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"In the fullest sense of the word, Norman Krasna represents the screenwriter as auteur," wrote film historian Patrick McGilligan. "For the most part, Krasna wrote original plays and screenplays without the benefit (or hindrance) of a collaborator, and his stories and the peculiar themes that have preoccupied him derive from his own rags-to-riches experiences." Although he wrote a few dramas, Krasna specialized in comedy; specifically, the comedy of confused or mistaken identities. A winner of the Writers Guild of America's prestigious Laurel award in 1960 for the body of his work, he has met with great success as both a playwright and screenwriter. On some occasions, he has combined the two skills by adapting one of his stage hits for the screen, as he did with Sunday in New York (1964).
This sex comedy, written just before the sexual revolution swept the country, is slightly risque yet moralistic, so that its young heroine - played on film by Jane Fonda - flirts with the idea of premarital sex yet remains a virgin at story's end. Fonda plays a 22-year-old from Albany, N.Y., who visits her womanizing brother (Cliff Robertson) in the big city and, although engaged to another man, carries on a flirtation with a stranger (Rod Taylor) she meets on a bus. "If there weren't such a thing as a young woman's virtue, Norman Krasna would surely have invented it," wrote The New York Times. Krasna's script gave Fonda one of her best early opportunities, providing her for the first time with a chance to play sophisticated comedy. The title tune from Sunday in New York, written by Carroll Coates and Peter Nero and sung by Mel Torme, was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Song.
Krasna (1909-1984) was once hailed as "the Boy Wonder of Hollywood." By the time he was 25, he had had two plays produced on Broadway and had received an Oscar nomination for his original story for The Richest Girl in the World (1934). In addition to writing, he also produced and directed movies. He wrote the original story for Fritz Lang's Fury (1936) and the story and screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's only non-mystery comedy, Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941). Krasna received an Academy Award for the original screenplay of Princess O'Rourke (1943), which he also directed. His many other film-writing credits include Bachelor Mother (1939), White Christmas (1954) and Let's Make Love (1960).
Producer: Everett Freeman
Director: Peter Tewksbury
Screenplay: Norman Krasna, from his play
Art Direction: Edward C. Carfagno, George W. Davis
Cinematography: Leo Tover
Costume Design: Orry-Kelly
Editing: Fredric Steinkamp
Original Music: Peter Nero
Principal Cast: Cliff Robertson (Adam Tyler), Jane Fonda (Eileen Tyler), Rod Taylor (Mike Mitchell), Robert Culp (Russ Wilson), Jo Morrow (Mona Harris), Jim Backus (Flight Dispatcher), Peter Nero (Himself)
C-105m. Closed captioning.
by Roger Fristoe