The Affairs of Susan


1h 50m 1945

Brief Synopsis

Susan is about to be married, but the wedding may get called off after her fiancee summons three former beaus. Each reveals a different portrait of Susan: one describes her as a naive country girl who reluctantly becomes an actress, another paints a picture of a gay party girl and and the third describes a serious intellectual. Which one is the real Susan?

Film Details

Also Known As
Chameleon
Release Date
Jan 1945
Premiere Information
New York premiere: 28 Mar 1945
Production Company
Hal Wallis Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9,855ft (11 reels)

Synopsis

Susan Darell, a New York theater actress just back from a U.S.O. camp tour, accepts Richard Aiken's marriage proposal, even though she has only known him for a few weeks. At Susan's apartment, Richard discovers that she has had three previous loves when he sees pictures of the three men in her living room. As Richard wonders about Susan's past, he begins to hallucinate that the pictures are talking to him, warning him that he will be the next to join the "gallery" of former flames. Later, at a party, Richard meets the men in the pictures and listens attentively as each one tells the story of how he met and fell in love with Susan. The first to tell his story is Roger Berton, a Broadway producer, who recalls the day he met Susan: When scheming actress Mona Kent spoils his Rhode Island vacation, Roger flees from his cabin retreat and takes refuge in a home on a nearby island. There he meets Susan, whom he immediately suspects is another scheming actress interested only in auditioning for a big producer. Roger soon comes to realize, however, that Susan is an innocent and sincere young woman who has a natural talent for acting. He eventually falls in love with her, and decides to cast her in the title role of his next show, Joan of Arc . Once back in New York, however, Roger realizes that Susan is too naïve for him, and the marriage ends in a "Reno divorce." Next to tell his story is Montana lumber millionaire Mike Ward, who remembers the day he met Susan: While negotiating an investment deal with Roger, Mike is introduced to the recently divorced Susan, and falls instantly in love with her. Susan, however, is now a cosmopolitan woman with a penchant for lying, and she soon scares off her new suitor. Mike leaves Susan and returns to Montana, but Susan quickly lands in the arms of another man, novelist Bill Anthony. Bill is the last to tell the story of his love affair with Susan: Shortly after meeting the bookish Bill in a park, Susan goes through another transformation, this time becoming an intellectual. Their romance ends at the altar, however, when Susan, drunk, decides she does not want to marry Bill. Despite their previous romantic entanglements with the fickle Susan, all three men conclude that she is still the one they love. Susan carefully considers the affections of all the men gathered to discuss her, and surprises everyone when she chooses Roger to be her husband.

Film Details

Also Known As
Chameleon
Release Date
Jan 1945
Premiere Information
New York premiere: 28 Mar 1945
Production Company
Hal Wallis Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9,855ft (11 reels)

Award Nominations

Best Writing, Screenplay

1946

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film's working title was Chameleon, which was also the title of Thomas Monroe and Laszlo Gorog's original story. Opening title cards include the following credits: "Miss Fontaine's services obtained by arrangement with David O. Selznick," and "[Story] rights by arrangement with Charles K. Feldman Group Productions." According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Lizabeth Scott was tested for the role of "Susan." Hal Wallis bought the rights to Bud G. DeSylva's song "If You Knew Susie-Like I Know Susie," which was played over the opening credits. This film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Story). Joan Fontaine and George Brent reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on October 29, 1945.