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Reaching for the Sun

Reaching for the Sun(1941)

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A Hollywood Reporter news item noted that preview audiences were so delighted by Eddie Bracken's comedic performance in this film that the main title billing was reshot to include Bracken as a co-star with Joel McCrea and Ellen Drew. According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter, Barbara Stanwyck was originally cast as "Rita," but withdrew to recuperate from an eye operation. Reviews noted that the film strayed from the original novel's serious theme of "labor conflict" and "man against machine." Some scenes were shot on location at Lake Arrowhead, CA.
       The factory scenes were shot at the Packard Motor Car Company in Detroit, MI, according to modern sources, which also indicate that writer Robert Carson, a longtime collaborator of director William Wellman, and author Wessel Smitter were involved in pre-production on this film, but then were released from the project. Modern sources add the following information about the production: Transparencies for the scene of the machinery fight were shot by A. Finkl and Sons Company of Chicago, IL; and another scene was shot at the Arturo Ranch near Malibu Lake, CA. Modern sources also note that photographs of director William Wellman's own children appear on the pamphlets from the parenting course in the film.