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The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit(1956)

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Sloan Wilson's story was serialized in Colliers from 8 July-August 3, 1955. In Wilson's novel, "Maria" lives in near poverty with her husband and son in Italy. In the film, Maria is a widow. According to materials contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, Syl Lamont was to play "Caesar Gardella" and Larry Keating was to appear as "Richard Haves," "Tom Rath's" boss. Neither Keating nor the character of Haves appears in the released film, however. Although a December 1955 Hollywood Reporter chart places Fredric March's wife, Florence Eldridge, in the cast, she is not in the released film. According to a December 1, 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item, Jennifer Jones initially complained that her role of "Betsy" was too small. Memos reprinted in a modern source show that Jones suggested changes in the depiction of Betsy that were later incorporated into the script.
       According to Fox publicity items contained in the film's production files at the AMPAS Library, location filming was done in New York and Westport, CT. The 40th Infantry Division of the California National Guard and the Dept. of the Army supplied technical assistance in staging the battle scenes. Jones and Gregory Peck had previously starred together in the 1946 film Duel in the Sun (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50). Portland Mason (1948-2004), who played "Janie Rath," was the daughter of actors James Mason and Pamela Kellino. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit marked her motion picture debut.