The Girl Most Likely (1958)

98-99 mins | Musical, Romantic comedy | February 1958

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HISTORY

The Girl Most Likely was a remake of the 1941 RKO picture Tom, Dick and Harry (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50). RKO produced the film in 1956, but after the breakup of the studio, Universal bought the release rights. Although the onscreen credit for screenwriting reads, “Screenplay by Devery Freeman,” in 1998 the Writers Guild of America restored the credit of blacklisted writer Paul Jarrico, who wrote the screenplay for Tom ,Dick and Harry. The new credit for The Girl Most Likely reads, “Screenplay by Paul Jarrico and Devery Freeman. Story by Paul Jarrico.” Please see the entry for the 1952 RKO film The Las Vegas Story (below) for more information about the restoration of credits by the Writers Guild.
       Although a Nov 1956 LAT article reported that Carol Channing was to co-star in The Girl Most Likely, and songwriters Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane would pen special numbers “to demonstrate her individual style in singing and dancing,” she did not appear in the film. A Nov 1956 HR production chart includes Venetia Stevenson and Valerie Anderson in the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. ...

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The Girl Most Likely was a remake of the 1941 RKO picture Tom, Dick and Harry (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50). RKO produced the film in 1956, but after the breakup of the studio, Universal bought the release rights. Although the onscreen credit for screenwriting reads, “Screenplay by Devery Freeman,” in 1998 the Writers Guild of America restored the credit of blacklisted writer Paul Jarrico, who wrote the screenplay for Tom ,Dick and Harry. The new credit for The Girl Most Likely reads, “Screenplay by Paul Jarrico and Devery Freeman. Story by Paul Jarrico.” Please see the entry for the 1952 RKO film The Las Vegas Story (below) for more information about the restoration of credits by the Writers Guild.
       Although a Nov 1956 LAT article reported that Carol Channing was to co-star in The Girl Most Likely, and songwriters Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane would pen special numbers “to demonstrate her individual style in singing and dancing,” she did not appear in the film. A Nov 1956 HR production chart includes Venetia Stevenson and Valerie Anderson in the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
21 Dec 1957
---
Daily Cinema
22 Nov 1957
---
Daily Variety
17 Dec 1957
p. 3
Film Daily
17 Dec 1957
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
7 Sep 1956
p. 10
Hollywood Reporter
2 Nov 1956
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jan 1957
p. 10
Hollywood Reporter
17 Dec 1957
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jul 1998
p. 1, 26
Los Angeles Times
13 Jun 1956
---
Los Angeles Times
4 Feb 1958
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
21 Dec 1957
p. 651
New York Times
9 Oct 1958
p. 47
The Exhibitor
25 Dec 1957
---
Variety
18 Dec 1957
p. 6
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
In charge of prod
WRITERS
Paul Jarrico
Scr
Paul Jarrico
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Albert S. D'Agostino
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus arr and cond
Mus coordinator
DANCE
Dances and mus seq staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairstylist
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Beach Party," by Nelson Riddle.
SONGS
"The Girl Most Likely," music and lyrics by Bob Russell and Nelson Riddle, sung by The Hi-Lo's; "I Don't Know What I Want," "We Gotta Keep Up with the Joneses," "Balboa," "Crazy Horse" and "All the Colors of the Rainbow," music and lyrics by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane.
PERFORMED BY
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
February 1958
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 5 Feb 1958
Production Date:
early Sep--early Nov 1956; addl secenes shot week of 8 Jan 1957
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
RKO Teleradio Pictures, Inc.
17 November 1957
LP10475
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
2:1
Duration(in mins):
98-99
Length(in feet):
8,873
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18261
SYNOPSIS

As bank clerk Dodie ferries home to Balboa Bay, California, she imagines meeting the very wealthy man of her dreams. That evening, her boyfriend, real estate agent Buzz, takes her to Lovers’ Beach, where he reveals that he was promoted and wants to marry her. She refuses, until he finally adds that he truly loves her and will do everything he can to care for her. Even though Dodie knows she does not love him, she accepts. At home, where Dodie lives with her parents and teenage sister Peteine, she fantasizes about her wedding, but her daydream soon degenerates into a vision of a life devoid of passion and focused only on social climbing. At the bank the next day, Dodie informs her best friend Marge about the engagement, but begins to experience second thoughts when the yacht of millionaire Neil Patterson, Jr. sails by. She and Marge take the ferry home, and when they spot a man hopping off the yacht and into a motorboat, Dodie impulsively jumps into the water in order to meet him. He fishes her out of the bay and, charmed, asks for a date that night. Although Dodie’s father at first chastises her for betraying Buzz, when he hears that her date is a millionaire, he rushes to help her get ready. As soon as Dodie leaves with her date, however, he explains that he has only two dollars and a dime, and she realizes that he is not Neil, but Neil’s mechanic, Pete. Dodie is furious, but the smitten Pete convinces her to go out with him. Accompanied by Marge and her date, sailor Sam Kelsey, Dodie and Pete enjoy a lovely ...

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As bank clerk Dodie ferries home to Balboa Bay, California, she imagines meeting the very wealthy man of her dreams. That evening, her boyfriend, real estate agent Buzz, takes her to Lovers’ Beach, where he reveals that he was promoted and wants to marry her. She refuses, until he finally adds that he truly loves her and will do everything he can to care for her. Even though Dodie knows she does not love him, she accepts. At home, where Dodie lives with her parents and teenage sister Peteine, she fantasizes about her wedding, but her daydream soon degenerates into a vision of a life devoid of passion and focused only on social climbing. At the bank the next day, Dodie informs her best friend Marge about the engagement, but begins to experience second thoughts when the yacht of millionaire Neil Patterson, Jr. sails by. She and Marge take the ferry home, and when they spot a man hopping off the yacht and into a motorboat, Dodie impulsively jumps into the water in order to meet him. He fishes her out of the bay and, charmed, asks for a date that night. Although Dodie’s father at first chastises her for betraying Buzz, when he hears that her date is a millionaire, he rushes to help her get ready. As soon as Dodie leaves with her date, however, he explains that he has only two dollars and a dime, and she realizes that he is not Neil, but Neil’s mechanic, Pete. Dodie is furious, but the smitten Pete convinces her to go out with him. Accompanied by Marge and her date, sailor Sam Kelsey, Dodie and Pete enjoy a lovely night together by the pier, debating the whole time about her obsession with marrying a wealthy man. Pete argues that kindness and honesty make a man a man rich, not money, and seems to know everyone in town. By the end of the night, Pete is in love, and when he kisses Dodie she finally feels the way she has always dreamed of feeling, as if she is on a pink cloud. When he proposes, she at first demurs, explaining that she is already engaged to Buzz, but accepts him after another kiss. Pete leaves, and this time her fantasy about the future casts her as an Indian squaw, stuck with a brood of nine children but enjoying a passionate marriage. The next night, Pete stands outside Buzz’s office, and plays along when Buzz assumes he is a customer. Buzz breaks his date with Dodie in order to show his new prospect a house, insisting that Pete bring along his fiancée. When he sees that the girl is Dodie, however, Buzz is dismayed, and abandons the couple by the ocean, forcing them to walk home. Along the way, they hear a muffled cry for help and discover a drunken man, whom Pete identifies as Neil, paddling helplessly in the water. While Pete runs off to call a driver, Dodie charms Neil, who asks her on a date for the following evening. She meets him on his yacht, where he plies her with delicacies and liqueurs, but when he makes advances, she threatens to jump overboard unless he stops. He complies, and instead takes her to Tijuana, where he is delighted by her vivacity. They meet Marge and Sam there, and the four dance all night until Neil finally buys a cab to drive a drunken Dodie home at four a.m. Both Buzz and Pete are waiting on her front porch, and although all three suitors explain to her that she must choose one fiancé, she is too drunk to think clearly, so they put her to bed. The three return in the morning for breakfast and wait in suspense until Dodie finally descends the stairs, her decision made. After gently informing first Buzz and then Pete that she has always dreamed of marrying a man like Neil, Dodie offers her hand to the millionaire. A thrilled Neil suggests that they leave for a marriage cruise right away, and the whole group accompanies them onboard for a farewell party. There, Sam secretly proposes to an overjoyed Marge, and then everyone bids Dodie and Neil goodbye. Pete is the last to leave, and when he passionately kisses her, Dodie once again feels the pink cloud and wonders if she has made the right choice. She kisses Neil to check, and after the kiss leaves her cold, she apologizes to him and hops into Pete’s boat, finally sure of who and what she wants.

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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.