Miss Sadie Thompson (1954)

90-91 mins | Drama | February 1954

Director:

Curtis Bernhardt

Writer:

Harry Kleiner

Cinematographer:

Charles "Bud" Lawton

Editor:

Viola Lawrence

Production Designer:

Carl Anderson

Production Companies:

Beckworth Corp., Columbia Pictures Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

The film's title card reads "W. Somerset Maugham's Miss Sadie Thompson ." The working title of the film was Rain . Maugham's short story was turned into a play, Rain , by Clemence Randolph and John Colton. A 2 Aug 1950 HR news item notes that producer J. Arthur Rank considered purchasing the play's rights, held by Mary Pickford and Lester Cowan, and casting Bette Davis as "Sadie." Maugham's story was first adapted to the screen in 1928. The United Artists film, titled Sadie Thompson , starred Gloria Swanson, and was directed by Raoul Walsh (please see AFI Catalog of Feature Films; 1921-30 ). In 1932, United Artists released Rain , starring Joan Crawford and directed by Lewis Milestone, which was based on the short story and Colton and Randolph's play (please see AFI Catalog of Feature Films; 1931-40 ). Although Miss Sadie Thompson was released in 3-D, the print viewed was in standard format. According to reviews, portion of the film were shot on location in Hawaii. Modern sources conflict over whether JoAnn Greer or India Adams dubbed Rita Hayworth's singing voice. Lester Lee and Allan Roberts' song "The Blue Pacific Blues" was nominated for an Academy ... More Less

The film's title card reads "W. Somerset Maugham's Miss Sadie Thompson ." The working title of the film was Rain . Maugham's short story was turned into a play, Rain , by Clemence Randolph and John Colton. A 2 Aug 1950 HR news item notes that producer J. Arthur Rank considered purchasing the play's rights, held by Mary Pickford and Lester Cowan, and casting Bette Davis as "Sadie." Maugham's story was first adapted to the screen in 1928. The United Artists film, titled Sadie Thompson , starred Gloria Swanson, and was directed by Raoul Walsh (please see AFI Catalog of Feature Films; 1921-30 ). In 1932, United Artists released Rain , starring Joan Crawford and directed by Lewis Milestone, which was based on the short story and Colton and Randolph's play (please see AFI Catalog of Feature Films; 1931-40 ). Although Miss Sadie Thompson was released in 3-D, the print viewed was in standard format. According to reviews, portion of the film were shot on location in Hawaii. Modern sources conflict over whether JoAnn Greer or India Adams dubbed Rita Hayworth's singing voice. Lester Lee and Allan Roberts' song "The Blue Pacific Blues" was nominated for an Academy Award. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
26 Dec 1953.
---
Box Office
2 Jan 1954.
---
Daily Variety
21 Dec 53
p. 3.
Film Daily
21 Dec 53
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Aug 50
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Apr 53
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
29 May 53
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Aug 53
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Dec 53
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
23 Nov 1990.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
26 Dec 53
p. 2117.
New York Times
24 Dec 53
p. 9.
Variety
23 Dec 53
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Jerry Wald Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Background mus
SOUND
Sd eng
Sd ed
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to prod
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Miss Thompson" by W. Somerset Maugham in The Smart Set (Apr 1921).
SONGS
"The Marine Song," music by Lester Lee, lyrics by Allan Roberts
"The Blue Pacific Blues," The Heat Is On!" and "Hear No Evil, See No Evil (Speak No Evil)," music by Lester Lee, lyrics by Ned Washington
"Rock of Ages," music by Thomas Hastings, lyrics by Augustus Montague Toplady.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Rain
W. Somerset Maugham's Miss Sadie Thompson
Release Date:
February 1954
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 23 December 1953
Production Date:
31 March--13 June 1953
Copyright Claimant:
Beckworth Corp.
Copyright Date:
31 December 1953
Copyright Number:
LP3250
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
3-D
Duration(in mins):
90-91
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16538
SYNOPSIS

At the end of the Second World War on a military base on a small South Pacific island, U.S. Marine Sgt. Phil O'Hara and his fellow soldiers await their discharges while attending to mundane peacetime duties. On a routine supply pickup, Phil and several of his men meet arriving sea passengers Dr. Robert MacPhail and his wife, and missionaries Alfred and Margaret Davidson who are returning to the island after a year's absence. With two free hours between transports, Davidson and MacPhail are intent upon revisiting the missionary hospital they established on the island. Phil and the men are more enthusiastic about the arrival of the mail boat, which brings another passenger between ships, singer Sadie Thompson, who is headed to New Caledonia. While Phil and the men excitedly smuggle the gregarious Sadie to Bill's Bar in the village, Davidson and MacPhail visit the missionary hospital. Later, when Davidson hears robust singing emanating from Bill's, he stops by to chastise the Marines for breaking the Sabbath. Upon returning to the harbor to catch her boat, Sadie discovers that a week-long quarantine has been issued for the entire island. Phil and the men cheerfully escort Sadie to Joe Horn's modest hotel, where she is forced to accept a small spare room because the Davidsons and MacPhails have already taken the larger rooms. The following day as the monsoon season begins, Davidson expresses dismay at Sadie's boisterousness and the Marines visiting her room. When Davidson criticizes Sadie's character, MacPhail protests, accusing Davidson of intolerance. That evening, Sadie sings and dances for the men at Bill's, as Davidson, playing cards with the MacPhails, recalls having seen Sadie in Honolulu, ... +


At the end of the Second World War on a military base on a small South Pacific island, U.S. Marine Sgt. Phil O'Hara and his fellow soldiers await their discharges while attending to mundane peacetime duties. On a routine supply pickup, Phil and several of his men meet arriving sea passengers Dr. Robert MacPhail and his wife, and missionaries Alfred and Margaret Davidson who are returning to the island after a year's absence. With two free hours between transports, Davidson and MacPhail are intent upon revisiting the missionary hospital they established on the island. Phil and the men are more enthusiastic about the arrival of the mail boat, which brings another passenger between ships, singer Sadie Thompson, who is headed to New Caledonia. While Phil and the men excitedly smuggle the gregarious Sadie to Bill's Bar in the village, Davidson and MacPhail visit the missionary hospital. Later, when Davidson hears robust singing emanating from Bill's, he stops by to chastise the Marines for breaking the Sabbath. Upon returning to the harbor to catch her boat, Sadie discovers that a week-long quarantine has been issued for the entire island. Phil and the men cheerfully escort Sadie to Joe Horn's modest hotel, where she is forced to accept a small spare room because the Davidsons and MacPhails have already taken the larger rooms. The following day as the monsoon season begins, Davidson expresses dismay at Sadie's boisterousness and the Marines visiting her room. When Davidson criticizes Sadie's character, MacPhail protests, accusing Davidson of intolerance. That evening, Sadie sings and dances for the men at Bill's, as Davidson, playing cards with the MacPhails, recalls having seen Sadie in Honolulu, outside of the notorious Emerald Club, a house of prostitution. MacPhail defends Sadie, upbraiding Davidson for his presumption that Sadie was employed at Emerald's. That night, Phil and the men drunkenly escort Sadie back to her room. Angered by their rowdiness, Davidson bursts in, ordering the men to leave, which prompts Phil to attack the missionary before being stopped by the others. After the soldiers leave, Davidson asks Sadie why she left Honolulu abruptly. Startled, she insists that he clarify his insinuations, but Davidson maintains that he only wishes to offer her redemption. The next day, Davidson visits the governor and demands Sadie's arrest, claiming she is a fugitive from America. Back at Horn's, Phil finds Sadie packing, determined to move into the village, fearful that Davidson may try to prevent her passage to New Caledonia. In the village, however, the native families refuse to take Sadie in, not wanting to incur Davidson's displeasure. Angry and frustrated, Sadie returns to Horn's, where Phil asks her to forgo her plans for New Caledonia and instead meet him in Australia, where he intends to settle upon his discharge. Sadie agrees just as a messenger brings her notice from the governor's office of her deportation to San Francisco in three days. Phil accompanies Sadie to the governor's office, but she insists on seeing him alone. When Sadie pleads with the governor to be allowed to go to Australia, he tells her that if Davidson allows it, he will approve. At Horn's, Sadie confronts Davidson but he accuses her of fleeing from the American police. Sadie admits to having been involved with a man who committed murder and for behavior for which she is not proud. Davidson insists she must pay for her immorality. Later, Phil visits Sadie and when he realizes Davidson is responsible for the deportation order, seeks him out. Learning of Sadie's past, Phil berates her, and declares that he could never marry her. After Phil departs, Davidson visits the distraught Sadie and prays over her. Confused, Sadie withdraws for the next couple of days and begins reading the Bible. When MacPhail expresses concern for her, Sadie reassures him, revealing that Davidson has helped her face up to her past and that she has accepted that she must return to San Francisco. As the transport arrives on the island, Phil visits Sadie to apologize for his reaction and to tell her he has arranged for her passage to New Caledonia. Sadie insists the only way that she will feel free is to accept punishment for her actions and return home. Davidson arrives and Sadie asks a disappointed Phil to go away. Davidson praises Sadie for her strength and she thanks him for providing her with confidence. To Sadie's amazement, Davidson then abruptly demands to know why she is leaving him and coldly tells her she can never change what she is and attacks her. The following morning Davidson commits suicide by jumping from a cliff. Phil rushes to Horn's, worried about Sadie's reaction to Davidson's death. Embittered, Sadie is nevertheless stunned and paralyzed by the news, until MacPhail convinces her she cannot let Davidson's actions ruin her. When Phil insists he wants to resume their plans for Australia, Sadie asks him if he can forget her past and he says he wants the opportunity to try. She agrees and sets off for Australia after Phil promises to meet her there in a month. +

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.