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January de Hartog's two-character play The Fourposter, which opened in London on October 12, 1950 and starred Michael Denison and Dulce Grey, ran for only 68 performances. De Hartog added a lighter tone and a more sentimental ending before the play's Broadway premiere on October 24, 1951. The Broadway production starred husband and wife Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy. In 1955 Cronyn and Tandy repeated their roles for a two-week revival at the New York City Center, under the direction of Jos Ferrer. During the film's production, the title was spelled Fourposter. The film featured animated sequences under the opening credits and between each act. The interscenes, which advanced the story, were created by United Productions of America studios.
The film's stars, Lilli Palmer and Rex Harrison, were married to each other at the time of production. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography (Black and White). Among the many television versions of de Hartog's play are a 1955 NBC-TV movie, a 1961 German television movie starring Maria Schell and O. W. Fischer, and a 1962 CBS-TV television movie. Playwright Tom Jones and composer Harvey Schmidt adapted de Hartog's play into the musical comedy I Do! I Do! which opened in New York on December 5, 1966 and starred Mary Martin and Robert Preston, under the direction of Gower Champion.