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The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door(1953)

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The working title of this film was Father Does a Strip. The onscreen animation credit reads: "Animation sequences by UPA United Productions of America." In the late 1950s, the company changed its name to UPA Pictures, Inc. As noted by contemporary news items, Betty Grable was originally set to star in the picture but refused the role and was subsequently suspended by Twentieth Century-Fox. According to a May 1951 Hollywood Reporter news item, Grable turned down the part because she wanted more time off between making the two pictures a year stipulated in her contract with the studio.
       Modern sources report that it was the first time in Grable's twelve years with Twentieth Century-Fox that she was placed on suspension. August and October 1951 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that Gloria De Haven and Alan Mowbray had been included in the cast, but they do not appear in the completed picture. According to a November 14, 1951 Hollywood Reporter news item, Dorothy Dandridge was to appear in a nightclub sequence with Benny Carter and His Orchestra, but they also do not appear in the final film. Hollywood Reporter news items include pianist John Scott, Dick Winslow, Kenny Williams and Joyce Bryant in the cast, but their appearance in the released picture has not been confirmed. Although a October 4, 1951 Hollywood Reporter news item stated that Michael Kidd had been signed to stage the film's musical numbers, only Richard Barstow receives onscreen credit as the choreographer. Kidd's contribution to the completed film, if any, has not been confirmed.
       Hollywood Reporter news items noted that production was interrupted several times to allow Dan Dailey to film What Price Glory (see below) and June Haver to recover her health. According to a modern source, Haver was injured when she fell off a table during a dance sequence and was unable to work for eight months. A June 1954 Los Angeles Mirror article reported that the delays in production added $350,000 to the film's budget. The Girl Next Door marked the last screen appearance of Haver (1926-2005), who, in early February 1953, entered the Sisters of Charity Convent in Kansas. Haver had long professed a desire to become a nun, but her fragile health forced her to leave the convent in late September 1953. Although contemporary sources indicate that Haver contemplated returning to show business, she retired upon her June 1954 marriage to actor Fred MacMurray.