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What Every Woman Knows

What Every Woman Knows(1934)

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NOTES

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The title card on the viewed print reads: "Sir James Matthew Barrie's What Every Woman Knows." Helen Hayes appeared as "Maggie" in a successful 1926 Broadway revival of Barrie's play. According to an August 1933 Hollywood Reporter news item, M-G-M paid Paramount $65,000 for the rights to the play. Although Boyd Irwin is credited in Film Daily and Variety as playing the role of "Tenterden," other sources, including the Call Bureau Cast Service and New York Times, credit William Stack in the part. According to a September 7, 1934 Hollywood Reporter news item, La Cava put the film "back into production" on 6 September to shoot added scenes and re-takes. In a modern interview, Hayes states that, after a disappointing preview in the Huntington section of Los Angeles, director Gregory La Cava ordered the cast and crew back to the set for re-takes and threatened to put "every Joe Miller Scotch joke ever written" into the script. According to Hayes, the jokes were not actually used in the final film, but La Cava's attitudes contributed to Hayes's decision to abandon films and concentrate on her theater work. Modern sources also claim that M-G-M production head Irving Thalberg conducted a survey to determine whether the public wanted the film shot in period or modern dress. When the poll results indicated that the audience preferred modern dress, the costumes were designed accordingly. In 1917, Fred W. Durrant directed Hilda Trevelyan in a silent British version of Barrie's story, and in 1921, William C. de Mille directed Lois Wilson and Conrad Nagel in a Paramount production of the Barrie play (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.6201). In the early 1940s, a radio version of the play, starring Helen Hayes, was broadcast on the weekly radio program Helen Hayes Theatre of the Air. A second radio broadcast was done on March 2, 1947 for the Theatre Guild of the Air program. The CBS television network broadcast a production of the play in January 1959, which starred Siobhan McKenna and James Donald and was directed by Robert Mulligan.