What a Woman! (1943)

93 mins | Romantic comedy | 28 December 1943

Director:

Irving Cummings

Cinematographer:

Joseph Walker

Editor:

Al Clark

Production Designer:

Lionel Banks

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Ten Percent Woman . According to a HR news item, Columbia paid $30,000 for the screen rights to Erik Charell's story. Although a HR production chart adds Jonathan Hale and Charles Halton to the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Contemporary sources list three different producers for the film. SAB credits Sidney Buchman; a HR production chart and FD credit P. J. Wolfson and DV credits Irving Cummings. This picture marked the screen debut of Shelley Winters (1920--2006), whose name was spelled "Shelly Winter" on several of her earliest films. Rosalind Russell reprised her role in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 14 Mar 1949, co-starring Robert Cummings. A second Lux adaptation, again starring Russell and Cummings, was broadcast on 31 May ... More Less

The working title of this film was Ten Percent Woman . According to a HR news item, Columbia paid $30,000 for the screen rights to Erik Charell's story. Although a HR production chart adds Jonathan Hale and Charles Halton to the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Contemporary sources list three different producers for the film. SAB credits Sidney Buchman; a HR production chart and FD credit P. J. Wolfson and DV credits Irving Cummings. This picture marked the screen debut of Shelley Winters (1920--2006), whose name was spelled "Shelly Winter" on several of her earliest films. Rosalind Russell reprised her role in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 14 Mar 1949, co-starring Robert Cummings. A second Lux adaptation, again starring Russell and Cummings, was broadcast on 31 May 1954. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
11 Dec 1943.
---
Daily Variety
28 Jan 44
p. 3.
Film Daily
3 Dec 43
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Dec 1942.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 43
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Dec 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Dec 43
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
11 Dec 1943.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
20 Nov 43
p. 1635.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
11 Dec 43
p. 1665.
New York Times
3 Dec 43
p. 27.
Variety
8 Dec 43
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Miss Russell's gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus dir
SOUND
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Ten Percent Woman
Release Date:
28 December 1943
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 2 December 1943
Production Date:
11 August--27 October 1943
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
2 December 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12415
Duration(in mins):
93
Length(in feet):
8,946
Country:
United States
PCA No:
9640
SYNOPSIS

Henry Pepper, top writer for Knickerbocker magazine, is assigned to write a profile on Carol Ainsley, who has been named the outstanding career woman of the year. Carol, a super agent and star-maker, has just scooped her competition by selling the movie rights to the romance novel Whirlwind and is spending a fortune to find the perfect actor to play the male lead. When Carol learns that the book's author, Anthony Street, may be the man to play his own hero, she searches him out and discovers that he is actually Professor Michael Cobb of Buxton College. Although handsome and blonde, the professor is an intellectual snob immersed in Elizabethan literature, and consequently, is horrifed when he is exposed as the writer of a romance novel. While at Buxton, Carol gets Michael in trouble with the faculty and convinces him to accompany her to New York. There she takes over his life, arranging for lessons in comportment and charm. Michael is a failure at speaking the romantic words he wrote, however, and after his screen test proves a dismal failure, he decides to return to Buxton. Henry, meanwhile, has become intrigued by Carol and has decided that she would be terrific if she developed her human side more. Intending to see if she has anything other than a dollar sign for a heart, Henry contacts Michael and convinces the professor that he is in love with Carol. While radiating the charm and assurance that Carol has taught him, Michael begins to court her. Their courtship becomes headline news, and although she is not in ... +


Henry Pepper, top writer for Knickerbocker magazine, is assigned to write a profile on Carol Ainsley, who has been named the outstanding career woman of the year. Carol, a super agent and star-maker, has just scooped her competition by selling the movie rights to the romance novel Whirlwind and is spending a fortune to find the perfect actor to play the male lead. When Carol learns that the book's author, Anthony Street, may be the man to play his own hero, she searches him out and discovers that he is actually Professor Michael Cobb of Buxton College. Although handsome and blonde, the professor is an intellectual snob immersed in Elizabethan literature, and consequently, is horrifed when he is exposed as the writer of a romance novel. While at Buxton, Carol gets Michael in trouble with the faculty and convinces him to accompany her to New York. There she takes over his life, arranging for lessons in comportment and charm. Michael is a failure at speaking the romantic words he wrote, however, and after his screen test proves a dismal failure, he decides to return to Buxton. Henry, meanwhile, has become intrigued by Carol and has decided that she would be terrific if she developed her human side more. Intending to see if she has anything other than a dollar sign for a heart, Henry contacts Michael and convinces the professor that he is in love with Carol. While radiating the charm and assurance that Carol has taught him, Michael begins to court her. Their courtship becomes headline news, and although she is not in love with him, Carol is afraid to tell him the truth for fear that he might walk out on his contract. Henry is thoroughly enjoying Carol's predicament until he kisses her and begins to fall in love with her himself. When Carol tries to trick Michael into going to Hollywood while she takes refuge at her father's house in Washington, D.C., Michael outsmarts her, follows her home and announces their engagement. Thus trapped, Carol agrees to the marriage. On the eve of the wedding, the guests are socializing in the various rooms of the Ainsley house when Carol, angry at Henry for agreeing to be the best man, goes to his room to confront him. After Henry insults Carol and accuses her of being only a "ten percent woman," she slaps him, runs into the hallway and announces that she is calling off the wedding because she is not in love with Michael and refuses to be married just for the sake of business. Henry listens to her speech in admiration, and when she finishes, she rushes into his arms. +

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.