The Girl Friend


1h 7m 1935

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 9, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

Theatrical producer George S. Harmon refuses to produce a musical satire by struggling young actor George Thorne based on the life of Napoleon. He gives back to Thorne what he thinks is his play, but what he actually gives the young actor is a five-act tragedy about Napoleon by someone named "Henry," who has invited the producer to visit him at his farm. Thorne and his friends, Sunshine and Doc Parks, are broke and have no prospects for the summer, so they pretend to be the producer and his entourage and accept the playwright's offer. They live at the farm for two weeks, when Linda, Henry's sister, with whom Thorne has fallen in love, questions why they have not begun production on the play. Thorne claims that there are no theaters available to try out the play, so Henry's grandmother mortgages her farm for three-thousand dollars and converts the barn into a theater. Thorne finally reads the play, and it is terrible. He then tells Linda there are no actors available, but she offers up a variety of local talent. With his back to the wall, Thorne begins to produce his musical satire, telling Henry that it is simply a rewrite of his play. He hopes to have the real Harmon see the play and buy it. On opening night, the production is a hit until a rainstorm strikes, the roof begins to leak and all the displaced animals come in to reclaim their barn. Thorne's plans go further awry when he learns that Harmon never arrived at the theater. When Thorne is finally asked if he is going to buy the play, he admits that he is an imposter. The actor and his friends are forced to leave town, but, at the train station, Thorne runs into the real Harmon, who has come into town for another try-out. When Harmon refuses to see their play, Thorne then pretends to be the producer once more and cancels the other play. Henry kidnaps the cast of the other play and locks them in his barn. Thorne then puts his satire on in its place. Harmon is furious when he arrives at the theater and discovers what has happened. At the first act curtain, he threatens to put the entire company in jail, but Thorne convinces him to let them continue with their production. Henry is cast as Napoleon, and every time the real producer looks at him, he becomes nervous and the audience thinks he is even funnier. The play is a huge success, and Thorne allows all to believe that Henry is its author. Harmon then buys the production as is, and Thorne is once again in Linda's good graces.

Cast

Ann Sothern

Linda [Henry]

Jack Haley

[Henry Henry] Henry

Roger Pryor

George [Thorne, also known as George Harmon]

Thurston Hall

[George S.] Harmon

Victor Kilian

Sunshine

Ray Walker

Doc [Parks]

Inez Courtney

Hilda

Margaret Seddon

Grandma [Henry]

Geneva Mitchell

Harmon's secretary

Lee Kohlmar

German landlord

Elspeth Dudgeon

English lady

Lillian Rich

English lady

John T. Murray

Lead man

Victor Potel

Small town farmer

Pat West

Private

Al Klein

Private

Sam Fisher

Private

Arthur Rankin

Chalmers

Roger Gray

Sergeant

Billy Nelson

Sergeant

Henry Sylvester

Stage manager

Lon Kay

General

Bobbie Dale

General

Harry Mount

Elevator boy

Buddy Roosevelt

Chauffeur

Vangie Beilby

English actress

Bruce Wyndham

Martin

Lafe Mckee

Station agent

Patricia Caron

Girl

Betty Dumbries

Girl

Meeka Aldrich

Girl

Maxine Barbour

Girl

Florence Dudley

Girl

Marie Astaire

Girl

Lucille Day

Girl

Marie Wilson

Girl

Beatrice Coleman

Girl

Doris Davenport

Girl

Agnes O'laughlin

Girl

Anne Johnson

Girl

Billie Van Every

Girl

Norma Taylor

Girl

Irene Coleman

Widow

Shirley Lloyd

Widow

Gertrude Von Pein

Widow

Monica Bannister

Widow

Clarice Sherry

Widow

Eleanor Huntley

Widow

Dee Dowell

Secretary

Beverly Royde

Secretary

Jean Joyce

Secretary

Doris Carlyle

Secretary

Ruth Riley

Secretary

Marbeth Wright

Secretary

Cleo Cullen

Secretary

Anya Taranda

Secretary

Juanita Field

Secretary

Aileen Covington

Secretary

Arthur Millett

Painter

Charles Marsh

Painter

Mark Strong

Carpenter

Matty Roubert

Newsboy

Fred Mayan

Small town boy

Bert Kalmar Jr.

Sumner Getchell

Tommy Hicks

Al Snelling

Patrick Cunning

John Storall

George Ford

Eric Alden

Rod Bacon

Louis Adlon

Sam Rice Jr.

Jack Lubell

Evelyn Pierce

Virginia Meyer

Barbara Hubbard

Peggy Leon

Barbara Cohen

Marie Wells

Ethel Bryant

Rita Donlin

Beth Hartman

Bee Montclair

Corinne Williams

Jeanne Lawrence

Dorothy Shearer

Muriel Scheck

Richard Lancaster

Elizabeth Williams

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 9, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Articles

TCM Remembers - Ann Sothern


Actress Ann Sothern passed away on March 15th at the age of 89. Her film career spanned sixty years and included a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for The Whales of August (1987) and several Emmy nominations for her roles in the TV shows Private Secretary (1953) and The Ann Sothern Show (1958). Sothern was born as Harriette Lake in North Dakota. She made her first film appearance in 1927 in small roles (so small, in fact, that some sources omit any films before 1929) before deciding to work on Broadway instead. Shortly afterwards she signed with Columbia Pictures where studio head Harry Cohn insisted she change her name because there were already too many actors with the last name of Lake. So "Ann" came from her mother's name Annette and "Sothern" from Shakespearean actor E.H. Sothern. For most of the 1930s she appeared in light comedies working with Eddie Cantor, Maurice Chevalier, Mickey Rooney and Fredric March. However, it wasn't until she switched to MGM (after a brief period with RKO) and made the film Maisie (1939) that Sothern hit pay dirt. It proved enormously popular and led to a series of nine more films through 1947 when she moved into dramas and musicals. During the 50s, Sothern made a mark with her TV series but returned to mostly second tier movies in the 1960s and 1970s. Finally she earned an Oscar nomination for her work in 1987's The Whales of August (in which, incidentally, her daughter Tisha Sterling played her at an earlier age). Turner Classic Movies plans to host a retrospective film tribute to her in July. Check back for details in June.
Tcm Remembers - Ann Sothern

TCM Remembers - Ann Sothern

Actress Ann Sothern passed away on March 15th at the age of 89. Her film career spanned sixty years and included a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for The Whales of August (1987) and several Emmy nominations for her roles in the TV shows Private Secretary (1953) and The Ann Sothern Show (1958). Sothern was born as Harriette Lake in North Dakota. She made her first film appearance in 1927 in small roles (so small, in fact, that some sources omit any films before 1929) before deciding to work on Broadway instead. Shortly afterwards she signed with Columbia Pictures where studio head Harry Cohn insisted she change her name because there were already too many actors with the last name of Lake. So "Ann" came from her mother's name Annette and "Sothern" from Shakespearean actor E.H. Sothern. For most of the 1930s she appeared in light comedies working with Eddie Cantor, Maurice Chevalier, Mickey Rooney and Fredric March. However, it wasn't until she switched to MGM (after a brief period with RKO) and made the film Maisie (1939) that Sothern hit pay dirt. It proved enormously popular and led to a series of nine more films through 1947 when she moved into dramas and musicals. During the 50s, Sothern made a mark with her TV series but returned to mostly second tier movies in the 1960s and 1970s. Finally she earned an Oscar nomination for her work in 1987's The Whales of August (in which, incidentally, her daughter Tisha Sterling played her at an earlier age). Turner Classic Movies plans to host a retrospective film tribute to her in July. Check back for details in June.

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to Hollywood Reporter, Lupe Velez and Jack Benny were originally cast as the leads for this picture in June 1934. In August 1934, Hollywood Reporter reported that filming on the picture had been pushed back by at least four weeks due to re-writes. During that time, Velez went on a personal appearance tour, which later conflicted with the studio's schedule for the film. News items in Hollywood Reporter reported that Velez was called back to Columbia, where she waited two weeks for filming to begin. After that time, Velez collected her check those two weeks, $10,000, and returned to her tour. Columbia, in turn, cancelled payment on the check, and Velez threatened legal action. The outcome of the dispute has not been determined, but neither she nor Benny were involved in the released film. The original director for this project was Russell Mack, whose contract expired during the production delay, and was paid his contractual $15,000 in full. Hollywood Reporter further reported that Columbia had a publicity campaign for the production of the film in June 1934, in which they planned to send studio publicist Carter Ludlow to all forty-eight states in search of buxom milkmaids for a production number planned in the film. Ludlow was to visit each state on a chartered plane, and select one actual farm girl to represent each state in the number. When the film was finally produced in 1935, producer William Rowland, who had been mentioned in the 1934 new items, was no longer associated with it.