Goodbye, My Fancy (1951)

106-107 or 110 mins | Comedy-drama, Romance | 19 May 1951

Director:

Vincent Sherman

Producer:

Henry Blanke

Cinematographer:

Ted McCord

Editor:

Rudi Fehr

Production Designer:

Stanley Fleischer

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The title of the film is taken from the Walt Whitman poem "Good-bye My Fancy!," from which "Agatha" reads a selection. According to a NYT article, in the original play, which was written before the U.S. military action in Korea, the film that Agatha brings to the college is an anti-war film. Believing this to be an inappropriate topic for the movie version of Goodbye, My Fancy, which was made during the Korean War, the screenwriters decided to focus on the issue of academic freedom under fascism and Communism. According to the article, director Vincent Sherman wanted to use the academic fight against loyalty oaths as the topic of Agatha's film, but the studio was opposed to the introduction of such "an inflammatory question." The article added that Warner Bros. paid $55,000 for the screen rights to the play.
       Goodbye, My Fancy marked Janice Rule's film debut. A HR news item stated that Jill Kraft, who appeared in the theatrical version of the play, had been signed for a part in the film, but her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The exterior college scenes were filmed at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. Robert Young, Frank Lovejoy and Lurene Tuttle reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of Goodbye, My Fancy on 14 Jan 1952, with Barbara Stanwyck in the role of Agatha. Another production was broadcast on 28 Jun 1953, starring Rosalind Russell and Robert Young. ...

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The title of the film is taken from the Walt Whitman poem "Good-bye My Fancy!," from which "Agatha" reads a selection. According to a NYT article, in the original play, which was written before the U.S. military action in Korea, the film that Agatha brings to the college is an anti-war film. Believing this to be an inappropriate topic for the movie version of Goodbye, My Fancy, which was made during the Korean War, the screenwriters decided to focus on the issue of academic freedom under fascism and Communism. According to the article, director Vincent Sherman wanted to use the academic fight against loyalty oaths as the topic of Agatha's film, but the studio was opposed to the introduction of such "an inflammatory question." The article added that Warner Bros. paid $55,000 for the screen rights to the play.
       Goodbye, My Fancy marked Janice Rule's film debut. A HR news item stated that Jill Kraft, who appeared in the theatrical version of the play, had been signed for a part in the film, but her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The exterior college scenes were filmed at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. Robert Young, Frank Lovejoy and Lurene Tuttle reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of Goodbye, My Fancy on 14 Jan 1952, with Barbara Stanwyck in the role of Agatha. Another production was broadcast on 28 Jun 1953, starring Rosalind Russell and Robert Young.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
14 Apr 1951
---
Daily Variety
10 Apr 1951
p. 3
Film Daily
10 Apr 1951
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
22 Sep 1950
p. 9
Hollywood Reporter
30 Oct 1950
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
24 Nov 1950
p. 11
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 1951
p. 3
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Apr 1951
p. 801
New York Times
27 Oct 1950
---
New York Times
30 May 1951
p. 14
Variety
11 Apr 1951
p. 6
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
BRAND NAME
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Charles Lang
Sd
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Good-bye, My Fancy by Fay Kanin, as produced on stage by Michael Kanin, in association with Richard Aldrich and Richard Myers (New York, 17 Nov 1948).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHORS
+
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHORS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
19 May 1951
Production Date:
late Sep--late Nov 1950
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
15 May 1951
LP904
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
106-107 or 110
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14873
SYNOPSIS

When United States Congresswoman Agatha Reed is notified that she will be awarded an honorary degree by Good Hope College for Women, from which she was expelled twenty years earlier for staying out all night, she immediately puts aside her busy schedule and dictates a letter of acceptance to her secretary, Woody. Agatha has fond memories of her romance with college president Dr. James Merrill, when she was a student and he was her professor, and wants to see if there is still a spark between them. Later, as she is packing, Agatha is surprised by Life photographer Matt Cole, whom she has not seen since she stood him up five years earlier in Paris when they were both war correspondents. Matt wants to rekindle their romance, and when Agatha discourages him, he decides to assign himself to cover her visit to Good Hope. At the college, Agatha is greatly moved by the sight of her former dormitory room and by the greeting of her dizzy former roommate, Ellen, who is married to influential college trustee Claude Griswold. Merrill's daughter, graduating senior Virginia, is also among Agatha's admirers, and from her, Agatha learns that Merrill is a widower. When Ginny discovers that her father had been Agatha's history professor, she hesitantly asks what kind of teacher he was, and then speaks warmly of her physics professor, Dr. Pitt, who challenges the students to expand their interests outside the narrow confines of the college. After Agatha is formally greeted by a reception committee, Merrill, who had proposed to Agatha the night before she was expelled, asks her privately why she disappeared ...

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When United States Congresswoman Agatha Reed is notified that she will be awarded an honorary degree by Good Hope College for Women, from which she was expelled twenty years earlier for staying out all night, she immediately puts aside her busy schedule and dictates a letter of acceptance to her secretary, Woody. Agatha has fond memories of her romance with college president Dr. James Merrill, when she was a student and he was her professor, and wants to see if there is still a spark between them. Later, as she is packing, Agatha is surprised by Life photographer Matt Cole, whom she has not seen since she stood him up five years earlier in Paris when they were both war correspondents. Matt wants to rekindle their romance, and when Agatha discourages him, he decides to assign himself to cover her visit to Good Hope. At the college, Agatha is greatly moved by the sight of her former dormitory room and by the greeting of her dizzy former roommate, Ellen, who is married to influential college trustee Claude Griswold. Merrill's daughter, graduating senior Virginia, is also among Agatha's admirers, and from her, Agatha learns that Merrill is a widower. When Ginny discovers that her father had been Agatha's history professor, she hesitantly asks what kind of teacher he was, and then speaks warmly of her physics professor, Dr. Pitt, who challenges the students to expand their interests outside the narrow confines of the college. After Agatha is formally greeted by a reception committee, Merrill, who had proposed to Agatha the night before she was expelled, asks her privately why she disappeared without telling him, and she explains her fears that the scandal of his marrying a student would have ruined his career. Later, Agatha admits to Woody that she would marry Merrill immediately if he proposed. To Agatha's displeasure, Matt arrives at the college and meets his rival for her affections. Later, Pitt tells Matt that he will soon be leaving the school because Griswold disapproves of his teaching techniques, but promises a parting display of "fireworks" on Saturday morning. Ginny then begs Agatha to intervene on Pitt's behalf, and she agrees to meet with him. Pitt explains that Griswold fears open discussion and disapproves of his efforts to inform students about the world's problems. When Agatha advises him to fight for his principles, he replies that Merrill would never support him. This does not fit Agatha's memories of Merrill, and that night when he proposes again, she readily accepts. Meanwhile, Matt tells Woody that he fell in love with Agatha when they were both covering the liberation of Paris. He had intended to propose one night, but she did not keep the date. He then waits outside for Agatha to return, only to learn that she has become engaged. Determined to show Agatha that she is in love with a dream, Matt does some investigating and learns that a film Agatha made about the dangers of restricting intellectual freedom will be shown on Saturday. Intending to show her how backward the college is, Matt tells the reactionary Griswold about the film, and he immediately forces Merrill to cancel the showing. A tearful Ginny tells Agatha that she is ashamed of the compromises her father has made since he has become president. Later, Agatha argues passionately for her film and is stunned when Merrill will not stand up to Griswold. Angrily, she asks him by what right a trustee is allowed to make academic decisions and then reveals Ginny's feelings about him. When Merrill still maintains his position, Agatha insists that he show the film and in exchange, promises that she will never reveal the circumstances of her expulsion. Thus coerced, Merrill agrees. Deeply disappointed, Agatha starts packing, and Merrill accuses her of running away just as she did twenty years earlier. While they are quarreling, Ginny bursts into the room to thank her father for showing the film. When Agatha does not tell Ginny the truth behind the decision, Merrill does, and to his surprise, his honesty is lovingly accepted by his daughter. Agatha then learns that Merrill, understanding the truth of her charges, has resigned his position. She begs him to withdraw the resignation, and he then restates his love for her. She responds that under different circumstances, she might have reconsidered, but she realizes that she loves another man. Matt then returns, Agatha admits that he was right about Merrill, and they embrace.

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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.