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Affectionately Yours

Affectionately Yours(1941)

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teaser teaser Affectionately Yours (1941)

Rita Hayworth was well on the road to stardom in early 1941 when she made the romantic comedy Affectionately Yours, while on loan-out to Warner Bros. The plot dealt mainly with international correspondent Dennis Morgan'sattempts to win back ex-wife Merle Oberon. At first, he merely wants backthe safety net his marriage gave him from his numerous romantic interests,whom he had previously staved off with the reminder that he was a marriedman. But as the pursuit continues, particularly when Oberon picks up abumbling suitor (Ralph Bellamy), he realizes that he really loves her.Hayworth's third-billed role as the other woman who comes closest tosnaring Morgan gave her the opportunity to look beautiful while sparing her the type of unflattering slapstick routines which Oberon had to endure.

The problems with Affectionately Yours were twofold. First, it was a comedy personallychosen by studio head Jack Warner. A wannabe comedian, Warner would havebeen a leading contender in any contest to name the most comicallychallenged executive in Hollywood. He had the bright idea to cast thepatrician Oberon, who had starred effectively for him in the tearjerker'Til We Meet Again (1940), as a screwball comedy star, and the matchsimply didn't work. No matter how willingly Oberon threw herself intopratfalls, it simply wasn't her kind of humor.

The second problem was one of creative control. After three years at Warner Bros.,the last two as a producer, newsman-turned-filmmaker Mark Hellinger waschomping at the bit to prove himself. In particular, he resented Hal Wallis, the studioproduction head, who refused to grant him either authority or respect. Thesituation came to a head when Lloyd Bacon, the director ofAffectionately Yours, asked Hellinger to approve an extra scene inWallis' absence. Unable to consult the boss, Hellinger gave the scene theokay, which triggered an explosion from Wallis. When the production headinformed Bacon and the other directors on Hellinger's films that theirproducer should be thought of as just a messenger, Hellinger quit duringthe final weeks of production. He wouldn't return to Warner Bros. untilWallis left his production chief position to become an independentproducer.

None of this really touched Hayworth. The former dancer had signed withColumbia Pictures in 1937, where she had been steadily working her way upfrom B-pictures and supporting roles. Affectionately Yours was hersecond loan-out in a row to Warner Bros. The first, The StrawberryBlonde (1941), opened while the second was in production, and her performanceas a beauty whose loss haunts small-town dentist James Cagney the rest ofhis life scored a big hit, finally putting her on the road to stardom.Affectionately Yours wasn't exactly a huge career boost for Hayworth, though it washardly a hindrance when she got better reviews than the film's two stars.Within weeks of Affectionately Yours's premiere, however, she scoredher second blockbuster, as a sultry Spanish temptress involved withbullfighter Tyrone Power in Blood and Sand (1941).

Hayworth wasn't the only performer to fare well with reviewers. They werealso impressed with Butterfly McQueen's comic performance as a bumbling maid.Some even noticed that Affectionately Yours marked her reunion withGone With the Wind co-star Hattie McDaniel. In addition, the filmfeatures three future Warner Bros. stars nestled in bit parts: FayeEmerson as a nurse, Alexis Smith as a bridesmaid and Smith's futurehusband, Craig Stevens, as a guard.

Producer: Mark Hellinger
Director: Lloyd Bacon
Screenplay: Edward Kaufman
Based on a story by Fanya Foss and Aleen LeslieCinematography: Tony Gaudio
Art Direction: Anton Grot
Music: Heinz Roemheld
Principal Cast: Merle Oberon (Sue Mayberry), Dennis Morgan (Richard "Ricky"Mayberry), Rita Hayworth (Irene Malcolm), Ralph Bellamy (Owen Wright),George Tobias (Pasha), James Gleason (Chester Phillips), Hattie McDaniel(Cynthia), Jerome Cowan (Cullen), Butterfly McQueen (Butterfly).
BW-89m. Closed captioning.

by Frank Miller

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teaser Affectionately Yours (1941)

Rita Hayworth was well on the road to stardom in early 1941 when she made the romantic comedy Affectionately Yours, while on loan-out to Warner Bros. The plot dealt mainly with international correspondent Dennis Morgan'sattempts to win back ex-wife Merle Oberon. At first, he merely wants backthe safety net his marriage gave him from his numerous romantic interests,whom he had previously staved off with the reminder that he was a marriedman. But as the pursuit continues, particularly when Oberon picks up abumbling suitor (Ralph Bellamy), he realizes that he really loves her.Hayworth's third-billed role as the other woman who comes closest tosnaring Morgan gave her the opportunity to look beautiful while sparing her the type of unflattering slapstick routines which Oberon had to endure.

The problems with Affectionately Yours were twofold. First, it was a comedy personallychosen by studio head Jack Warner. A wannabe comedian, Warner would havebeen a leading contender in any contest to name the most comicallychallenged executive in Hollywood. He had the bright idea to cast thepatrician Oberon, who had starred effectively for him in the tearjerker'Til We Meet Again (1940), as a screwball comedy star, and the matchsimply didn't work. No matter how willingly Oberon threw herself intopratfalls, it simply wasn't her kind of humor.

The second problem was one of creative control. After three years at Warner Bros.,the last two as a producer, newsman-turned-filmmaker Mark Hellinger waschomping at the bit to prove himself. In particular, he resented Hal Wallis, the studioproduction head, who refused to grant him either authority or respect. Thesituation came to a head when Lloyd Bacon, the director ofAffectionately Yours, asked Hellinger to approve an extra scene inWallis' absence. Unable to consult the boss, Hellinger gave the scene theokay, which triggered an explosion from Wallis. When the production headinformed Bacon and the other directors on Hellinger's films that theirproducer should be thought of as just a messenger, Hellinger quit duringthe final weeks of production. He wouldn't return to Warner Bros. untilWallis left his production chief position to become an independentproducer.

None of this really touched Hayworth. The former dancer had signed withColumbia Pictures in 1937, where she had been steadily working her way upfrom B-pictures and supporting roles. Affectionately Yours was hersecond loan-out in a row to Warner Bros. The first, The StrawberryBlonde (1941), opened while the second was in production, and her performanceas a beauty whose loss haunts small-town dentist James Cagney the rest ofhis life scored a big hit, finally putting her on the road to stardom.Affectionately Yours wasn't exactly a huge career boost for Hayworth, though it washardly a hindrance when she got better reviews than the film's two stars.Within weeks of Affectionately Yours's premiere, however, she scoredher second blockbuster, as a sultry Spanish temptress involved withbullfighter Tyrone Power in Blood and Sand (1941).

Hayworth wasn't the only performer to fare well with reviewers. They werealso impressed with Butterfly McQueen's comic performance as a bumbling maid.Some even noticed that Affectionately Yours marked her reunion withGone With the Wind co-star Hattie McDaniel. In addition, the filmfeatures three future Warner Bros. stars nestled in bit parts: FayeEmerson as a nurse, Alexis Smith as a bridesmaid and Smith's futurehusband, Craig Stevens, as a guard.

Producer: Mark Hellinger
Director: Lloyd Bacon
Screenplay: Edward Kaufman
Based on a story by Fanya Foss and Aleen LeslieCinematography: Tony Gaudio
Art Direction: Anton Grot
Music: Heinz Roemheld
Principal Cast: Merle Oberon (Sue Mayberry), Dennis Morgan (Richard "Ricky"Mayberry), Rita Hayworth (Irene Malcolm), Ralph Bellamy (Owen Wright),George Tobias (Pasha), James Gleason (Chester Phillips), Hattie McDaniel(Cynthia), Jerome Cowan (Cullen), Butterfly McQueen (Butterfly).
BW-89m. Closed captioning.

by Frank Miller

back to top