Teacher's Pet (1958)

120 mins | Romantic comedy | April 1958

Director:

George Seaton

Producer:

William Perlberg

Cinematographer:

Haskell Boggs

Editor:

Alma Macrorie

Production Designers:

Hal Pereira, Earl Hedrick

Production Company:

Perlsea Co.
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HISTORY

The onscreen writing credit reads: "Written by Fay and Michael Kanin." According to HR, producers William Perlberg and George Seaton purchased the original screen story to Teacher's Pet from the husband-and-wife writing team of Michael and Fay Kanin in Feb 1952. At that time, the film was projected as a 1953 Paramount release, with the producers planning to begin production as soon as they completed their current project, The Country Girl (see entry). Production on Teacher's Pet was finally set to begin in Nov 1956, but filming was delayed until Apr 1957 in order to fit into actress Doris Day's schedule, according to HR news items. HR also reported that the Kanins were planning to publish their original story in an unnamed "national magazine" in 1953, but it has not been determined if their story was published.
       In Apr 1957, as a publicity stunt, the producers invited newspaper film critics from across the United States to appear in the film. According to DV and HR news items, over 143 newspapers accepted the invitation, and a drawing was held from which fifty critics were chosen at random to appear as themselves. Norman Isaacs, the managing editor of The Louisville Times, then wrote a scathing editorial on the matter, accusing Perlberg and Seaton of "intellectual bribery." While Issacs claimed the producers could have saved $15,000 using real New York City newspapermen, who would have agreed to appear in the film for free, the producers noted that the then-current Screen Actors Guild (SAG) contract required that each performer be paid ...

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The onscreen writing credit reads: "Written by Fay and Michael Kanin." According to HR, producers William Perlberg and George Seaton purchased the original screen story to Teacher's Pet from the husband-and-wife writing team of Michael and Fay Kanin in Feb 1952. At that time, the film was projected as a 1953 Paramount release, with the producers planning to begin production as soon as they completed their current project, The Country Girl (see entry). Production on Teacher's Pet was finally set to begin in Nov 1956, but filming was delayed until Apr 1957 in order to fit into actress Doris Day's schedule, according to HR news items. HR also reported that the Kanins were planning to publish their original story in an unnamed "national magazine" in 1953, but it has not been determined if their story was published.
       In Apr 1957, as a publicity stunt, the producers invited newspaper film critics from across the United States to appear in the film. According to DV and HR news items, over 143 newspapers accepted the invitation, and a drawing was held from which fifty critics were chosen at random to appear as themselves. Norman Isaacs, the managing editor of The Louisville Times, then wrote a scathing editorial on the matter, accusing Perlberg and Seaton of "intellectual bribery." While Issacs claimed the producers could have saved $15,000 using real New York City newspapermen, who would have agreed to appear in the film for free, the producers noted that the then-current Screen Actors Guild (SAG) contract required that each performer be paid a minimum salary of $285 per week (not $375, as stated by Issacs in his editorial), and that they had agreed to donate any performer's salary to charity if any selected film critic's newspaper had so requested. Var also pointed out that this publicity stunt cost the production over $25,000, including travel and living expenses for the forty-nine out-of-town critics selected.
       According to HR news items, portions of the film were shot on location at the Los Angeles Times press room and library in mid-Jun 1957. HR also reported that Perlberg and Seaton flew to New York on 8 Jul 1957 to shoot additional scenes for Teacher's Pet. In the HR production charts, editor Alma Macrorie is mistakenly listed as "Elma McCroie." HR news items include Joseph Hamilton , Jean Willes, George Cisar and Merry Anders in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. HR noted in late May 1957 that Bob Burke temporarily replaced director of photography Haskell Boggs after Boggs "suffered a ruptured blood vessel in his left eye."
       According to LAT, the Los Angeles premiere of Teacher's Pet took place on 20 Mar 1958 at Paramount Hollywood theater, as a benefit for the 8-Ball Foundation of the Greater Los Angeles Press Club. Teacher's Pet received two Academy Award nominations: Gig Young was nominated as Best Supporting Actor, while the Kanins were nominated for Best Original Story and Screenplay. The title song, sung by Day, was a modest hit in 1958. Following the critical and box-office success of Teacher's Pet, Perlberg, Seaton and actor Clark Gable collaborated on another Paramount release the next year, 1959's But Not for Me (see entry).

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
PERSONAL & COMPANY INDEX CREDITS
HISTORY CREDITS
CREDIT TYPE
CREDIT
General (mod):
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
24 Mar 1958
---
Daily Variety
16 Apr 1957
---
Daily Variety
17 Mar 1958
p. 3
Film Daily
18 Mar 1958
p. 8
Harr
22 Mar 1958
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 1952
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Feb 1952
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Oct 1956
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
13 Mar 1957
p. 12
Hollywood Reporter
8 Apr 1957
p. 7
Hollywood Reporter
11 Apr 1957
p. 14
Hollywood Reporter
16 Apr 1957
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Apr 1957
p. 14
Hollywood Reporter
19 Apr 1957
p. 16
Hollywood Reporter
24 Apr 1957
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
23 May 1957
p. 9
Hollywood Reporter
29 May 1957
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jun 1957
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 1957
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 1957
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
17 Mar 1958
p. 3
Los Angeles Times
9 Mar 1958
---
Motion Picture Daily
17 Mar 1958
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 Mar 1958
p. 764
New York Times
20 Mar 1958
p. 33
Variety
17 Apr 1957
---
Variety
15 May 1957
---
Variety
19 Mar 1958
p. 6
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Bill Meader
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
The Perlberg-Seaton Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Fill-in dir of photog
Lennie South
Cam op
Asst cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Robert [R.] Benton
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus scored by
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
process photog
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup
Makeup
Hair style supv
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to the prod
Tech adv
Dial dir
Scr supv
Unit prod mgr
STAND INS
Stand-in for Clark Gable
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Teacher's Pet Mambo" by Joe Lubin.
SONGS
"Teacher's Pet" and "The Girl Who Invented Rock and Roll," words and music by Joe Lubin.
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
April 1958
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 19 Mar 1958; Los Angeles opening: 20 Mar 1958
Production Date:
17 Apr--late Jun 1957; addl scenes mid Jul 1957
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Perlsea Co. and Paramount Pictures Corp.
1 April 1958
LP10414
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
VistaVision Motion Picture High-Fidelity
Duration(in mins):
120
Length(in feet):
10,800
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18713
SYNOPSIS

James Gannon, the hard-boiled city editor of the New York Evening Chronicle , has little regard for higher education, having never attended high school himself. When Edna Kovac asks Jim to fire her son Barney, a copy boy at the newspaper, so that he will return to school, the gruff editor refuses, arguing that Barney will receive an education in his newsroom that is superior to what is offered by any university. Later, Lloyd Crowley, the managing editor of the Evening Chronicle , calls Jim into his office, upset that he has rebuffed an invitation to speak before a night journalism course being taught by Erica Stone. Learning that Col. J. L. Ballentine, the paper's publisher, is on the board of trustees of the university, Jim reluctantly goes to the school that night to apologize. Before he can tell Erica who he is, however, she reads aloud Jim's insulting letter to her class, in which he refers to such courses as "a waste of time." In rebuttal, Erica tells her class that Jim is one of the "unpressed gentlemen of the press," a relic of bygone era of journalism. Days later, Jim is still fuming over the experience and taking it out on everyone in his newsroom. He then decides to return to Erica's class, and, in order to show up the instructor, enrolls in the class under the alias "Jim Gallagher." Much to his chagrin, Erica immediately recognizes Jim's writing skills and praises his work to the class. Attracted to the beautiful teacher, ...

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James Gannon, the hard-boiled city editor of the New York Evening Chronicle , has little regard for higher education, having never attended high school himself. When Edna Kovac asks Jim to fire her son Barney, a copy boy at the newspaper, so that he will return to school, the gruff editor refuses, arguing that Barney will receive an education in his newsroom that is superior to what is offered by any university. Later, Lloyd Crowley, the managing editor of the Evening Chronicle , calls Jim into his office, upset that he has rebuffed an invitation to speak before a night journalism course being taught by Erica Stone. Learning that Col. J. L. Ballentine, the paper's publisher, is on the board of trustees of the university, Jim reluctantly goes to the school that night to apologize. Before he can tell Erica who he is, however, she reads aloud Jim's insulting letter to her class, in which he refers to such courses as "a waste of time." In rebuttal, Erica tells her class that Jim is one of the "unpressed gentlemen of the press," a relic of bygone era of journalism. Days later, Jim is still fuming over the experience and taking it out on everyone in his newsroom. He then decides to return to Erica's class, and, in order to show up the instructor, enrolls in the class under the alias "Jim Gallagher." Much to his chagrin, Erica immediately recognizes Jim's writing skills and praises his work to the class. Attracted to the beautiful teacher, Jim decides to continue his ruse after Erica refuses to speak to him when he calls her using his real name. Later, Erica asks him to stay after class, but an amorous Jim is disappointed to learn that it is merely to give him more challenging assignments. Hating the type of "think piece" Erica wants him to write, Jim dispenses his "home work" onto Harold Miller, a college graduate working the night shift at the Evening Chronicle . Meanwhile, Jim begins his own investigative reporting on Dr. Hugo Pine, a professor of psychology and prolific author who is dating Erica. Disheartened to learn that Hugo is both brilliant and handsome, Jim decides to give up his quest for Erica's affection, though he takes her breath away with a goodbye kiss. By chance, Jim and his date, Peggy Defore, later run into Erica and Hugo at the Bongo Club, a nightclub where Peggy sings and dances in a scanty costume. Despite Jim's various attempts to show-up the professor, Hugo bests him at every turn, even out-drinking the newspaperman. Offering to help the inebriated Jim get into a taxi, Hugo then makes the mistake of taking a deep breath of fresh air and passes out. After putting Hugo to bed, Jim and Erica share a cab, and a kiss, on the way to her place. There, Jim learns that Erica is the daughter of the late Joel Barlow Stone, the Pulitzer-Prize winning editor and publisher of The Eureka Bulletin . Suddenly feeling more ashamed than romantic, Jim leaves the apartment without saying a word. The next morning, Jim confesses all to the hung over Hugo, who advises him to tell Erica the truth before she learns it from someone else. Arriving at the newspaper, Jim is called into Ballentine's office, where Erica is waiting to meet with "James Gannon," in hopes she can convince the city editor to hire her student, "Jim Gallagher." As she leaves the building, Erica chastises Jim, not for the emotional hurt he has given her, but for the time she took away from her real students to work with him. Later, Jim fires Barney, telling him that he does not want to condemn the young lad to a life like his, always excusing himself from rooms when the conversation enters a topic other than newspapers. Back at Hugo's apartment, the professor assures Jim that he is a highly educated man, having acquired his knowledge through experience, not formal education, and even grants the newspaperman an ad hoc degree in liberal arts. Erica then arrives and Hugo convinces her that Jim is a shattered man. Instead, Jim, who does not realize Erica is there, enters the room reborn, telling Hugo he now knows he is a good journalist after reading some copies of The Bulletin , as it is "one of the lousiest papers" he has ever read. Seeing Erica, Jim apologizes, but tells her that he was simply being honest and challenges her to test her father's paper against the standards of modern journalism. That night, Erica edits her cherished father's work and realizes that Jim is right. The next morning, Jim is once again called into Ballentine's office, where Erica is waiting with the suggestion that she and the city editor co-teach her class. In turn, Ballentine tells Erica that Jim himself had just suggested that the paper do more "think pieces." As the reunited couple heads off to lunch, Jim is thanked by Edna for helping Barney. In turn, he insists that her son report back to work the Monday after his graduation. While the newsroom watches in amazement as Jim and Erica go off together, someone questions what the two might have in common. Roy, Jim's assistant, responds: "If I know Jim, he'll find something."

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

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