Good-Bye, My Lady (1956)

91 or 94-95 mins | Children's works, Drama | 12 May 1956

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writer:

Sid Fleischman

Producer:

Robert Fellows

Cinematographer:

William H. Clothier

Editor:

Fred MacDowell

Production Designer:

Donald A. Peters

Production Company:

Batjac Productions, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

The title card reads: "Warner Bros. presents William A. Wellman's Good-Bye, My Lady ." The onscreen credits for Laurindo Almeida and George Field read as follows: "Music composed and played by Laurindo Almeida--Guitar, A.S.C.A.P.; George Fields--Harmonica, A.S.C.A.P." During the film, an offscreen narrator conveys the passage of time. Portions of the film, among them the hunting sequences, were shot in Albany, GA, and also at the Samuel Goldwyn Studios, according to an Aug 1955 HR news item. In his autobiography, Sam O'Steen stated that he served as assistant film editor for the film.
       According to Warner Bros. production notes, upon completion of the film, Wellman gave the dog who played "Lady" to actor Brandon de Wilde, who portrayed "Skeeter." In his 1974 autobiography, Wellman expressed annoyance over the film's financial failure, especially considering that the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution awarded him a plaque proclaiming Good-Bye, My Lady "the Best Children's Picture of the Year ... More Less

The title card reads: "Warner Bros. presents William A. Wellman's Good-Bye, My Lady ." The onscreen credits for Laurindo Almeida and George Field read as follows: "Music composed and played by Laurindo Almeida--Guitar, A.S.C.A.P.; George Fields--Harmonica, A.S.C.A.P." During the film, an offscreen narrator conveys the passage of time. Portions of the film, among them the hunting sequences, were shot in Albany, GA, and also at the Samuel Goldwyn Studios, according to an Aug 1955 HR news item. In his autobiography, Sam O'Steen stated that he served as assistant film editor for the film.
       According to Warner Bros. production notes, upon completion of the film, Wellman gave the dog who played "Lady" to actor Brandon de Wilde, who portrayed "Skeeter." In his 1974 autobiography, Wellman expressed annoyance over the film's financial failure, especially considering that the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution awarded him a plaque proclaiming Good-Bye, My Lady "the Best Children's Picture of the Year 1956." More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 Apr 1956.
---
Daily Variety
4 Apr 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
13 Apr 56
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jul 1955
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Aug 1955
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Aug 1955
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 1955
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Sep 1955
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Dec 1955
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Apr 56
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 1956
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
7 Apr 56
p. 849.
Variety
11 Apr 56
p. 7.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Asst art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus comp and played by
Mus comp and played by
SOUND
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Scr supv
SOURCES
LITERARY
From the novel Good-bye, My Lady by James H. Street (Philadelphia, 1954).
SONGS
"When Your Boy Becomes a Man," music by Don Powell, lyrics by Moris Erby.
DETAILS
Release Date:
12 May 1956
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Albany, GA: 11 April 1956
Production Date:
early August--late September 1955 at Samuel Goldwyn Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Batjac Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
12 May 1956
Copyright Number:
LP8334
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
91 or 94-95
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17790
SYNOPSIS

In Mississippi swamp country, kindly Jesse Jackson is rearing his orphaned nephew Claude, whom he has nicknamed Skeeter. Although the toothless, illiterate older man cannot teach him what is taught at school, he lets Skeeter practice reading to him and shows him the right way to live in harmony with nature. During a moon-filled night, Skeeter hears a strange sound and wakes Jesse. He tells Jesse the sound was “like a ghost laughing.” As uncle and nephew leave their weather-beaten cabin to find the source of the sound, Skeeter chatters away about his desire to own a .22 gauge shotgun for hunting. Soon they encounter a creature that looks like a dog, licks itself like a cat and does not bark, but makes a laughing sound. Unlike other creatures, the animal can smell them from a great distance and shyly runs away from them. The next day, their friend, storekeeper “Cash” Evans, drops by with groceries. After hearing about the creature, he lets his hunting dog and hog hounds loose, and he and the Jacksons follow them. They determine that the creature is a dog, and when she outruns and outsmarts Cash’s highly trained dogs, the storekeeper is amazed. Later, sensing that the dog wants him as much as he wants her, Skeeter patiently lures her with food. The little dog’s eyes are filled with tears when Skeeter gets near her and takes her home. Skeeter and the dog, which he names “Lady,” become inseparable. Lady sleeps with Skeeter and eats the same meager meals as the Jacksons. At mealtime, remembering the taste ... +


In Mississippi swamp country, kindly Jesse Jackson is rearing his orphaned nephew Claude, whom he has nicknamed Skeeter. Although the toothless, illiterate older man cannot teach him what is taught at school, he lets Skeeter practice reading to him and shows him the right way to live in harmony with nature. During a moon-filled night, Skeeter hears a strange sound and wakes Jesse. He tells Jesse the sound was “like a ghost laughing.” As uncle and nephew leave their weather-beaten cabin to find the source of the sound, Skeeter chatters away about his desire to own a .22 gauge shotgun for hunting. Soon they encounter a creature that looks like a dog, licks itself like a cat and does not bark, but makes a laughing sound. Unlike other creatures, the animal can smell them from a great distance and shyly runs away from them. The next day, their friend, storekeeper “Cash” Evans, drops by with groceries. After hearing about the creature, he lets his hunting dog and hog hounds loose, and he and the Jacksons follow them. They determine that the creature is a dog, and when she outruns and outsmarts Cash’s highly trained dogs, the storekeeper is amazed. Later, sensing that the dog wants him as much as he wants her, Skeeter patiently lures her with food. The little dog’s eyes are filled with tears when Skeeter gets near her and takes her home. Skeeter and the dog, which he names “Lady,” become inseparable. Lady sleeps with Skeeter and eats the same meager meals as the Jacksons. At mealtime, remembering the taste of hickory nuts, Jesse talks about buying “Roebuckers,” which is his name for false teeth from the Sears Roebuck catalog. Fearing that Lady could be harmed by the alligators in the swamp, Skeeter sternly trains Lady to go against her instincts and chase birds, instead of swamp rats. One of Skeeter’s chores is to get buttermilk from Bonnie Dew and her oldest son Gates, African-Americans who live across the river. Bonnie Dew is shocked to learn that Jesse lets Skeeter drink coffee, even though Jesse always adds a little milk. Gates, a perceptive man, asks Skeeter what is bothering him and assures him that dogs can be taught to do anything but laugh and cry. After several months of training Skeeter, Lady surpasses the hunting skills of Cash’s new English setter, Millard Fillmore. News travels that Lady can run faster than other hunting dogs and smell prey over fifty yards away, bringing whole families to the backwoods cabin to see her. One day while Skeeter is out, Cash visits Jesse reluctantly to tell him about a lost-and-found ad he read in a magazine, reporting that a rare African hunting dog, called a Basenji, was lost in their area. The lost dog, named “Isis of the Blue Nile,” fits Lady’s description. Cash suggests not telling Skeeter about Lady’s rightful owner, who lives in Connecticut, but Jesse feels a moral obligation to tell Skeeter the truth. That evening, when Jesse tells Skeeter, the boy tries to deny that Lady is the dog described in the ad and Jesse promises to respect his decision. However, after some thought, Skeeter announces that he must contact the owner. Unsure of the best way to reach the owner, Skeeter consults Gates, who admits to seeing the ad and offers to send a telegram on Skeeter’s behalf. Almost in tears, Skeeter demands to know why Gates never mentioned the ad earlier, when parting with the dog would have been easier for him. Gates says that he tried to catch the dog himself for the reward, but the dog chose to be with Skeeter and he could see how Skeeter “ached” for the dog. Later, in response to the telegram, Walden Grover, an employee of the kennel that owns Lady, comes to the cabin to retrieve her. While waiting for Skeeter and Lady to return from the woods, Grover and Jesse behave with stiff politeness, until Jesse, admitting that they are both “a bit touchy,” invites him into the cabin. Grover confides his discomfort about separating the boy from the beloved, but rare and expensive dog. When Skeeter is late coming home, Grover goes to Cash’s store to wait. Later Skeeter, Jesse and Lady arrive, and Skeeter apologizes for his tardiness. Instead of the fifty dollar reward promised in the ad, Grover gives Skeeter one hundred dollars for the return of Lady. When Cash suggests that Skeeter could buy one of Lady’s litter, Skeeter says that the puppy would remind him of Lady and prolong his grieving. Hearing this, Grover promises not to write him to report how Lady is doing. Because Lady refuses to obey Grover’s order to go to the car, Grover asks Skeeter to carry her there. At first Skeeter refuses, feeling that he has done enough, but then agrees, admitting that Grover paid him fairly. After putting the crying dog in the carrier in the back of Grover’s truck, Skeeter says “good-bye, my Lady,” and Grover drives away. Cash consoles Skeeter that Lady will be well cared for and asks him to train Millard Fillmore. Jesse expects Skeeter to decline the offer, but, to his surprise, Skeeter agrees that “Old Mill” barks like the kind of dog he is used to, and adds that Lady will be better off eating meat every day. With his money, Skeeter insists that he will buy Jesse the best set of false teeth in the Sears Roebuck catalog and asks Cash to place an order. Cash suggests that there will be enough money left to make a down payment on a shotgun. Skeeter brightens, momentarily forgetting that Lady will not be there to hunt with him, but decides to go ahead with the plans. Cash offers them coffee and Jesse, observing that Skeeter is growing up, serves him his coffee black.
+

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.