powered by AFI
According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, in January 1945 the studio paid $12,500 for a treatment, titled "Maggie" by Ruth McKenney and her husband Richard Bransten. McKenney's short stories "The Ultimate Catastrophe" and "Take the Marines Out of Nicaragua" had been included in a book, The McKenneys Carry On (New York, 1940) while "La Scandale Internationale" was included in My Sister Eileen (New York, 1938). In May of 1940, McKenney had sold the dramatization rights of My Sister Eileen to Joseph A. Fields and Jerome Chodorov, who subsequently sold the rights to their play to Columbia, the studio that produced the first film version in 1942. However, neither the play nor the film utilized material from the story, "La Scandale Internationale," so Twentieth Century-Fox was able to obtain a waiver of rights. Documents in the legal files imply that F. Hugh Herbert May have used elements from the screenplay by Gene Markey for Girls' Dormitory (1936), which was based on a play, Matura by Ladislas Fodor.
According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter, Cornel Wilde refused the male lead in Margie and was suspended by the studio. Richard Jaeckel was also announced for a starring role. It is unclear when, during the pre-production phase, "Maggie" became Margie. Shooting began with exterior scenes in Reno, Nevada and finished at the studio with the crane shots into and out of the attic which open and close the film. Although "Margie," written in 1920, is the only song credited on screen, the film included passages from many other hits of the 1920s, among them "At Sundown," "Avalon," "I'll See You in My Dreams," "Collegiate," "Charmaine," "Three O'Clock in the Morning," "Charleston," "Diane," "Wonderful One" and "Ain't She Sweet?" Singer Rudy Vallee was paid $1,000 to re-record his popular song of the period, "My Time is Your Time." A Newsweek article on June 23, 1947 which reported that industry production costs had risen 66 2/3 % over a year cited Margie which cost $1,680,000 in 1946, and would cost $2,800,000 if made in 1947.
Documents in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library reveal that Australian censors removed all references to "Margie" losing her bloomers at the ice rink and to their subsequent return. Alan Young made his feature film debut in Margie. A radio version of the film, featuring Jeanne Crain and Glenn Langan, was broadcast on the Lux Radio Theatre on September 8, 1947. The same program did another version, this time with Crain and Hugh Marlowe, which was broadcast on October 22, 1951. Hedda Hopper's program, This is Hollywood also presented an adaptation on June 28, 1947. A television series based on the film was broadcast from October 1961 to August 1962 on the ABC Television Network, starring Cynthia Pepper as the title character.