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The Shocking Miss Pilgrim

The Shocking Miss Pilgrim(1947)

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According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department and the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, the studio purchased the rights to "Miss Pilgrim's Progress," an unpublished, uncopyrighted story by Ernest and Frederica Maas, in October 1939 for $8,000. Several screenwriters worked on the project from 1940 on, the first of whom were Robert Ellis and Helen Logan. Subsequent writing teams included Darrell Ware and Karl Tunberg, as well as Samuel Hoffenstein and Betty Reinhardt. The extent of their contributions to the produced film has not been determined. Late in 1945, George Seaton wrote the version eventually produced.
       For the film's songs, Ira Gershwin put lyrics to unpublished melodies written by his brother George, who had died in 1937. "But Not in Boston" was published as "The Back Bay Polka." A "Tour of the Town" number was recorded and filmed by Dick Haymes and Betty Grable, but was dropped. A "Welcome Song," to be performed by Haymes and the clerks on Grable's arrival, was not used. The same situation appears to pertain to the song "Demon Rum." The Packard Business College of New York was an actual school that was well known in the 1870s and still existed in 1946 as The Packard School. Fox secured cooperation from them as well as from the Remington Museum, which supplied antique typewriters. Hollywood Reporter Production Charts list Coleen Gray, Margaret Bannerman and Susan Blanchard in the cast, but they are not in the completed film. Studio records also list Nina Gilbert, Robert Malcolm and Jane Nigh as playing Grable's parents and sister, respectively, but their sequence was cut before the film's release. Gene Lockhart replaced Porter Hall, who was injured in an auto accident. In early December 1945, John Stahl filled in for director George Seaton, who had a severe cold. According to a January 3, 1946 Hollywood Reporter news item, Edmund Goulding was assigned to complete the film after Seaton had to return to the hospital with an abscessed lung, the result of having returned to work too soon after a bout of pneumonia.