powered by AFI
In the light musical comedy The Petty Girl (1950), Robert Cummings stars as real life artist George Petty, who made a name for himself with his pin-up paintings of beautiful girls which became a staple of American popular culture for two decades beginning in 1933. The plot has Petty intent on romancing a prim college professor (Joan Caulfield) who refuses to pose for his artwork. As the story unfolds, it isn't long before a series of misadventures proves that the pair has more in common than it would seem.
The Petty Girl features original songs with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by Johnny Mercer including "Fancy Free," "Calypso Song" and the exuberant title song featured in the film's finale.
Watch for 20-year-old Tippi Hedren in a small uncredited role as one of Petty's models. The Petty Girl marked her first feature film appearance, and she wouldn't appear onscreen again until 13 years later when she landed the lead in Alfred Hitchcock's classic The Birds (1963).
The highly fictionalized The Petty Girl may bear little resemblance to the real life of artist George Petty, but the film is nevertheless a delight. "The Petty Girl is an apocryphal account of how Calendar Artist George Petty awakened to his talent for drawing biologically improbably cheesecake," said Time magazine in its review. "A freehand farce with some pleasant tunes by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, the movie is just as implausible as Petty girls-and almost as well-turned and diverting."
Producer: Nat Perrin
Director: Henry Levin
Screenplay: Nat Perrin; Mary Mc Carthy (story)
Cinematography: William Snyder
Art Direction: Walter Holscher
Music: George Duning, Werner R. Heymann
Film Editing: Al Clark
Cast: Robert Cummings (George Petty, aka Andrew 'Andy' Tapp), Joan Caulfield(Prof. Victoria Braymore), Elsa Lanchester (Dr. Crutcher), Melville Cooper (Beardsley - Petty's butler aka Uncle Ben), Audrey Long (Mrs. Connie Manton Dezlow), Mary Wickes (Prof. Whitman).
by Andrea Passafiume