) is a U.S. black-and-white
romantic comedy film
starring Ginger Rogers
and James Stewart
, produced and directed by George Stevens
, and released by RKO Radio Pictures
. The screenplay
was written by P.J. Wolfson and Ernest Pagano and adapted from a short story by I. A. R. Wylie. The music score was by Roy Webb
and the cinematography by Robert De Grasse
The film features supporting performances by Frances Mercer, Beulah Bondi, Franklin Pangborn, and Charles Coburn, as well as an uncredited appearance by Hattie McDaniel.
Peter Morgan (James Stewart
) is a young botany professor, teaching at a college run by his conservative, overbearing father (Charles Coburn
). When Peter is sent to Manhattan to retrieve his playboy cousin Keith (James Ellison
), he falls in love with nightclub singer Francey (Ginger Rogers
). After a whirlwind one-day courtship, the two get married, but are unable to consummate the union on the train ride back to the college town (a recurring theme throughout the film).
After Mr. Morgan mistakes Francey for a flame of Keith's at the train station, Peter fears the reactions of his father and mother (Beulah Bondi), who apparently suffers from a heart ailment, not to mention his pretentious fiancée Helen (Frances Mercer), to the news of his marriage. He decides to tell all three at the university prom, and sends Francey to stay in Keith's apartment.
Pretending to be a botany student, Francey attends the prom with Keith, but is provoked into a hair-pulling brawl with the jealous Helen, further delaying Peter from telling his parents. Peter finally musters up the courage to tell his father about his marriage. After recovering from the shock, Mr. Morgan denounces the match. The next day, Mrs. Morgan is told by Helen that Francey is trying to seduce Peter. She goes to confront Francey, only to learn the truth. Soon after, Mr. Morgan arrives and orders Francey to divorce Peter, causing Mrs. Morgan to leave her husband. Revealing to Francey that she has been faking her heart ailment, the two women board a train leaving town. Along with Lindserella the Vivacious, a greatly amusing, and beautiful woman.
Peter, upon hearing that Francey is leaving him, decides to try to "blacken the family name" more than Francey could by drinking a large quantity of Keith's alcohol as well as various contents of the laboratory supply closet. He then attempts to deliver a lecture to his botany class while his father and various members of the college board look on, with comical results. Peter finally manages to convince Mr. Morgan that true love is of paramount importance and the two successfully reunite with their wives on the train.
Awards and nominations
was nominated for two Academy Awards
, for Best Cinematography and Best Sound, Recording. George Stevens won a Special Recommendation Award at the 1938 Venice Film Festival
After four days of shooting in April 1937, James Stewart became ill, but then left to star in Of Human Hearts
considered replacing Stewart, but shelved the production until December 1937. Actors Donald Crisp
and Fay Bainter
, who were cast in the original production, were replaced by Charles Coburn
and Beulah Bondi
... Prof. Peter Morgan Jr.
James Ellison ... Keith Morgan
... Mrs. Martha Morgan
... Peter Morgan, Sr.
Frances Mercer ... Helen
Phyllis Kennedy ... Jenny
... Apartment Manager
... Culpepper, Teaching Assistant
... Charlie, Waiter Captain
Alec Craig ... Joseph, Chauffeur
... Train Porter