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Elsa Maxwell's Public Deb No. 1

Elsa Maxwell's Public Deb No. 1(1940)

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NOTES

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Working titles for this film include Public Relations, Princess and the Pauper, and The Public Be Damned. The film is also known under the title Public Deb. No. 1. Material in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Script Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library indicate that Elsa Maxwell wrote the first draft of this screenplay, though she received no writing credit nor is there any indication that material from that draft was used. Hollywood Reporter reported that director Sidney Lanfield severed his relationship with Fox after fifteen years when he refused to direct this film. According to a Twentieth Century-Fox press release, this was the fourth film for which Fox had borrowed George Murphy from M-G-M. Linda Darnell was cast at one time in the lead role in this film, but was later replaced by Brenda Joyce. Press releases note that Brenda Joyce's wardrobe was worth $275,000, but the actual rental cost was $50,000. A free-standing, wheeled dance floor was built for the film, which, when attached to the camera, allowed the camera to dolly around Murphy and Joyce during the dance sequence. In addition, the make-up for Elsa Maxwell for the costume party sequence reportedly took two hours each day to apply. Mickey Rooney wrote a song entitled "Public Deb. #1" and auditioned it before the Fox music department, in hopes of selling it for this film. It was not used or purchased, however. The film makes reference to the 30 November 1939 invasion of Finland by the Soviet Union which resulted in the Treaty of Moscow of 12 March 1940, and led to the partial annexation of Finland by the Soviet Union.