Cast & Crew
Mamie Van Doren
James Gannon, the hard-boiled city editor of the New York Evening Chronicle , has little regard for higher education, having never attended high school himself. When Edna Kovac asks Jim to fire her son Barney, a copy boy at the newspaper, so that he will return to school, the gruff editor refuses, arguing that Barney will receive an education in his newsroom that is superior to what is offered by any university. Later, Lloyd Crowley, the managing editor of the Evening Chronicle , calls Jim into his office, upset that he has rebuffed an invitation to speak before a night journalism course being taught by Erica Stone. Learning that Col. J. L. Ballentine, the paper's publisher, is on the board of trustees of the university, Jim reluctantly goes to the school that night to apologize. Before he can tell Erica who he is, however, she reads aloud Jim's insulting letter to her class, in which he refers to such courses as "a waste of time." In rebuttal, Erica tells her class that Jim is one of the "unpressed gentlemen of the press," a relic of bygone era of journalism. Days later, Jim is still fuming over the experience and taking it out on everyone in his newsroom. He then decides to return to Erica's class, and, in order to show up the instructor, enrolls in the class under the alias "Jim Gallagher." Much to his chagrin, Erica immediately recognizes Jim's writing skills and praises his work to the class. Attracted to the beautiful teacher, Jim decides to continue his ruse after Erica refuses to speak to him when he calls her using his real name. Later, Erica asks him to stay after class, but an amorous Jim is disappointed to learn that it is merely to give him more challenging assignments. Hating the type of "think piece" Erica wants him to write, Jim dispenses his "home work" onto Harold Miller, a college graduate working the night shift at the Evening Chronicle . Meanwhile, Jim begins his own investigative reporting on Dr. Hugo Pine, a professor of psychology and prolific author who is dating Erica. Disheartened to learn that Hugo is both brilliant and handsome, Jim decides to give up his quest for Erica's affection, though he takes her breath away with a goodbye kiss. By chance, Jim and his date, Peggy Defore, later run into Erica and Hugo at the Bongo Club, a nightclub where Peggy sings and dances in a scanty costume. Despite Jim's various attempts to show-up the professor, Hugo bests him at every turn, even out-drinking the newspaperman. Offering to help the inebriated Jim get into a taxi, Hugo then makes the mistake of taking a deep breath of fresh air and passes out. After putting Hugo to bed, Jim and Erica share a cab, and a kiss, on the way to her place. There, Jim learns that Erica is the daughter of the late Joel Barlow Stone, the Pulitzer-Prize winning editor and publisher of The Eureka Bulletin . Suddenly feeling more ashamed than romantic, Jim leaves the apartment without saying a word. The next morning, Jim confesses all to the hung over Hugo, who advises him to tell Erica the truth before she learns it from someone else. Arriving at the newspaper, Jim is called into Ballentine's office, where Erica is waiting to meet with "James Gannon," in hopes she can convince the city editor to hire her student, "Jim Gallagher." As she leaves the building, Erica chastises Jim, not for the emotional hurt he has given her, but for the time she took away from her real students to work with him. Later, Jim fires Barney, telling him that he does not want to condemn the young lad to a life like his, always excusing himself from rooms when the conversation enters a topic other than newspapers. Back at Hugo's apartment, the professor assures Jim that he is a highly educated man, having acquired his knowledge through experience, not formal education, and even grants the newspaperman an ad hoc degree in liberal arts. Erica then arrives and Hugo convinces her that Jim is a shattered man. Instead, Jim, who does not realize Erica is there, enters the room reborn, telling Hugo he now knows he is a good journalist after reading some copies of The Bulletin , as it is "one of the lousiest papers" he has ever read. Seeing Erica, Jim apologizes, but tells her that he was simply being honest and challenges her to test her father's paper against the standards of modern journalism. That night, Erica edits her cherished father's work and realizes that Jim is right. The next morning, Jim is once again called into Ballentine's office, where Erica is waiting with the suggestion that she and the city editor co-teach her class. In turn, Ballentine tells Erica that Jim himself had just suggested that the paper do more "think pieces." As the reunited couple heads off to lunch, Jim is thanked by Edna for helping Barney. In turn, he insists that her son report back to work the Monday after his graduation. While the newsroom watches in amazement as Jim and Erica go off together, someone questions what the two might have in common. Roy, Jim's assistant, responds: "If I know Jim, he'll find something."
Mamie Van Doren
Hal K. Dawson
Harry Lee Ray
A. S. Kany
Theresa Loeb Cone
Harold V. Cohen
Frank P. Quinn
E. B. Radcliffe
Leo G. Gaffney
W. Ward Marsh
Allen M. Widem
W. E. J. Martin
William J. Barney
Lowell E. Redelings
Robert [r.] Benton
Best Supporting Actor
Best Writing, Screenplay
The husband and wife writing team of Fay and Michael Kanin wrote the original screenplay for Teacher's Pet. They originally conceived the story as a drama. However, after several studios turned the project down, the Kanins rewrote it as a romantic comedy and finally sold it to Paramount. Both Cary Grant and James Stewart are rumored to have turned down the role of James Gannon before it was given to Gable.
Doris Day had just finished a difficult shoot on The Pajama Game (1957) when she was offered Teacher's Pet. She had been planning to take some time off, but when she heard that her leading man would be Clark Gable, she jumped at the chance. Day had grown up watching Gable's films and was a big fan. When filming began on Teacher's Pet, she liked Gable immediately and found his unpretentiousness refreshing. "When Clark came on the set in the morning," she says in her 1976 autobiography Doris Day: Her Own Story, "I could actually feel the magnetic force of his personality...There was something very affirmative about him, and a directness that suggested great inner strength."
Sultry Mamie Van Doren, who plays Gable's chippie girlfriend Peggy, was also fond of Gable. In her 1987 autobiography Playing the Field: My Story, Van Doren says that her agent told her that Clark Gable had personally requested her for the supporting role after seeing her in the Warner Bros. commissary. Though both Van Doren and Gable were married at the time, she claims that there was a strong attraction between them during the shoot that came dangerously close to an affair. According to Van Doren, Gable told her that she reminded him of his late wife Carole Lombard.
Van Doren was excited to work with Doris Day, whom she had long admired. However, according to Van Doren, Day wanted nothing to do with her. "Doris ignored me when we were introduced," she writes, "and proceeded to conduct herself like a spoiled star. [Director] George Seaton and Gable had to stoically bear her tantrums and disagreeable attitude." Day's "cold" attitude, according to Van Doren, never warmed, "...and mercifully," she says, "we saw little of each other during the film."
Mamie Van Doren had more complimentary things to say about director George Seaton, whose style she found had a "calm assurance." "No one could've been cooler and more in control than Seaton," she says in her autobiography. "The set was his set. He worked with a gentle power that commanded the respect of his entire crew...The two weeks I spent shooting Teacher's Pet at Paramount were over all too quickly. The experience was one of the high points of my career."
Teacher's Pet received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Gig Young, who almost steals the show in the hilarious role of Day's nerdy boyfriend, Dr. Hugo Pine.
Doris Day sings the catchy title song by Joe Lubin, which was a solid hit for her, while Mamie Van Doren belts out "The Girl Who Invented Rock and Roll" in one memorable scene. Watch for a very young Marion Ross (aka Mrs. Cunningham from Happy Days) in a small role as Day's teaching assistant.
Producers: William Perlberg and George Seaton
Director: George Seaton
Screenplay: Fay Kanin and Michael Kanin
Cinematography: Haskell B. Boggs
Art Direction: Earl Hedrick and Hal Pereira
Music: Roy Webb
Film Editing: Alma Macrorie
Cast: Clark Gable (James Gannon/James Gallagher), Doris Day (Erica Stone), Gig Young (Dr. Hugo Pine), Mamie Van Doren (Peggy DeFore), Nick Adams (Barney Kovac), Peter Baldwin (Harold Miller), Marion Ross (Katy Fuller), Charles Lane (Roy).
by Andrea Passafiume
The onscreen writing credit reads: "Written by Fay and Michael Kanin." According to Hollywood Reporter, producers William Perlberg and George Seaton purchased the original screen story to Teacher's Pet from the husband-and-wife writing team of Michael and Fay Kanin in February 1952. At that time, the film was projected as a 1953 Paramount release, with the producers planning to begin production as soon as they completed their current project, The Country Girl. Production on Teacher's Pet was finally set to begin in November 1956, but filming was delayed until April 1957 in order to fit into actress Doris Day's schedule, according to Hollywood Reporter news items. Hollywood Reporter also reported that the Kanins were planning to publish their original story in an unnamed "national magazine" in 1953, but it has not been determined if their story was published.
In April 1957, as a publicity stunt, the producers invited newspaper film critics from across the United States to appear in the film. According to Daily Variety and Hollywood Reporter news items, over 143 newspapers accepted the invitation, and a drawing was held from which fifty critics were chosen at random to appear as themselves. Norman Isaacs, the managing editor of The Louisville Times, then wrote a scathing editorial on the matter, accusing Perlberg and Seaton of "intellectual bribery." While Issacs claimed the producers could have saved $15,000 using real New York City newspapermen, who would have agreed to appear in the film for free, the producers noted that the then-current Screen Actors Guild (SAG) contract required that each performer be paid a minimum salary of $285 per week (not $375, as stated by Issacs in his editorial), and that they had agreed to donate any performer's salary to charity if any selected film critic's newspaper had so requested. Variety also pointed out that this publicity stunt cost the production over $25,000, including travel and living expenses for the forty-nine out-of-town critics selected.
According to Hollywood Reporter news items, portions of the film were shot on location at the Los Angeles Times press room and library in mid-June 1957. Hollywood Reporter also reported that Perlberg and Seaton flew to New York on July 8, 1957 to shoot additional scenes for Teacher's Pet. In the Hollywood Reporter production charts, editor Alma Macrorie is mistakenly listed as "Elma McCroie." Hollywood Reporter news items include Joseph Hamilton, Jean Willes, George Cisar and Merry Anders in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Hollywood Reporter noted in late May 1957 that Bob Burke temporarily replaced director of photography Haskell Boggs after Boggs "suffered a ruptured blood vessel in his left eye."
According to Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles premiere of Teacher's Pet took place on March 20, 1958 at Paramount Hollywood theater, as a benefit for the 8-Ball Foundation of the Greater Los Angeles Press Club. Teacher's Pet received two Academy Award nominations: Gig Young was nominated as Best Supporting Actor, while the Kanins were nominated for Best Original Story and Screenplay. The title song, sung by Day, was a modest hit in 1958. Following the critical and box-office success of Teacher's Pet, Perlberg, Seaton and actor Clark Gable collaborated on another Paramount release the next year, 1959's But Not for Me.
Voted One of the Year's Ten Best by the 1958 New York Times Film Critics.
Released in United States on Video January 29, 1992
Released in United States Spring April 1958
Released in United States on Video January 29, 1992
Released in United States Spring April 1958