powered by AFI
The working titles of this film were The New Yorkers, Something to Shout About and A Cup of Coffee. The film was based on Preston Sturges' play, A Cup of Coffee, which was written in 1931, but was not produced until 1988 in New York. According to materials contained in the Preston Sturges Papers at the UCLA Library, in late 1934, Universal hired Sturges to direct a film based on the play, but that project never materialized. Modern sources note that the project was delayed because of financial turbulence at the studio. Sturges was asked to doctor a script for a film biography of Diamond Jim Brady (released in 1935 as Diamond Jim), and by the time he was finished, his mentor at Universal, producer Henry Henigson, had moved to Paramount. With Henigson's departure, Sturges' script languished at Universal until he moved to Paramount and convinced the studio to buy his script for $6,000. News items in Hollywood Reporter note that Betty Field and William Holden were originally slated for the lead roles in the film and Arthur Hornblow, Jr. was to have produced. In 1944, Dick Powell and Linda Darnell starred in a Lux Radio Theatre version of the Sturges' story and in 1954, NBC presented a televised version of the story on The Lux Video Theatre. Modern sources add the following names to the cast: Arthur Stuart Hull (Cashier); George Renavent (Sign painter); January Buckingham (Secretary); Charles Moore (Porter).