The Happy Time (1952)

93-94 mins | Comedy | December 1952

Writer:

Earl Felton

Cinematographer:

Charles "Bud" Lawton

Editor:

William Lyon

Production Designer:

Rudolph Sternad

Production Company:

Stanley Kramer Co., Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

The introductory scenes in the film were accompanied by a voice-over spoken in French by "Grandpere," translated with English subtitles. Director Richard Fleischer was borrowed from RKO to direct The Happy Time . Louis Jourdan was borrowed from Twentieth Century-Fox and Kurt Kaszner from M-G-M for the production. Kaszner and Marlene Cameron recreated their Broadway roles for the ... More Less

The introductory scenes in the film were accompanied by a voice-over spoken in French by "Grandpere," translated with English subtitles. Director Richard Fleischer was borrowed from RKO to direct The Happy Time . Louis Jourdan was borrowed from Twentieth Century-Fox and Kurt Kaszner from M-G-M for the production. Kaszner and Marlene Cameron recreated their Broadway roles for the picture. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
29 Nov 1952.
---
Daily Variety
18 Aug 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
26 Aug 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jul 1945.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Mar 51
p. 1, 8.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Dec 51
p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Dec 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Dec 51
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jan 52
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jan 52
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Feb 52
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 52
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 52
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
16 Aug 52
p. 1485.
New York Times
31 Oct 52
p. 30.
Variety
20 Aug 52
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Stanley Kramer Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Ed supv
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus comp and dir
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play The Happy Time by Samuel A. Taylor (New York, 24 Jan 1950), as produced by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, and the novel The Happy Time by Robert Fontaine (New York, 1945).
SONGS
"The Happy Time," music by Dimitri Tiomkin, lyrics by Ned Washington.
DETAILS
Release Date:
December 1952
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 30 October 1952
Production Date:
24 January--23 February 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Stanley Kramer Co., Inc.
Copyright Date:
23 July 1952
Copyright Number:
LP1845
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
93-94
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15823
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the early 1920s in French Canada, the Bonnard family prepares to celebrate the birthday of the family's youngest son Robert, known as Bibi. Aging dandy Grandpere Bonnard meets Bibi walking home and presents him with a canary. Bibi's neighbor, American Peggy O'Hare, who is infatuated with Bibi, then gives him a baseball catcher's mask, to the annoyance of classmate Jimmy Bishop. At the Bonnard dinner table, Bibi's mother Susan frets about the present from Bibi's uncle Desmonde, a traveling salesman--a photograph of Desmonde with two striking showgirls. Bibi's father Jacques, however, dismisses Susan's concerns. Uncle Louis, who lives across the street, is unable to visit because his dressmaker wife Felice nags him to stop drinking wine out of a water bottle and pay more attention to their single daughter Yvonne. After dinner, Jacques takes Bibi with him to his job as violinist and conductor for a small local theater that runs vaudeville acts and silent films. Bibi is mesmerized by the magician The Great Gaspari and his pretty assistant, Mignonette Chappuis. When Gaspari gets too familiar with Mignonette on stage, she exposes his most famous trick and storms offstage. Jacques and Bibi bring Mignonette home, where Jacques convinces Susan to employ her as their maid. That night, Desmonde makes an unexpected visit, to Bibi's delight. Desmonde is equally pleased to meet Mignonette, with whom he begins an immediate flirtation. The next day at school, Bibi gets into a squabble with Jimmy, who snatches the mildly provocative magazine that Bibi has gotten from Desmonde. Bibi is sent to the stern school principal, Mr. Frye, who scolds him for carrying a dirty magazine. After school, Bibi ... +


In the early 1920s in French Canada, the Bonnard family prepares to celebrate the birthday of the family's youngest son Robert, known as Bibi. Aging dandy Grandpere Bonnard meets Bibi walking home and presents him with a canary. Bibi's neighbor, American Peggy O'Hare, who is infatuated with Bibi, then gives him a baseball catcher's mask, to the annoyance of classmate Jimmy Bishop. At the Bonnard dinner table, Bibi's mother Susan frets about the present from Bibi's uncle Desmonde, a traveling salesman--a photograph of Desmonde with two striking showgirls. Bibi's father Jacques, however, dismisses Susan's concerns. Uncle Louis, who lives across the street, is unable to visit because his dressmaker wife Felice nags him to stop drinking wine out of a water bottle and pay more attention to their single daughter Yvonne. After dinner, Jacques takes Bibi with him to his job as violinist and conductor for a small local theater that runs vaudeville acts and silent films. Bibi is mesmerized by the magician The Great Gaspari and his pretty assistant, Mignonette Chappuis. When Gaspari gets too familiar with Mignonette on stage, she exposes his most famous trick and storms offstage. Jacques and Bibi bring Mignonette home, where Jacques convinces Susan to employ her as their maid. That night, Desmonde makes an unexpected visit, to Bibi's delight. Desmonde is equally pleased to meet Mignonette, with whom he begins an immediate flirtation. The next day at school, Bibi gets into a squabble with Jimmy, who snatches the mildly provocative magazine that Bibi has gotten from Desmonde. Bibi is sent to the stern school principal, Mr. Frye, who scolds him for carrying a dirty magazine. After school, Bibi meets Mignonette to catch a matinee of The Sheik and is deeply impressed with the film and its effect on Mignonette. Upon arriving home, Bibi, Jacques and Mignonette discover Grandpere collapsed against the fence. Dr. Marchaud is summoned and warns Grandpere that if he does not stop carousing, he is doomed. Grandpere rejects the doctor's diagnosis and wishes Desmonde luck on his date with Mignonette. That evening Desmonde takes Mignonette dancing, but when he continues to flirt, she asserts that their backgrounds are too disperate for them to be happy together. Desmonde then shows her a photograph of a house he says Grandpere plans to give him and confesses he is lonely and longing to settle down. Returning home, Desmonde becomes frustrated when Mignonette refuses to kiss him goodnight. Meanwhile, downstairs, Bibi marvels with Louis about the power of Rudolph Valentino's onscreen kisses, and Louis confides that a kiss can indeed be magic. Later that night, Bibi creeps into Mignonette's room and kisses her fleetingly before returning hastily to his room. Mignonette awakens startled and, believing Desmonde is the kissing culprit, goes into his room and dumps a pitcher of water on him. At school the next day, Peggy makes a curt comment about Mignonette, which angers Bibi, while Jimmy plants a crude drawing on Bibi's desk. When the sketch is discovered, Mr. Frye is summoned. He asks Peggy if she witnessed Bibi make the drawing, and Peggy, hurt over Bibi's earlier rebuff, says she did. Mr. Frye takes Bibi into his office and strikes his open hand with a leather strap when he refuses to admit he drew the picture. Mr. Frye says he will strap Bibi daily until he confesses. That evening Louis entertains a possible suitor for Yvonne, powerful banker Alfred Grattin, but is appalled when Felice informs him that Alfred does not drink. Alfred arrives and unknowingly begins drinking the wine from Louis' water bottle. When Louis discovers Alfred is only a clerk, he throws the now-drunken young man out. A few days later, when Mignonette mentions Desmonde's promised house, Susan and Jacques accidentally reveal that the house is a fabrication. Mignonette slaps Desmonde and storms to her room. Bibi then breaks down and reveals the situation at school with Mr. Frye. Jacques, Desmonde and Louis call on Mr. Frye, who insists he is justified in punishing Bibi, until Desmonde suddenly recalls having seen Mr. Frye at a casino in Montreal and promises to spread this information through town. The Bonnards return home and toast Bibi, until Susan informs them Mignonette has departed. Susan says she agreed to let her go when Mignonette mentioned the stolen kiss. Desmonde is outraged at the insinuation until Bibi sheepishly admits he was the culprit. Desmonde rushes out to find Mignonette and, inspired, Louis goes out to make amends with Alfred. Desmonde returns with Mignonette as Grandpere is on his way out for another evening. Bibi then makes his first appearance in long pants, and Peggy, who has sneaked in, is agog with admiration. Bibi is still angry about Peggy's lie at school and she apologizes. When Bibi realizes Peggy is no longer wearing braces, he kisses her, and Susan and Jacques realize another Bonnard male is making his way into the world. +

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.