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Marjorie Morningstar

Marjorie Morningstar(1958)

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According to onscreen credits, some exterior scenes were photographed at Scaroon Manor and Camp Cayuga Boys and Girls Camp, at Schroon Lake in the Adirondack Mountains, New York. Other scenes were shot at Bellevue Hospital, Central Park West, Greenwich Village and Radio City Music Hall in New York City, according to a June 30, 1957 New York Times article. A September 1957 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that the film marked the first time Warner Bros. shot musical numbers on location. On October 24, 1955, a Los Angeles Times news item reported that Jack Warner, the head of Warner Bros. Studios, paid Herman Wouk one million dollars, "probably the highest price ever paid for any story," for the screen rights to the author's best-selling novel. Other sources, however, claim that Wouk received no cash up front, but negotiated for 50 percent of the film's profits.
       Contemporary sources note that Wouk served in a supervisory capacity during the two-year pre-production period, overseeing the screenplay and casting, and also supervised filming at Scaroon Manor. A May 1957 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that Paul Sylbert was to be the set designer for the film. However, only Ralph Hurst is listed in the onscreen credits and Sylbert's contribution to the final film has not been determined. Information included in the PCA files reveals that the PCA wanted the producers to make sure that the illicit affair between Noel and Marjorie was compensated for by the characters' acknowledgment of their wrongdoing.
       A January 1957 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that four actresses vying for the role of "Marjorie" appeared on the Ed Sullivan television show. According to the June 30, 1957 article in New York Times, Edward G. Robinson and Bette Davis were considered to play "Marjorie's" parents, and Conrad Janis and Norma Crane were tested for other roles. Although their appearance in the film has not been confirmed, August and September 1957 Hollywood Reporter news items added the following actors to the cast: Enrique Valdez, Alfredo Seville, Norman Stevens, Barnett Woolf, Florence Vinsen, Greta Ullman, Ellen Kilston, Howard Bert, dance team Rosita and Mario, and children Allen Digioia, William Wolff and Janis Kahn. Although an Hollywood Reporter news item adds Richard Deacon to the cast, he is not identifiable in the viewed print.
       The Variety reviewer complained that in the film version the "Jewish flavor" of the novel was "watered down." The Los Angeles Examiner reviewer also noted the picture's "lack of stress on the Jewish important in the book." The Hollywood Reporter reviewer, however, called the film "beautifully produced and magnificently acted" and "an act of brotherhood." According to modern sources, Jack Warner wanted Danny Kaye to play "Noel," but Kaye refused. Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster's song "A Very Precious Love" was nominated for an Academy Award.