skip navigation
It Should Happen to You

It Should Happen to You(1954)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:
Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (1)

Shop tcm.com

It Should Happen... - NOT AVAILABLE

Crying Boy

VOTE FOR THIS TITLE:
Our records indicate this title is not available on Home Video. Vote below for it to be released on DVD.

  1. Total votes: vote now!
  2. Rank: (why vote?)

Articles

powered by AFI

SEE ALL ARTICLES
teaser It Should Happen to You (1954)

SYNOPSIS

Documentary moviemaker Pete Sheppard is using his hand-held 16mm camera to film people going about their business in Central Park in New York City. He happens upon a young lady with a name he won't soon forget: Gladys Glover. Gladys has just lost a job modeling girdles, of all things, but what she really wants to do is make a splash in the big city - become famous. Without really articulating why she wants to become famous, she hits upon a splendid idea: with her life savings of one thousand dollars, she rents the biggest billboard in Columbus Circle and has her name painted on it in huge letters. Gladys's unusual stunt becomes the talk of the town and she suddenly finds herself being pursued by reporters, TV talk show hosts and others. She also finds herself being romanced by soap company executive Evan Adams III who has designs on her billboard for his own product promotion. None of this sits well with Gladys's boyfriend Pete, an aspiring documentary filmmaker, who questions Gladys's obsession with fame.

Director: George Cukor
Producer: Fred Kohlmar
Screenplay: Garson Kanin
Cinematography: Charles Lang
Editor: Charles Nelson
Art Direction: John Meehan
Se Decoration: William Kiernan
Music: Frederick Hollander
Costumes: Jean Louis
Cast: Judy Holliday (Gladys Glover), Peter Lawford (Evan Adams III), Jack Lemmon (Pete Sheppard), Michael O'Shea (Brod Clinton), Vaughn Taylor (Entrikin), Connie Gilchrist (Mrs. Riker), Walter Klavun (Bert Piazza), Whit Bissell (Robert Grau), Constance Bennett (Herself).
BW-86m.

Why IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU is Essential

In today's media climate, it seems that the standards for celebrity status have been adjusted to allow for such dubious candidates for fame as Kato Kaelin, Paris Hilton, and whoever has won the latest Reality Show countdown. Their talents lie less in true accomplishment than in finding a way to get their name consistently in front of the public. This phenomenon is nothing new, however. Earlier decades have had their fair share of Zsa Zsa Gabors as well - celebrities who are particularly well suited for filling a seat on a talk show or quiz program, but little else. In 1954, Garson Kanin and George Cukor examined the nature of celebrity and media in their delightful satire It Should Happen to You, the story of Gladys Glover - a girl who seeks fame simply to be "above the crowd."

Writer Kanin, director Cukor, and actress Judy Holliday had already teamed on three other films before It Should Happen to You. In Adam's Rib (1949), Cukor gave Judy Holliday a plum role in support of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. In 1950, Holliday became a national star and won a Best Actress Oscar® in Cukor's film of Kanin's Broadway smash Born Yesterday. They followed up on this success in 1952 with the comedy-drama The Marrying Kind, with Ruth Gordon sharing co-writing credit with her husband Kanin. While Kanin has a sole credit for the script of It Should Happen to You, Ruth Gordon made an important contribution to the final film; Kanin had envisioned a male protagonist such as Danny Kaye, but Gordon felt that a man seeking fame at all costs would be unsympathetic to audiences. Indeed, the story unfolds with warmth and humor with Judy Holliday in the lead.

Aside from the very underrated and sparkling performance by Holliday, It Should Happen to You also features the film debut of Jack Lemmon, who had appeared extensively on television since the late 1940s, and briefly on Broadway. Director Cukor coaxed a controlled performance from the naturally exuberant actor, and from his very first movie Lemmon emerged as a major screen personality. His status was confirmed just a year later, when he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar® for his role in Mr. Roberts (1955).

George Cukor sets It Should Happen to You in a media saturated New York City, and delights in showing realistic, state-of-the-art TV studios, corporate boardrooms and 16mm documentary filmmaking. For Cukor, a key scene is the talk show on which Gladys joins a panel of former screen actresses who have retired and joined the TV "chat show" circuit. The topic of discussion hardly matters, the point is to be seen on television. As Cukor said in his 1972 interview with Gavin Lambert, "[These celebrities] pretend to be very original, but they're just rather tricky about putting themselves across - all that crappy, fatuous 'personality' and laughing and first-name basis!" Kanin and Cukor's depiction of media manipulation, corporate wrangling and the nature of fame feels just as fresh and relevant today as it did fifty years ago. As Cukor said, "The idea of becoming a great celebrity without being able to do anything is a very important notion...Today it makes Presidents. It's really the name of the game."

In the 1954 Oscar® race, It Should Happen to You was virtually ignored though it did receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Black and White Costume Design by Jean Louis (he lost to Edith Head for Sabrina). Regardless, most critical reviews were overwhelmingly positive with the majority of praise focused on Holliday's performance. Time magazine stated "Judy plays, for the fourth time in a row, essentially the same poor man's Pygmalion, that won her an Oscar® two years ago...Practice has made her almost perfect in the part. She seems an incarnation of the big-city blonde who is so dumb that she doesn't even know she's beautiful."

by John Miller

back to top
teaser It Should Happen to You (1954)

Pop Culture 101 - IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU

In the film, the fictional Gladys Glover shares a chat show with panelists Constance Bennett, Ilka Chase, Wendy Barrie, and host Melville Cooper. These actors all play themselves in the film, and all of them had enjoyed long screen careers by the time this movie was made in 1954. Constance Bennett had been in films since 1922 and had been a leading lady in the early 1930s. She had the starring roles in George Cukor's What Price Hollywood? (1932), and in the classic screwball comedy Topper (1937), opposite Cary Grant. Bennett had retired from the screen by 1954, and made only one more film - the 1966 remake of Madame X - after It Should Happen to You.

Ilka Chase was also a former actress, but hers were primarily supporting roles. Chase became more famous as a novelist, newspaper columnist and society figure. Likewise, Wendy Barrie acted in lesser films in the 1930s and early 1940s, but became well known in New York as a local radio and television personality. Such media exposure in the early 1950s would have made Chase and Barrie ideal choices to sit on a panel show.

Melville Cooper, one of the panelists in the film, was a British character actor who began his film career in the early thirties and added excellent comic support in such gems as Tovarich (1937), The Lady Eve (1941) and Father of the Bride (1950).

In 1954, the same year that It Should Happen to You was released, co-star Peter Lawford married Patricia Kennedy, daughter of Joseph P. Kennedy and sister of the future President. Of the extended Kennedy clan, Lawford was closest to his brother-in-law Robert.

Although Pete Sheppard is a documentary filmmaker in It Should Happen to You, we never really learn many details about his occupation. Sheppard films with hand-held 16mm cameras, which had been favored by documentary moviemakers since the end of WWII, when lightweight hand-held cameras were used by journalists and cinematographers on the battlefield. The 1950s saw an explosion of this mobile and fluid method of filming, which was raised to the level of an art form by such practitioners as Richard Leacock and D. A. Pennebaker. Their unobtrusive and spontaneous style of documentary filmmaking became known as Direct Cinema or cinema verite.

In 1994, a romantic comedy with a similar title to Cukor's film - It Could Happen to You - starred Nicholas Cage and Bridget Fonda in a narrative about two lottery winners who were thrust into a whirlwind of publicity. It was a situation that echoed some of the themes of Cukor's film - unknowns becoming overnight celebrities.

by John Miller

back to top
teaser It Should Happen to You (1954)

Trivia and Other Fun Stuff on IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU

The original working title for It Should Happen to You was A Name For Herself.

By the time she made It Should Happen to You Judy Holliday was already recognized as a unique comic presence in films, having won the Best Actress Oscar® for her hilarious portrayal of Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday (1950), a role she first played to great acclaim on the Broadway stage. Though attractive, Holliday was no glamour queen and constantly battled a weight problem. A few months prior to shooting It Should Happen to You the actress had given birth to a son, Jonathan, and was still "thirty pounds over what her camera weight should have been," requiring her to crash diet. Although sensitive about her weight, Holliday also had a sense of humor about it too, recalling a photo shoot in which she was to appear in some glamour shots for the Columbia publicity department. "Look sexy," the photographer said. She tried to oblige, but he kept demanding, "Sexy! Sexier!" In desperation, she asked him what he had been eating recently. He mentioned a thick, sizzling steak, an onion soup with croutons and lots of cheese, a cold pasta salad, strawberry shortcake. Judy's mouth began to water and her eyes became liquid. "That's the look I want!" the photographer shouted (from Judy Holliday by Gary Carey).

Columbia Pictures was so pleased by the Judy Holliday/ Jack Lemmon pairing, they rushed them into another picture the same year. The film was the oddly-titled Phffft! (1954), written by George Axelrod and directed by Mark Robson. As with It Should Happen to You New York City is the backdrop. Columbia starlet Kim Novak and comedy mainstay Jack Carson join in for this minor farce, an unofficial update of The Awful Truth (1937).

The 16mm movie that Pete makes for Gladys contains synchronized sound, as well as dissolves and stop-motion animated special effects. The lab bill alone for such a film would have been a fortune, far beyond Pete's means.

The topic for the panel show on which Gladys appears was "At what age should a girl marry?" One of Gladys' fellow panelists is real-life former actress Constance Bennett, who was 16 at the time of her first marriage.

The song "Let's Fall in Love", which Holliday and Lemmon sing as a duet, was written almost 20 years earlier by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler.

Look for a brief cameo by up-and-coming actor John Saxon in the Central Park sequence.

By John Miller

Famous Quotes from IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU

Gladys (Judy Holliday): What's the idea?
Pete (Jack Lemmon): It's my business - documentaries. I make movies, only they're about real things - people, places, things - this one I'm working on now is about Central Park.
Gladys: Well, I'm glad you think I'm a real thing.

Pete: Well, so long Gladys. (Shakes her hand, then pauses and kisses it). I saw a fellow do that in a French movie last week. I've been meaning to try it ever since.

(Painters are painting "CLOVER," not "GLOVER" on Gladys' sign)
Gladys: Hey sign painters, Listen! "G!" Not "C" like you got it, "G" like you haven't got it!

Landlady: I hear you have a, uh, a movie machine in there.
Pete: That's right. You play your cards right, I'll show you some fascinating documentaries someday.
Landlady: Don't do me no favors.

Madison Avenue Executive: There's no reason for you to be unreasonable.
Gladys: I don't think I'm unreasonable.
Madison Avenue Executive: You don't?
Gladys: No, I think I'm reasonable. You're the ones that are UN.

Pete: What's the point of it? In the first place, everybody can't be above the crowd, can they?
Gladys: No, but everybody can try if they want to.
Pete: But why isn't it more important to learn how to be a part of the crowd?

(Mob at Macy's forms around Gladys)
Customer: Who is it?
Pete: Nobody - Believe me!

TV Announcer: And here she is, the gal who believes in signs!

(On a panel show on the subject "At what age should a girl marry?")
Ilka Chase: Gladys, what do you think?
Gladys: Well, I think If they're big enough, they're old enough.

Photographer: Give us a smile - Keep it "Glover"!

Gladys: Please don't be nasty, I'm so tired.
Pete: Well, you're not too tired to see 'Junior' down there.
Gladys: Listen, Pete - I'm over 21.
Pete: From the neck down, yeah.

Gladys: The way it looks to me, Mr. Adams, there are two kinds of people - the ones who will do anything to make a name for themselves, and the ones who will do almost anything.

Mr. Clint (Michael O'Shea, Gladys' press agent): You're just a nobody that I've blown up into a property.
Gladys: You haven't done so much, Mr. Clint. You just made me into some kind of a freak.
Mr. Clint: You were a freak when I first ran into ya. Only I've been showing you how to cash in on it, that's all.

Gladys (repeating Pete): It isn't just making a name - what's that? It's making the name stand for something - even one block, instead of for nothing all over the world.

Compiled by John Miller

back to top
teaser It Should Happen to You (1954)

The Big Idea Behind IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU

The basic idea for the story of It Should Happen to You occurred to playwright Garson Kanin one day when he was driving on Columbus Circle in New York City. He was attempting to cheer up his wife, actress/writer Ruth Gordon, by telling her that he'd put her name up on the biggest billboard on the block if it would make her happy. This notion became a story in which the hero rents a billboard - not as a gift, but for his own self-aggrandizement. Kanin had Danny Kaye in mind for the comedy, but Gordon convinced him that a female lead would be more sympathetic. They no doubt instantly pictured Judy Holliday as that female the actress had established a dizzy blonde persona in her previous three movies, all of them written by the Kanin-Gordon team or by Kanin solo.

The Broadway hit Born Yesterday was the vehicle that catapulted the careers of both Holliday and playwright Kanin in the late 1940s. Holliday had to learn the complicated part in a mere four days after Jean Arthur left the show during tryouts, but she immediately wowed critics and audiences. The play opened on Broadway on February 4, 1946, and ran for almost four years. Holliday left the role, in fact, only when Kanin recommended her for a supporting role in George Cukor's film Adam's Rib in 1949.

It Should Happen to You was the fifth and final collaboration between George Cukor and Judy Holliday. Cukor had been virtually the only director Holliday had known. In 1944, she had her first billed appearance - a small part in Cukor's Winged Victory, a wartime drama about the Army Air Corps written by Moss Hart. Following years on the stage, Holliday next had a plum supporting part in Cukor's Adam's Rib, the sparkling Katharine Hepburn - Spencer Tracy vehicle, which was written by Kanin and Gordon. This was followed in 1950 by Holliday's signature role, as Billie Dawn in Cukor's adaptation of Born Yesterday. Two years later, the team of Cukor, Holliday, and Kanin-Gordon was reunited for The Marrying Kind (1952), a quirky comedy-drama co-starring Aldo Ray.

by John Miller

back to top
teaser It Should Happen to You (1954)

Behind the Camera on IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU

It Should Happen to You is significant for Jack Lemmon's film debut. At first, the actor, who had worked briefly in television, had a tendency to overact for the camera but Cukor soon convinced him that "less is more." The actor later remarked, "I've learned my craft from that advice. It's the hardest thing in the world to be simple, and the easiest thing in the world to act your brains out and make an ass of yourself." (From George Cukor by Gene D. Phillips). A perfect example of Cukor's approach to acting was demonstrated to Lemmon during a restaurant scene where Pete and Gladys argue. Cukor recalled, "They rehearsed it and did it very well, but I said, "I don't believe it, I don't believe one damn thing. Jack, what do you do when you get angry?" He said, "I get chills and cramps, I get sick to my stomach, but can't use that." "Oh," I said, "do that!" So in the height of fury he suddenly clutches his stomach, and it makes all the difference."

In a 1972 interview, George Cukor told Gavin Lambert about the little natural moments that come out in performances - as an example he described the shooting of the seduction scene in Adams' apartment in It Should Happen to You. "It so happened we had a property man on the picture who'd worked with The Three Stooges," Cukor said (in Gavin Lambert: On Cukor)."He said, "I have an idea, may I help on this?" I said, "Please do," and he suggested, "Let her take the earring off herself, so he can nuzzle her ear." So we did, and it made a terribly funny moment. Later in the scene she had to pour champagne down Peter Lawford's neck. We only have four shirts for Peter Lawford, so we could only shoot four takes, and it was tricky for the camera. On the last take I said, "Judy if you laugh, I'll just kill you, I'll kill you dead." Well, she didn't laugh, but she giggled, and it was absolutely great. I asked if she'd done it deliberately, in spite of what I'd said, and she didn't really know. Sometimes you get these very human things on the set."

It Should Happen to You features extensive location shooting in New York City, providing the level of realism that the story demands (especially given Pete's profession as a documentary filmmaker). Many dialogue scenes take place outdoors, and studio shooting against rear projection screens is apparent only in close-ups. Cukor saw the importance of the location filming, especially in regards to the real-life background characters: "We used Central Park as a character, as we did in The Marrying Kind [1952], and this time it was during a heat wave, which brings all the mad people out. You can see lots of mad people in the park and sitting on steps in front of houses."

In a charming scene in a bar, Pete is playing the piano and Gladys is seated next to him as they joyfully belt out a song. The song weaves in and out of their conversation in a natural and spontaneous fashion, taking advantage of the fact that Lemmon could play the piano and that Holliday had a wonderful singing voice. (The song was "Let's Fall in Love," written by Ted Koehler and Harold Arlen for the 1933 film of the same name). Though the scene seems almost improvised, Cukor later said, "we carefully rehearsed the whole thing over and over again to make it look spontaneous and unrehearsed."

By some accounts, Judy Holliday and Peter Lawford struck up an intimate relationship on the set of It Should Happen to You, further damaging Holliday's already strained marriage.

It Should Happen to You premiered in New York City on January 15, 1954.

by John Miller

back to top
teaser It Should Happen to You (1954)

The Critics' Corner on IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU

"The comedy situation is worked for all the laughs it's worth by Scripter Garson Kanin and Director George Cukor. It gets more from the faultlessly schooled comedy of Actress Holliday and a fresh, sharply timed performance by Actor Jack Lemmon, making his screen debut. In It Should Happen to You, Judy plays, for the fourth time in a row, essentially the same poor man's Pygmalion that won her an Oscar® two years ago for the screen version of her 1946 Broadway hit, Born Yesterday. Practice has made her almost perfect in the part. She seems an incarnation of the big-city blonde who is so dumb that she doesn't even know she's beautiful." - Time, January 25, 1954.

"The theme of It Should Happen to You is marvelous. It is much more than a tasteful diversion. If you look carefully you see the whole mechanism of celebrity against a background of the absurd. The moral of the story is that it is easier to find glory than to justify it, and that such glory has little meaning since it is acquired within a society that is unconscious of its absurdity. Cukor, the director, and Garson Kanin, the writer, have invented a curious, eccentric, even absurd, character for the actress. If we laugh at her countless blunders, she inspires enough sympathy to keep us going during the "dead" times that are necessary to set up Kanin's gags...It Should Happen to You is a masterpiece. To keep up the rhythm for ninety minutes with no letup, to keep the smiles constant even between laughs, to direct people that way...that takes a master." - Francois Truffaut, The Films in My Life.

"This Garson Kanin satire on American publicity methods is brilliantly directed by Cukor and contains one of Judy Holliday's best roles." - Georges Sadoul, Dictionary of Films.

"Judy Holliday in a pleasantly erratic satirical comedy; the targets - advertising, TV, and urban gullibility - are rather easily pinked, but the scenarist, Garson Kanin, and the director, don't loiter over them for long. (Still, the film runs down)." - Pauline Kael, 5001 Nights at the Movies.

"Garson Kanin's script doesn't really bite hard enough in its satire of TV and its eager promotion of the nonentity celebrity, nor - after a wonderful opening - does the comedy have anywhere much to go. Bright moments and irresistible performances, though, with Lemmon...making a superb foil for Holliday as the solemn documentary filmmaker who observes, loves and is baffled by her." - Tom Milne, TimeOut Film Guide.

"One of the funniest films to come out of Hollywood." - Life.

"...the laugh range is from soft titters to loud guffaws as Cukor's smartly timed direction sends the players through hilarious situations...Fresh angles belt the risibilities while dialog is adult, almost racy at times." - Variety Movie Guide.

"Likeable comedy which starts brightly and slowly falls apart, disappointing considering the credentials of the talents involved and the satiric possibilities of the plot." - Halliwell's Film & Video Guide.

Awards and Honor

It Should Happen to You was nominated for an Oscar® in 1955 for Best Costume Design, Black-and-White, Jean Louis.

It Should Happen to You was also nominated for an award by the Writers Guild of America for Best Written American Comedy - Garson Kanin.

by John Miller

back to top
teaser It Should Happen to You (1954)

As topical now as when it first appeared in 1954, It Should Happen to You addresses a common daydream of the movie-going public - to become famous and idolized by millions. With a proliferation of television reality shows transforming unknowns into instant celebrities, the idea of someone becoming famous without possessing real talent or performing some remarkable deed is so commonplace today that George Cukor's satire looks prophetic in retrospect. In the starring role, Judy Holliday plays Gladys Glover, an out of work model from a small town who came to the Big Apple with unrealistic career expectations. Obsessed with becoming famous, she spends the last of her money on the rental of a billboard in Columbus Circle which displays her name and nothing else in big letters. Gladys's enigmatic stunt becomes the talk of the town and she suddenly finds herself in demand on TV talk shows and other venues. She also finds herself pursued by soap company executive Evan Adams III (Peter Lawford) who, despite his romantic overtures, has designs on her billboard for his own product promotion. None of this sits well with Glady's boyfriend Pete (Jack Lemmon), an aspiring documentary filmmaker, who wonders what we all wonder - what does Gladys really want?

In some ways, It Should Happen to You shares a link with Cukor's previous Judy Holliday film, The Marrying Kind (1952), which was also set in New York City, and cast the comedic actress as a naive newlywed with an idealistic view of marriage. Like that character, Gladys Glover is someone whose sense of reality and personal happiness have been distorted by the media through commercials, glamour magazines and Hollywood movies - all of which become satiric targets in It Should Happen to You and are the real point of the film. "The idea of becoming a great celebrity without being able to do anything is a very important notion," Cukor stated in an interview with author Gavin Lambert. "Publicity can really do it, too. Today it makes Presidents. It's really the name of the game."

It Should Happen to You is also significant for Jack Lemmon's film debut. At first, the actor, who had worked briefly in television, had a tendency to overact for the camera but Cukor soon convinced him that "less is more." The actor later remarked, "I've learned my craft from that advice. It's the hardest thing in the world to be simple, and the easiest thing in the world to act your brains out and make an ass of yourself." (From George Cukor by Gene D. Phillips). A perfect example of Cukor's approach to acting was demonstrated to Lemmon during a restaurant scene where Pete and Gladys argue. Cukor recalled, "They rehearsed it and did it very well, but I said, "I don't believe it, I don't believe one damn thing. Jack, what do you do when you get angry?" He said, "I get chills and cramps, I get sick to my stomach, but can't use that." "Oh," I said, "do that!" So in the height of fury he suddenly clutches his stomach, and it makes all the difference."

By the time she made It Should Happen to You Judy Holliday was already recognized as a unique comic presence in films having won the Best Actress Oscar for her hilarious portrayal of Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday (1950), a role she first played to great acclaim on the Broadway stage. Though attractive, Holliday was no glamour queen and constantly battled a weight problem. A few months prior to shooting It Should Happen to You the actress had given birth to a son, Jonathan, and was still "thirty pounds over what her camera weight should have been," requiring her to crash diet. Although sensitive about her weight, Holliday also had a sense of humor about it too, recalling a photo shoot in which she was to appear in some glamour shots for the Columbia publicity department. "Look sexy," the photographer said. She tried to oblige, but he kept demanding, "Sexy! Sexier!" In desperation, she asked him what he had been eating recently. He mentioned a thick, sizzling steak, an onion soup with croutons and lots of cheese, a cold pasta salad, strawberry shortcake. Judy's mouth began to water and her eyes became liquid. "That's the look I want!" the photographer shouted (from Judy Holliday by Gary Carey).

Gossip columnists reported that during the filming of It Should Happen to You, Holliday dated her co-star Peter Lawford. The actress was having marital problems at the time and did reportedly enjoy a romantic fling with Lawford (it only lasted until the production wrapped) which may be why their scenes together have a genuine spark. Their best scene is probably the attempted seduction on the couch where he starts nuzzling her. Cukor, however, had a problem with the mechanics of the scene, particularly Lawford's removal of one of Holliday's earrings. "It so happened we had a property man on the picture who'd worked with The Three Stooges," Cukor said (in Gavin Lambert: On Cukor)."He said, "I have an idea, may I help on this?" I said, "Please do," and he suggested, "Let her take the earring off herself, so he can nuzzle her ear." So we did, and it made a terribly funny moment. Later in the scene she had to pour champagne down Peter Lawford's neck. We only have four shirts for Peter Lawford, so we could only shoot four takes, and it was tricky for the camera. On the last take I said, "Judy if you laugh, I'll just kill you, I'll kill you dead." Well, she didn't laugh, but she giggled, and it was absolutely great. I asked if she'd done it deliberately, in spite of what I'd said, and she didn't really know. Sometimes you get these very human things on the set."

In the 1954 Oscar® race, It Should Happen to You was virtually ignored though it did receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Black and White Costume Design by Jean Louis (he lost to Edith Head for Sabrina). Regardless, most critical reviews were overwhelmingly positive with the majority of praise focused on Holliday's performance. Time magazine stated "Judy plays, for the fourth time in a row, essentially the same poor man's Pygmalion, that won her an Oscar® two years ago...Practice has made her almost perfect in the part. She seems an incarnation of the big-city blonde who is so dumb that she doesn't even know she's beautiful."

Other trivia of interest: Garson Kanin's screenplay for It Should Happen to You was originally titled A Name for Herself but in the early stages it was actually being developed as a script for Danny Kaye; The guests who appear on the TV panel show in the movie were real-life celebrities - Constance Bennett, Ilka Chase, Melville Cooper and Wendy Barrie; the song "Let's Fall in Love" which Holliday and Lemmon sing as a duet was written almost 20 years earlier by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler; Look for a brief cameo by up-and-coming actor John Saxon in the Central Park sequence.

Producer: Fred Kohlmar
Director: George Cukor
Screenplay: Garson Kanin
Cinematography: Charles Lang
Film Editing: Charles Nelson
Art Direction: John Meehan
Music: Frederick Hollander
Cast: Judy Holliday (Gladys Glover), Peter Lawford (Evan Adams III), Jack Lemmon (Pete Sheppard), Michael O'Shea (Brod Clinton), Vaughn Taylor (Entrikin), Connie Gilchrist (Mrs. Riker).
BW-88m. Letterboxed.

by Jeff Stafford

back to top