Cast & Crew
In the summer of 1913, seventeen-year-old Patti Robinson joins her mother Katherine, her father Horatio, her younger sister Melba and her younger brothers McCormick and Ricky on her family's annual vacation at a mountain resort in Kissamee, New York. Though Patti believes that she has reached adulthood and is ready to begin dating boys, her somewhat prudish and over-protective mother believes otherwise and insists that Patti wait until she reaches the age of eighteen. As soon as Patti arrives at the resort, Billy Finlay, the sixteen-year-old son of the hotel manager, resumes his objective of the previous summer and tries to court her. Patti avoids Billy and instead turns her attention to an unfamiliar guest at the resort, a handsome young Cuban man named Demi Armendez. Demi also catches the eye of Patti's friend Valerie Stresemann, who is over eighteen, egotistical and wears a corset to pinch her figure. Patti wishes that she, too, could wear a corset to attract young men, but her mother insists on outfitting her with clothes to make her appear young and, to Patti's mind, unattractive.
One day, during a family outing at the riverbank, Patti sees Valerie and Demi approaching and, embarrassed to be seen playing on the children's side of the beach, asks Melba to bury her with sand. Horatio later learns that Patti has been ridiculed for wearing an ugly bathing suit, so he takes his daughter's side and urges Katherine to show more consideration for Patti's feelings. Later, Valerie tries to sabotage Patti's attempts to attract Demi by giving her bad advice and telling her that she should act more like the famous motion picture actress Theda Bara. Patti tries to act more worldly, mysterious and helpless, but her plan fails and she eventually realizes that Valerie is not a true friend.
One evening, while canoeing on the river, Patti falls asleep and has a dream. In the dream, Demi compliments her singing and professes his love for her but reacts with outrage when she reveals that she is not wearing a corset. Patti awakens from her dream screaming for Demi to return and falls into the lake when she tries to stand up in the canoe. Demi sees Patti fall into the water and tries to save her, but she saves herself and runs off into the woods, embarrassed again. Patti returns to her room soaking wet, and when Demi follows her there, Horatio misunderstands his motives and accuses him of improper behavior. Later, when Patti learns that Demi is taking Valerie to the big dance at the resort, she becomes despondent.
Refusing to attend the dance, Patti locks herself in her room and studies Spanish instead. Patti eventually agrees to attend the dance with Billy, and, much to her surprise, she winds up in Demi's arms when he asks her to dance. She returns to her room later that night feeling happy and lovesick, but she is still angry that she is not allowed to wear a corset. In an attempt to help Patti's difficult transition into womanhood, Horatio goes to town to buy her a corset. Unfortunately, Horatio's lack of knowledge of women's undergarments results in his purchase of a surgical corset.
Unaware that her corset is a surgical one, Patti wears it during her dance performance at the resort talent show. While dancing a tango with Demi, she is dipped and her corset locks. Unable to straighten her back, Patti is rushed backstage, where she is released from the corset's hold with help from her mother, who finally realizes that her daughter has grown up. The summer vacation ends happily for Patti when she makes amends with her mother, and when Demi promises to call her.
Mary Jane Smith
James V. Monaco
Richard A. Pefferle
C. A. Philbrick
Thomas T. Railey
Alfred G. Robyn
J. Frank Shugrue
William J. Tuttle
Edwin B. Willis
Two Weeks With Love
Powell was only 15 when MGM signed her to a long-term contract in 1944. With her surprisingly mature soprano voice, the studio hoped to turn her into another Deanna Durbin, a child singing star they had released from contract in the '30s only to see her save Universal Pictures from bankruptcy. For years, Powell was the pleasant juvenile star of such minor-league musicals as A Date With Judy (1948) and Nancy Goes to Rio (1950), in which she sang pleasantly but lost the more mature leading men to older actresses. By the time she made the latter film, however, Powell was clearly moving into adulthood, a transition producer Jack Cummings hoped to ease with her role in Two Weeks With Love.
Powell starts the film as a young innocent, only to grow up fast when she develops her first adult romance, with traveling actor Montalban. Initially she poses as a sophisticated woman of the world, only to find he's more attracted to the youthful innocence he rarely finds in theatre actresses. Along the way she sings the romantic ballad "There Are Such Things," the light opera favorite "My Hero" and an original ragtime number, "The Oceana Roll," choreographed by Busby Berkeley. The switch worked with film audiences, and Powell would continue to shine in more mature roles opposite Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding (1951) and Howard Keel in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954).
For Reynolds, Two Weeks With Love provided the kind of showy supporting role every show business hopeful dreams of. She had gotten into the movies after winning the title of Miss Burbank in 1948. After the pageant, rival talent scouts from Warner Bros. and MGM wanted to sign her. They flipped a coin, and Warners won, but all the studio gave her were two small roles and a new first name. Jack Warner turned Mary Frances Reynolds into Debbie Reynolds. But after a year, they dropped her contract.
Still, Reynolds' original talent scouts still had faith in her. The Warners scout called his friend at MGM to announce that she was available and even took her there for an interview. MGM signed her and put her to work with acting, dancing and singing lessons, where she impressed everybody with her hard work and ambition. Producer Jack Cummings thought she had just the right energy for a small part in Three Little Words (1950), the musical biography of songwriters Bert Kalmer and Harry Ruby. He cast Reynolds as "boop-boop-a-doop" singer Helen Kane, who dubbed all of her lines. But even without her voice, Reynolds was enchanting, vamping Carleton Carpenter innocently through Kane's trademark song, "I Wanna Be Loved by You." For the first time, she started to get fan mail.
Quick to capitalize on his new screen team, Cummings cast Reynolds as Powell's sister in Two Weeks With Love, with Carpenter as her love interest. The two dueted spiritedly on the vintage hits "Row, Row, Row" and "Abba Dabba Honeymoon" (the latter was excerpted 24 years later in the original That's Entertainment, 1974). MGM also sent them out on a publicity tour for the film. As her popularity grew, Reynolds was promoted to full star status as Gene Kelly's leading lady in Singin' in the Rain (1952).
Of course, Two Weeks With Love wouldn't have helped anybody's career without the kind of cast and crew that was a matter of course for an MGM production. Providing a solid backdrop to the leading performances were veteran actors Louis Calhern and Ann Harding, who teamed as Powell and Reynolds' parents before starring in the unconventional biopic, The Magnificent Yankee (1950). Harding, the queen of the RKO Studios lot in the early '30s, had come out of retirement at old friend Calhern's urging to play the part. Writer Dorothy Kingsley had made a name for herself coming up with one-liners for Bob Hope and Edgar Bergen on radio. Choreographer Busby Berkeley was busy staging some of swimming star Esther Williams' most impressive water ballets when he took time out to produce the vaudeville-style numbers for this film. And Roy Rowland, who had started his career directing comic shorts for Pete Kelly's MGM production unit, would give the film the same off-beat charm he would bring to his most famous picture, the 1953 Dr. Seuss musical The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. That film starred Powell and Reynolds' younger brother from Two Weeks With Love, Tommy Rettig, just before he found stardom in the family television series Lassie.
Producer: Jack Cummings
Director: Roy Rowland
Screenplay: Dorothy Kingsley, John Larkin Based on a story by Larkin
Cinematography: Alfred Gilks
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Preston Ames
Music: Georgie Stoll
Principal Cast: Jane Powell (Patti Robinson), Ricardo Montalban (Demi Armendez), Louis Calhern (Horatio Robinson), Ann Harding (Katherine Robinson), Phyllis Kirk (Valerie Stressemann), Carleton Carpenter (Billy Finlay), Debbie Reynolds (Melba Robinson), Tommy Rettig (Ricky Robinson).
C-93m. Closed Captioning.
by Frank Miller
Two Weeks With Love
The working title of this film was The Tender Hours, and it was reviewed in Variety as Two Weeks-With Love. According to a December 1948 M-G-M News item, Elizabeth Taylor was originally set for the part played by Jane Powell. A pre-production news item in Hollywood Reporter indicates that Eugene Loring was originally set as the film's dance director. A March 1950 Daily Variety news item noted that actor Leon Ames was selected for a role, but he did not appear in the final film. According to an April 1950 Daily Variety news item, many scenes in the picture were filmed twice: once for prints to be shown to American audiences, and a second time, with the substitution of certain words and phrases, for British audiences. The song "Aba Daba Honeymoon," originally recorded in 1914, became a hit recording for Debbie Reynolds and Carleton Carpenter following the release of the film. Powell and Ricardo Montalban recreated their film roles for a Lux Radio Theatre version of the story, which aired on September 8, 1952.