In Name Only (1939)

94 mins | Drama | 18 August 1939

Director:

John Cromwell

Writer:

Richard Sherman

Producer:

George Haight

Cinematographer:

J. Roy Hunt

Production Designer:

Van Nest Polglase

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Memory of Love , and The Kind Men Marry . It was issued its MPPDA certification number under the title Memory of Love . News items in HR note that Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was originally slated to play the role of Alec Walker. The film was filmed on location at San Marino, CA. According to a letter contained in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the Hays Office rejected the first script that RKO sent them for approval. In that script, "Alec" learns that "Julie" is pregnant and that he has only six months to live, and rather than let her suffer the pain of his death, he accuses her of blackmail and sends her away. Joseph I. Breen, director of the studio relations office of the Associated Motion Picture Producers, deemed that version unacceptable because Alec's illicit relationship with Julie is condoned and thus "undermines the sanctity of the home and the institution of marriage." The sexual affair between "Julie" and "Alec" was then toned down by the elimination of Julie's pregnancy in the released film and by substituting a happy ending in which Julie and Alec plan to wed. In 1939, the Lux Radio Theater presented a radio version of the story starring Carole Lombard and Cary ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Memory of Love , and The Kind Men Marry . It was issued its MPPDA certification number under the title Memory of Love . News items in HR note that Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was originally slated to play the role of Alec Walker. The film was filmed on location at San Marino, CA. According to a letter contained in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the Hays Office rejected the first script that RKO sent them for approval. In that script, "Alec" learns that "Julie" is pregnant and that he has only six months to live, and rather than let her suffer the pain of his death, he accuses her of blackmail and sends her away. Joseph I. Breen, director of the studio relations office of the Associated Motion Picture Producers, deemed that version unacceptable because Alec's illicit relationship with Julie is condoned and thus "undermines the sanctity of the home and the institution of marriage." The sexual affair between "Julie" and "Alec" was then toned down by the elimination of Julie's pregnancy in the released film and by substituting a happy ending in which Julie and Alec plan to wed. In 1939, the Lux Radio Theater presented a radio version of the story starring Carole Lombard and Cary Grant. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
2 Aug 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
3 Aug 1939. p. 6.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jan 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Apr 39
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Apr 39
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Aug 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
3 Aug 39
p. 19.
New York Times
4 Aug 39
p. 11.
New York Times
18 Aug 39
p. 16.
Variety
9 Aug 39
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Pandro S. Berman in charge of prod
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Miss Lombard's gowns
Other gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Publicity
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Memory of Love by Bessie Breuer (New York, 1934).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Kind Men Marry
Memory of Love
Release Date:
18 August 1939
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 4 August 1939
Production Date:
began 17 April 1939
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
18 August 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9132
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
94
Length(in feet):
8,496
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5312
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When Alec Walker, the victim of a loveless union to a heartless woman who married him for his money and social position, meets Julie Eden and her daughter Ellen, he falls in love. Julie, a widowed commercial artist, is caring and uncomplicated, everything that Alec's wife Maida is not. However, Maida cunningly fools Alec's concerned parents into believing that she is the perfect wife, and consequently, when Alec demands a divorce, Maida consents on the condition that she sail to Paris with his parents and inform them of the divorce once they reach Europe. Alec foolishly agrees and follows Julie to New York, where he proposes to her. Over the objections of her sister Laura Morton, who has been hurt in love, Julie accepts. Julie and Alec look forward to their marriage, but Maida prolongs her stay in Europe, causing Julie much anguish. Finally returning home on Christmas Eve, Maida informs Julie that she will never grant Alec a divorce, and if he files for one, she will sue Julie for alienation of affections and drag her daughter into court to testify. Apparently defeated, Alec and Julie prepare to part when Alec contracts a severe case of life threatening pneumonia. When the doctor suggests that only the hope of a reunion with Julie can save Alec, Julie bravely approaches his sickbed and lies that Maida has agreed to a divorce. Soon after, Maida vehemently attacks Julie, and Alec's parents overhear her proclaim that she will never be satisfied with only a divorce settlement but wants all the Walker money. Exposed by her own duplicity, Maida is banished from Alec's life, thus clearing ... +


When Alec Walker, the victim of a loveless union to a heartless woman who married him for his money and social position, meets Julie Eden and her daughter Ellen, he falls in love. Julie, a widowed commercial artist, is caring and uncomplicated, everything that Alec's wife Maida is not. However, Maida cunningly fools Alec's concerned parents into believing that she is the perfect wife, and consequently, when Alec demands a divorce, Maida consents on the condition that she sail to Paris with his parents and inform them of the divorce once they reach Europe. Alec foolishly agrees and follows Julie to New York, where he proposes to her. Over the objections of her sister Laura Morton, who has been hurt in love, Julie accepts. Julie and Alec look forward to their marriage, but Maida prolongs her stay in Europe, causing Julie much anguish. Finally returning home on Christmas Eve, Maida informs Julie that she will never grant Alec a divorce, and if he files for one, she will sue Julie for alienation of affections and drag her daughter into court to testify. Apparently defeated, Alec and Julie prepare to part when Alec contracts a severe case of life threatening pneumonia. When the doctor suggests that only the hope of a reunion with Julie can save Alec, Julie bravely approaches his sickbed and lies that Maida has agreed to a divorce. Soon after, Maida vehemently attacks Julie, and Alec's parents overhear her proclaim that she will never be satisfied with only a divorce settlement but wants all the Walker money. Exposed by her own duplicity, Maida is banished from Alec's life, thus clearing the way for his union with Julie. +

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.