Dreamboat (1952)

83 mins | Satire | August 1952

Director:

Claude Binyon

Writer:

Claude Binyon

Producer:

Sol C. Siegel

Cinematographer:

Milton Krasner

Editor:

James B. Clark

Production Designers:

Lyle Wheeler, Maurice Ransford

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

On 18 May 1951, LAT reported that Henry and Phoebe Ephron would be writing the screenplay for this film. According to a 24 Jul 1952 item in HR 's "Rambling Reporter" column, Marlene Dietrich was originally offered the role of "Gloria Marlowe." Although studio publicity and HR news items include the following actors in the cast, their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed: James Carlisle, Phil Greene, Paul Lopez, Aileen Carlyle, Carolyn Collins, Lynn Craft, Grady Galloway, John Close, John Sheffield, Jack Deery, Paul Powers, Kay Garrett , Georgia Stark, Dorothy Brown, Russ Saunders, Rush Williams, George Bruggerman , Allen Ray, Wilson Wood, Virginia Lucas, Carol Varga, Jack Barnett , Dorothy Brown, Kay Lewis, Laura Brooks, Jean Bane, Betty Gordon, Rodney Yontz, Eddie Oliver and His Orchestra, and Herman the Hermit and His Hillbillies.
       Dreamboat marked the feature-film debut of actress Donna Lee Hickey, who changed her name to May Wynn, beginning with the 1954 film The Caine Mutiny (see above). A 23 Jan 1952 HR news item announced that Marjorie Downing had been set for a "comedy waitress" role, but Victoria Horne played the part in the finished film.
       During the nightclub sequence in which "Gloria Marlowe" performs, Ginger Rogers wears a low-cut, gold evening gown that was later worn by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and in a number of well-known publicity stills. At the end of the film, when "Thornton Sayre's" new movie is previewed, a clip from the 1948 Twentieth Century-Fox picture Sitting Pretty , which starred Clifton Webb, is shown (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ... More Less

On 18 May 1951, LAT reported that Henry and Phoebe Ephron would be writing the screenplay for this film. According to a 24 Jul 1952 item in HR 's "Rambling Reporter" column, Marlene Dietrich was originally offered the role of "Gloria Marlowe." Although studio publicity and HR news items include the following actors in the cast, their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed: James Carlisle, Phil Greene, Paul Lopez, Aileen Carlyle, Carolyn Collins, Lynn Craft, Grady Galloway, John Close, John Sheffield, Jack Deery, Paul Powers, Kay Garrett , Georgia Stark, Dorothy Brown, Russ Saunders, Rush Williams, George Bruggerman , Allen Ray, Wilson Wood, Virginia Lucas, Carol Varga, Jack Barnett , Dorothy Brown, Kay Lewis, Laura Brooks, Jean Bane, Betty Gordon, Rodney Yontz, Eddie Oliver and His Orchestra, and Herman the Hermit and His Hillbillies.
       Dreamboat marked the feature-film debut of actress Donna Lee Hickey, who changed her name to May Wynn, beginning with the 1954 film The Caine Mutiny (see above). A 23 Jan 1952 HR news item announced that Marjorie Downing had been set for a "comedy waitress" role, but Victoria Horne played the part in the finished film.
       During the nightclub sequence in which "Gloria Marlowe" performs, Ginger Rogers wears a low-cut, gold evening gown that was later worn by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and in a number of well-known publicity stills. At the end of the film, when "Thornton Sayre's" new movie is previewed, a clip from the 1948 Twentieth Century-Fox picture Sitting Pretty , which starred Clifton Webb, is shown (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Jul 1952.
---
Daily Variety
21 Jul 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
24 Jul 52
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Dec 51
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Dec 51
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Dec 51
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jan 52
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 52
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jan 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jan 52
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jan 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jan 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 52
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jan 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jan 52
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Feb 52
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Feb 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 52
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
8 May 52
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 52
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jul 52
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 52
p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
18 May 1951.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Aug 1952.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
26 Jul 52
p. 1461.
New York Times
25 Jul 52
p. 13.
New York Times
26 Jul 52
p. 9.
Time
11 Aug 1952.
---
Variety
23 Jul 52
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Al Herman
Donna Lee Hickey
Alphonse Martel
Albert Cavens
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Prop master
COSTUMES
Ward dir
Cost des
Costume jewlery
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Scr supv
Dial adv
Clifton Webb's physical trainer
Clifton Webb's fencing instructor
STAND INS
Stand-in for Anne Francis
Stand-in for Helene Stanley
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the serial story "Love Man" by John D. Weaver in Collier's (26 May 1950--16 Jun 1951).
MUSIC
"Avalon," music by Al Jolson, B. G. DeSylva and Vincent Rose.
SONGS
"You'll Never Know," music and lyrics by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren.
DETAILS
Release Date:
August 1952
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 25 July 1952
Los Angeles opening: 27 August 1952
Production Date:
27 December 1951--15 February 1952
addl seq late March 1952 and early May 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
25 July 1952
Copyright Number:
LP1910
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
83
Length(in feet):
7,497
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15805
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At Underhill College, English literature professor Thornton Sayre dedicates his life to academia and the rearing of his prim daughter Carol. The Sayres's austere existence is disrupted when a group of jeering college students reveal to Carol that her father was once a silent movie actor known as Bruce Blair, and that his old films, co-starring Gloria Marlowe, are shown on television. A confused Carol confronts Thornton, who admits that he was once known as "Dreamboat" because of his dashing, romantic screen persona. Thornton informs Carol that he was virtually shanghaied into becoming an actor by Gloria, a forceful diva, and that despite his great popularity, he gave up his Hollywood career to marry her late mother and teach. Thornton is horrified that his films have been revived, especially upon learning they are broadcast during The Exotic Perfume Hour , which is hosted by Gloria. When news of Thornton's former life is spread, college president Mathilda May Coffey presides over a meeting of the board, which wants Thornton to resign in order to protect the college's prestigious reputation. Thornton assures the board that he and Carol will travel to New York and force the show's producer to discontinue broadcasting his films. Mathilda then asks the board to leave any disciplinary action to her discretion, but when she is alone with Thornton, the romance-hungry Mathilda reveals that she has had a crush on "Dreamboat" for many years. Aghast, Thornton rejects Mathilda's advances and drives to New York with Carol. There, the Sayres meet Sam Levitt, the television agent who bought the Blair-Marlowe films and revived Gloria's career with them. Sam arranges ... +


At Underhill College, English literature professor Thornton Sayre dedicates his life to academia and the rearing of his prim daughter Carol. The Sayres's austere existence is disrupted when a group of jeering college students reveal to Carol that her father was once a silent movie actor known as Bruce Blair, and that his old films, co-starring Gloria Marlowe, are shown on television. A confused Carol confronts Thornton, who admits that he was once known as "Dreamboat" because of his dashing, romantic screen persona. Thornton informs Carol that he was virtually shanghaied into becoming an actor by Gloria, a forceful diva, and that despite his great popularity, he gave up his Hollywood career to marry her late mother and teach. Thornton is horrified that his films have been revived, especially upon learning they are broadcast during The Exotic Perfume Hour , which is hosted by Gloria. When news of Thornton's former life is spread, college president Mathilda May Coffey presides over a meeting of the board, which wants Thornton to resign in order to protect the college's prestigious reputation. Thornton assures the board that he and Carol will travel to New York and force the show's producer to discontinue broadcasting his films. Mathilda then asks the board to leave any disciplinary action to her discretion, but when she is alone with Thornton, the romance-hungry Mathilda reveals that she has had a crush on "Dreamboat" for many years. Aghast, Thornton rejects Mathilda's advances and drives to New York with Carol. There, the Sayres meet Sam Levitt, the television agent who bought the Blair-Marlowe films and revived Gloria's career with them. Sam arranges for junior executive Bill Ainslee to take Carol on a tour of the city while he talks with Thornton, who is adamant that the movies be taken off the air. Sam, who has craftily arranged for publicity concerning Thornton's surprise re-appearance in public life, calls in Gloria, who joins him in urging Thornton to drop his protests. Thornton insists that the broadcasts are an invasion of his privacy, however, and threatens to sue Sam. Later, Bill brings Carol back to her hotel, and Carol realizes that the handsome Bill considers her "the museum type" rather than the fun-loving girl she would like to be. That night, Sam takes Thornton to hear Gloria sing at a nightclub, after which Gloria lies to Thornton, telling him a sad tale of her debt-ridden life. Feeling sorry for his former co-star, Thornton is about to drop his case, even though his standing as an educator will be ruined, but the next morning, he discovers that Gloria is actually very wealthy. Infuriated, Thornton files for an injunction preventing Sam from broadcasting his pictures. Meanwhile, Carol agrees to date Bill again, and later that day, accuses Thornton of turning her into an over-educated bore while he himself is besieged by female fans. That night, Carol insists on going to Bill's apartment, and there the young couple's kisses make them realize that they are perfect for each other. Back at the hotel, Mathilda arrives and throws herself at Thornton. The professor again demurs, but Mathilda wonders why, if he does not embody at least some attributes of "Dreamboat," he has not yet stopped the flow of publicity. Soon after, Thornton's invasion of privacy suit is heard in court, and using television as his evidence, Thornton proves that it is an often idiotic medium, and that his movies have been re-edited for broadcast. Thornton alleges that the re-editing, which makes it appear that he is endorsing the sponsor's perfume, has turned him into "the world's foremost nincompoop," and the judge grants the injunction. That night, as Thornton seeks to celebrate his victory with Carol, she chastises him for his snobbery, telling him that he is the talented idol of millions, and that he should pursue his movie career rather than teach. Carol also informs her father that she is staying in New York to marry Bill. Thornton is then fired by Mathilda, and dejected, he goes to the hotel bar. There, Gloria taunts him about his failures until he reveals that he has received an offer from a major movie studio. Months later, Carol and Bill snuggle in the audience as Thornton's new film, Sitty Pretty , is previewed. While the crowd roars with laughter, a smug Gloria informs Thornton that she has bought his contract and now controls his career. +

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

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