Sog.: dall’omonima pièce di Ferenc Molnár. Scen.: Preston Sturges, Hans Kraly. F.: Norbert Brodine. M.: Daniel Mandell. Scgf.: Charles D. Hall. Mus.: Heinz Roemheld. Int.: Margaret Sullavan (Luisa Ginglebusher), Herbert Marshall (Dr. Max Sporum), Frank Morgan (Konrad), Reginald Owen (Detlaff), Eric Blore (Dr. Metz), Alan Hale (Maurice Schlapkohl). Prod.: Carl Leammle Jr. per Universal Pictures Corp. 35mm. D.: 98’. Bn.
Preston Sturges adapted a play by Ferenc Molnár (a Broadway hit for Helen Hayes) into this engaging vehicle for Universal’s biggest box office attraction, Margaret Sullavan. Rescued from an orphanage by impresario Alan Hale and given a job as an usher in Budapest’s most luxurious movie palace (actually, the Pantages Theater in Hollywood), Sullavan’s innocent Luisa becomes the object of unwanted attention from industrialist Frank Morgan. To put him off, she invents a husband for herself, picking a name from the phone book that happens to belong to struggling lawyer Herbert Marshall.
Sullavan is said to have battled constantly with her director, William Wyler, during the early stages of production – as a Broadway actor, she was mystified and irritated by Wyler’s habit of making dozens of takes of every scene. A truce was finally achieved eight weeks into the prolonged shoot when Wyler and Sullavan were married. It was too late, however, to save Wyler’s contract, and – although a distant Laemmle relative himself – he was dropped by the studio, only to find long term employment (and no shortage of Oscar nominations) with Samuel Goldwyn within months.