, who is credited as producer on the 1943 film. It has not been determined if any elements from the earlier, planned production were used in the released film. The film opens with the following written foreword: "The Food, Drinks, Clothes, Shoes, Rubber, Gas and other articles consumed or used in this picture are purely imaginary and have no relation to any actual Foods, Drinks, Clothes, Shoes, Rubber, Gas and other articles of today, rationed or unrationed. Any resemblance is purely accidental. This is a fable of the day before yesterday." According to Universal press materials, the Russian medley performed by Deanna Durbin included elements from the Russian folk songs "Yamschtschick," "Kalitka" and "Two Guitars." Bernard B. Brown was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Sound Recording, but lost to E. H. Hansen's work on the Twentieth Century-Fox film Wilson (See Entry). On 7 Feb 1944, Deanna Durbin, Pat O'Brien and Franchot Tone reprised their roles in a radio version of this film for the Lux Radio Theatre ... More Less

The working title of this film was My Girl Godfrey . The film's title initially was His Butler's Sister , but was changed to My Girl Godfrey while the film was in pre-production, then changed back to the original title once production began. In Mar 1941, HR announced that Universal was planning to make a film entitled His Butler's Sister , which was to star Deanna Durbin and be produced by Bruce Manning, directed by William A. Seiter, and written by Felix Jackson, who is credited as producer on the 1943 film. It has not been determined if any elements from the earlier, planned production were used in the released film. The film opens with the following written foreword: "The Food, Drinks, Clothes, Shoes, Rubber, Gas and other articles consumed or used in this picture are purely imaginary and have no relation to any actual Foods, Drinks, Clothes, Shoes, Rubber, Gas and other articles of today, rationed or unrationed. Any resemblance is purely accidental. This is a fable of the day before yesterday." According to Universal press materials, the Russian medley performed by Deanna Durbin included elements from the Russian folk songs "Yamschtschick," "Kalitka" and "Two Guitars." Bernard B. Brown was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Sound Recording, but lost to E. H. Hansen's work on the Twentieth Century-Fox film Wilson (See Entry). On 7 Feb 1944, Deanna Durbin, Pat O'Brien and Franchot Tone reprised their roles in a radio version of this film for the Lux Radio Theatre . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
13 Nov 1943.
---
Daily Variety
9 Jul 1943.
---
Daily Variety
5 Nov 43
p. 3, 7
Film Daily
9 Dec 43
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Mar 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jun 43
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jun 43
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Nov 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jan 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jan 44
p. 30.
Los Angeles Herald Express
24 May 1943.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
25 Sep 43
p. 1555.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Nov 43
p. 1625.
New York Times
30 Dec 43
p. 13.
Variety
10 Nov 43
p. 34.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Frank Borzage Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
COSTUMES
Gowns
Miss Durbin's gowns by
MUSIC
Song dir
Mus score
Vocal coach
SOUND
[Sd] tech
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
SOURCES
SONGS
"In the Spirit of the Moment," music by Bernie Grossman, lyrics by Walter Jurman
"When You're Away," music by Victor Herbert, lyrics by Henry Blossom
"Is It True What They Say About Dixie?" words and music by Irving Caesar, Samuel Lerner and Gerald Marks
+
SONGS
"In the Spirit of the Moment," music by Bernie Grossman, lyrics by Walter Jurman
"When You're Away," music by Victor Herbert, lyrics by Henry Blossom
"Is It True What They Say About Dixie?" words and music by Irving Caesar, Samuel Lerner and Gerald Marks
selections from the opera Turandot , music by Giacomo Puccini, completed by Franco Alfano, libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni
medley of Russian songs, arranged by Max Rabinowitsh.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
My Girl Godfrey
Release Date:
26 November 1943
Production Date:
28 June--early September 1943
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
17 November 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12378
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
92-93
Length(in feet):
8,424
Country:
United States
PCA No:
9691
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Broadway composer Charles Gerard is constantly harassed by stagestruck performers wanting to break into show business. When singer Ann Carter attempts to audition for him, she is sent to the wrong train compartment and ends up singing for a traveling girdle salesman instead. Ann then arrives in New York City and goes to Charles' estate, where she thinks her older half-brother Martin, who has told her he is a wealthy businessman, lives. In actuality, Martin is Charles's butler, and the composer mistakes Ann for the new maid. With the help of Severina, the cook, Ann forces her brother to hire her as a maid, and she immediately draws the attentions of Martin's friends: fellow butlers Popoff, Buzz Jenkins, Moreno, Reeves and chauffeur Emmett. That night, Charles has a dinner party whose guests include theatrical producer Mortimer Kalb, theatrical agent Fields, Lady Sloughberry and Elizabeth Campbell, Charles's socialite girl friend. Elizabeth, who disapproves of Charles' friends and associates, convinces him to stop working on his play and go with her to Maine. The next day, Charles gives Martin permission to fire Ann, so she decides to perform for the composer. Charles, however, mistakenly assumes her singing is coming from a nearby radio. Later, Ann tries to audition for Kalb, but he is more interested in her figure than her voice. Charles then arrives to tell Kalb that he is quitting the unfinished show, but Ann tells Charles that he will not be happy if he gives up his career. That night, Ann is invited to Popoff's birthday party at a Russian restaurant, where she is offered jobs in the households of her various ... +


Broadway composer Charles Gerard is constantly harassed by stagestruck performers wanting to break into show business. When singer Ann Carter attempts to audition for him, she is sent to the wrong train compartment and ends up singing for a traveling girdle salesman instead. Ann then arrives in New York City and goes to Charles' estate, where she thinks her older half-brother Martin, who has told her he is a wealthy businessman, lives. In actuality, Martin is Charles's butler, and the composer mistakes Ann for the new maid. With the help of Severina, the cook, Ann forces her brother to hire her as a maid, and she immediately draws the attentions of Martin's friends: fellow butlers Popoff, Buzz Jenkins, Moreno, Reeves and chauffeur Emmett. That night, Charles has a dinner party whose guests include theatrical producer Mortimer Kalb, theatrical agent Fields, Lady Sloughberry and Elizabeth Campbell, Charles's socialite girl friend. Elizabeth, who disapproves of Charles' friends and associates, convinces him to stop working on his play and go with her to Maine. The next day, Charles gives Martin permission to fire Ann, so she decides to perform for the composer. Charles, however, mistakenly assumes her singing is coming from a nearby radio. Later, Ann tries to audition for Kalb, but he is more interested in her figure than her voice. Charles then arrives to tell Kalb that he is quitting the unfinished show, but Ann tells Charles that he will not be happy if he gives up his career. That night, Ann is invited to Popoff's birthday party at a Russian restaurant, where she is offered jobs in the households of her various servant suitors. Charles arrives at the restaurant just as Ann finishes singing a medley of Russian songs and tells her that he has decided to take her advice and finish Kalb's show. Charles and Ann quickly fall in love, but Martin fears that his employer is merely toying with his young sister. The overprotective brother tells Charles that the stagestruck Ann is only using him to advance her own career. Charles then breaks off his relationship with Ann and prepares to return to Elizabeth in Maine. Martin is fired as well, but convinces the heartbroken Ann to stay in New York with him, rather than return to their hometown in Indiana. The two go to the Butler's Ball that night, where Charles, as a non-servant, is refused entrance until he pretends to be Severina's cousin. The cook then informs her employer that Ann and Martin are siblings, and after hearing Ann sing, Charles realizes that hers is the voice he has been searching for, and the two are reunited. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.