They Got Me Covered (1943)

95-96 mins | Comedy | 5 February 1943

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Washington Story and The Washington Angle . Although HR news items mention that Arthur Kober collaborated on the original script and Don Hartman, producer Samuel Goldwyn's writer and production assistant, worked on uncompleted scenes, the contributions of these writers cannot be confirmed. Although HR news items list Gladys Blake, Harry C. Bradley, Roma Aldrich and James Seay as cast members, they were not in the released film. Early HR items state that Byron Foulger would play the part of "Norman Mason" and that Sam Hayes was cast as a radio announcer, but neither appears in the final film. Dorothy Lamour was borrowed from Paramount, and Marion Martin from RKO, for this film.
       Star Bob Hope was on loan to Goldwyn from Paramount for the first of two films, in exchange for Gary Cooper's appearance in 1942's Star-Spangled Rhythm (see above), a film in which Hope also appeared. Goldwyn capitalized on Hope's popularity on radio and in films by taking the picture's release title from the title of Hope's best-selling autobiography, although none of the material from the book was used.
       As noted in a Jul 1943 HR article, "Goldwyn goes right to the front page for They Got Me Covered when he lifts the story of the Nazi sub saboteurs and plants it in the picture as part of an espionage plotline." The film was also one of the first Hollywood pictures to be affected by the War Production Board's order for the studios to limit costs, and, as a Feb 1943 NYT story noted, ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Washington Story and The Washington Angle . Although HR news items mention that Arthur Kober collaborated on the original script and Don Hartman, producer Samuel Goldwyn's writer and production assistant, worked on uncompleted scenes, the contributions of these writers cannot be confirmed. Although HR news items list Gladys Blake, Harry C. Bradley, Roma Aldrich and James Seay as cast members, they were not in the released film. Early HR items state that Byron Foulger would play the part of "Norman Mason" and that Sam Hayes was cast as a radio announcer, but neither appears in the final film. Dorothy Lamour was borrowed from Paramount, and Marion Martin from RKO, for this film.
       Star Bob Hope was on loan to Goldwyn from Paramount for the first of two films, in exchange for Gary Cooper's appearance in 1942's Star-Spangled Rhythm (see above), a film in which Hope also appeared. Goldwyn capitalized on Hope's popularity on radio and in films by taking the picture's release title from the title of Hope's best-selling autobiography, although none of the material from the book was used.
       As noted in a Jul 1943 HR article, "Goldwyn goes right to the front page for They Got Me Covered when he lifts the story of the Nazi sub saboteurs and plants it in the picture as part of an espionage plotline." The film was also one of the first Hollywood pictures to be affected by the War Production Board's order for the studios to limit costs, and, as a Feb 1943 NYT story noted, this resulted in some scenes being filmed in an abandoned Los Angeles gas works factory instead of in the studio. As filming wrapped, in Sep 1942, Goldwyn awaited permission from Washington to end the film by portraying Axis powers being apprehended before 7 Dec 1941, the date of the Pearl Harbor attack. The end was approved, and according to a Sep 1942 HR article, one of the few requests for changes came from the embassy of neutral Turkey, who asked that the name of the Axis spies's nightclub be changed from Café Instanbul to Café Moresque to avoid any connection to their country. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Jan 1943.
---
Daily Variety
30 Dec 42
p. 3, 9
Film Daily
4 Jan 43
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jun 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jun 42
p. 3, 13
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jul 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jul 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jul 42
pp. 2-3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Aug 42
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Aug 42
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 42
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Sep 42
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Sep 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Sep 42
p. 1, 7
Hollywood Reporter
24 Sep 42
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
2 Jan 1943.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
29 Aug 42
p. 872.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Jan 43
p. 1102.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
29 May 43
p. 1341.
New York Herald Tribune
3 Jul 1943.
---
New York Times
5 Jul 1942.
---
New York Times
21 Feb 1943.
---
New York Times
5 Mar 43
p. 20.
Variety
30 Dec 42
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Edward Cianelli
Bill O'Leary
Tom Metzetti
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Orig story
Orig story
Addl dial
Addl dial
Scenario ed
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
Miss Lamour's cost
MUSIC
Orch cond by
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Dance dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Acting coach
SOURCES
SONGS
"Palsy-Walsy," words and music by Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Washington Angle
Washington Story
Release Date:
5 February 1943
Premiere Information:
World premiere in San Francisco, CA: 27 January 1943
Production Date:
6 July--early September 1942
Copyright Claimant:
Samuel Goldwyn Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
31 December 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11963
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
95-96
Length(in feet):
8,504
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
PCA No:
8803
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Bumbling war correspondent and former Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert "Kit" Kittredge returns to America and is summarily fired by his boss, Norman Mason, when he fails to report that Germany has invaded Russia. Kit then visits his girlfriend, stenographer Christina Hill, where she works in the Washington, D. C. offices of his former newspaper chain. Their reunion is interrupted by Gregory Vanescu, one of Kit's sources, a Romanian who has come to give Kit a big scoop. Before Vanescu can tell his story, however, Nazi spies shoot at him and he flees, leaving a note instructing Kit to send Christina to the Lincoln Memorial at midnight with a red purse and green umbrella. Kit and Christina ask one of Christina's roommates, Sally Branch, to meet them at the memorial with the purse, umbrella and Christina's monogrammed notepad, but that night, Kit drives Christina to the Washington Monument by mistake. When Vanescu sees Sally, he assumes she is Christina and has her transcribe his information concerning German, Italian and Japanese spies who are headquartered in a Washington beauty shop and preparing to bomb the city. Just as Vanescu finishes, the Nazi agents attack and steal the notebook. Meanwhile, Kit, Christina, her three other roommates and Sally's Marine boyfriend, Red, wait for Sally at her apartment. When she finally returns, hysterical, the roommates give her a sedative before she can tell Kit what has happened to the notebook. Soon after, the spies discover that they cannot translate Sally's shorthand, and so sneak into her apartment and smuggle her out in a hamper. After Kit mistakenly helps the spies, Christina realizes what has happened and insists that he call the FBI, but Kit, ... +


Bumbling war correspondent and former Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert "Kit" Kittredge returns to America and is summarily fired by his boss, Norman Mason, when he fails to report that Germany has invaded Russia. Kit then visits his girlfriend, stenographer Christina Hill, where she works in the Washington, D. C. offices of his former newspaper chain. Their reunion is interrupted by Gregory Vanescu, one of Kit's sources, a Romanian who has come to give Kit a big scoop. Before Vanescu can tell his story, however, Nazi spies shoot at him and he flees, leaving a note instructing Kit to send Christina to the Lincoln Memorial at midnight with a red purse and green umbrella. Kit and Christina ask one of Christina's roommates, Sally Branch, to meet them at the memorial with the purse, umbrella and Christina's monogrammed notepad, but that night, Kit drives Christina to the Washington Monument by mistake. When Vanescu sees Sally, he assumes she is Christina and has her transcribe his information concerning German, Italian and Japanese spies who are headquartered in a Washington beauty shop and preparing to bomb the city. Just as Vanescu finishes, the Nazi agents attack and steal the notebook. Meanwhile, Kit, Christina, her three other roommates and Sally's Marine boyfriend, Red, wait for Sally at her apartment. When she finally returns, hysterical, the roommates give her a sedative before she can tell Kit what has happened to the notebook. Soon after, the spies discover that they cannot translate Sally's shorthand, and so sneak into her apartment and smuggle her out in a hamper. After Kit mistakenly helps the spies, Christina realizes what has happened and insists that he call the FBI, but Kit, anxious to get the story and win his job back, only pretends to do so. Instead, he notices the name of a nightclub on the note Vanescu wrote to him earlier and rushes there to investigate. At the club, a gypsy woman tells Kit to visit a private room upstairs in which, unknown to him, the spy Olga and her superior, Otto Fauscheim, lay in wait. In order to deflect Kit's attention from getting his story, Olga pretends to be Vanescu's wife, seduces Kit and claims to need his help locating her missing husband. She leads him to an old mansion, hoping an insane Civil War veteran living there will frighten him off, but Kit blithely confuses the man by playing along with his delusions, and soon after uncovers Vanescu's dead body. Olga then secretly consults Fauscheim, who decides to incapacitate Kit by ruining his reputation. Fauscheim then drugs Kit with a doped cigarette and has him marry a showgirl, Gloria the Glow Girl, while he is passed out. Although all the papers carry the story of Kit's marriage the next morning, Christina realizes that Kit must have been set up, and when he brings her a handkerchief he stole from Olga, she amasses her roommates, who work in various sectors of the government, to trace the perfume on it. Kit then visits Gloria, who agrees to reveal the Axis plan to her new husband and hands him a flower as a clue, but is stabbed by the spies before she can tell her story. Now suspected of the murder, Kit quickly escapes and searches the flower shop Gloria uses for more clues, but is captured by the lead Italian operative, Baldanacco. The next day, Christina discovers that Olga's perfume was purchased at a beauty salon which is owned by the same poeple who own the nightclub. She goes there, hoping to tie the owners to the spy ring, but when she asks for a massage, Olga, who runs the salon, finds her purse and realizes her name matches that on Sally's notebook. Olga then orders the burly masseuse to detain Christina, while in another room in the salon, the kidnapped Kit escapes from his bonds and, disguising himself as a mannequin, sneaks into the showroom in which the Axis contingent are meeting. After hearing their plans to blow up the city, Kit is discovered, but manages to fend off the spies until the roommates, Red and his Marine buddies arrive in search of Christina and barge into the showroom. The whole group subdues the spies, and as the police arrive, Kit kisses Christina while his friends discuss the likelihood of his winning another Pulitzer Prize. +

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

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