Three Hearts for Julia
Directed by Richard Thorpe (replacing Edward Buzzell, who became ill and had to bow out of the project), and with a script by Lionel Houser, based on his original story, Three Hearts for Julia went into production on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot on September 4, 1942 and wrapped a brief five weeks later, on October 17th. Although the plot was completely unrealistic, Thorpe injected one bit of truth into the script, courtesy of bit player Eddie Sanders. Sanders had one line in the film, in which he says "Okay, Miss, I'm joining the navy Monday." Right before they shot, Sanders asked Thorpe if he could change it to "Okay, Miss, I'm joining the army Friday." The Friday after the line was shot, Sanders left Hollywood and joined the army.
The film was held back from release by MGM until 1943, supposedly due to a backlog of titles, but most likely because they knew they had a dud on their hands. From the critics' reaction, it was clear that Three Hearts for Julia wasn't going to be a boost for anyone's career. Variety wrote that Ann Sothern was "handicapped with the material provided," The New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther noted with impatience that Melvyn Douglas' role of the husband winning back his wife was becoming repetitive, and Harold Cohen, in his very funny but devastating review for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, wrote that the script "looks and sounds like something [Lionel Houser] cooked up over an opium oven." Cohen deplored the romantic foursome, writing "Mix said quadrangle with some barren comedy, the kind of direction that makes membership in the Screen Directors Guild a questionable honor and a series of performances right out of Stanislavsky, spelled Stanislouseky, and you have Three Hearts for Julia. And this corner doesn't have to tell you what you can do with it."
Cohen, Harold V. "Three Hearts for Julia at the Stanley" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 6 Feb 43
Crowther, Bosley "The Screen: Three Hearts for Julia" The New York Times 21 May 43
The Internet Movie Database
"Stickler for Realism" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 18 Sep 42
Variety "Three Hearts for Julia" 6 Jan 43
By Lorraine LoBianco