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Holy Matrimony

Holy Matrimony(1943)

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The working titles of this film were Buried Alive and Indian Summer. Arnold Bennett used his book as the basis for a play entitled The Great Adventure (Glasgow, Scotland, 18 September 1911). Nunnally Johnson's onscreen credit reads "Produced and Written for the Screen by Nunnally Johnson." According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Johnson and Irving Pichel both served as fill-in directors while John Stahl was ill. Although a Hollywood Reporter news item stated that, "in response to an avalanche of fanmail from this country and England," Gracie Fields would sing "She Was Only a Bird in a Gilded Cage" and "The Biggest Aspidistra in the World" in the film, the numbers were not included in the picture. Holy Matrimony marked Fields's first leading role in a picture filmed in the United States. Actor Whit Bissell, who is listed as Whitner Bissell in reviews, made his screen-acting debut in the picture, which also marked the last screen appearance of actor Montagu Love, who died shortly after completing his work in the film. The picture was selected as one of the ten best films of 1943 by the National Board of Review. Johnson's screenplay received an Academy Award nomination.
       Bennett's novel and play were also the basis for a 1915 British film entitled The Great Adventure, directed by Larry Trimble and starring Henry Ainley and Esme Hubbard; the 1921 Whitman Bennett film The Great Adventure, directed by Kenneth Webb and starring Lionel Barrymore and Doris Rankin (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-20; F2.2216); and the 1934 Eddie Dowling Pictures production His Double Life, directed by Arthur Hopkins and starring Roland Young and Lillian Gish (see AFI Catalog of Feature Film, 1931-40; F3.1924). In the 1934 version, Montagu Love played "Priam's" cousin "Duncan." On May 10, 1954, Lux Radio Theatre broadcast a version of the story starring Charles Laughton and Fay Bainter.