Cast & Crew
When Michael O'Flaherty "Speed" McBride presents his wife Connie with a bowling trophy on her birthday, her disappointment is relieved by a delivery of roses from Gordon Tolliver, her old beau and college classmate. That night, Gordy comes to dinner and is enthusiastically greeted by Connie and her aunt Sophie. After a night of being ignored by Connie, the jealous Speed accuses her of marrying him on the rebound and storms out of the house. At a bar, Speed, inebriated, trades clothes with a tramp named Willie the Wino, and the two climb into Speed's car for a ride. After Willie drives the car into the river, the unconscious Speed is rescued by the crew of a showboat, who find a letter on his body addressed to Willie from Ignatius, the son he abandoned. The crew thinks that Speed is Willie until he awakens and explains his predicament to Kismet, the boat's busybody. After Kismet shows Speed the announcement of his death in the newspaper, Speed realizes that Willie's body has been mistakenly identified as his and phones Connie, who thinks that she is talking to a ghost. Kismet and Speed then sneak into the McBride house, arriving just as the will is being read. When the lawyer reads that Speed's last wish was for Connie to forget him and build a new life, Kismet advises Speed to pose as a ghost to get rid of Gordy. After maligning Gordy from the "great beyond," Speed replaces his mementoes, which Connie had packed away. Convinced that Speed's ghost is trying to communicate with Connie, Aunt Sophie, a believer in the supernatural, summons medium Professor Zorada to set up a séance. Becoming terrified when Speed responds to his questions, the fake medium runs out of the house. That night as Connie sleeps, Speed's ghostly image appears and tells her to send Gordy away. When Connie informs Gordy that Speed has counseled her to end their relationship, Gordy brings the doctor to examine her. After the doctor convinces Connie that she is suffering from hallucinations, Gordy proposes marriage as a cure and she accepts. Witnessing the proposal, Speed rings the doorbell, and Connie fires a gun at him to prove that he is an apparition. As Connie packs for her honeymoon, Kismet and Speed, posing as his uncle Barney from Ireland, appear at her door to condemn her hasty remarriage. When Connie insists upon going through with the ceremony, Kismet and "Barney" inform her that Speed is suffering from amnesia and can be found on the showboat. While Connie rushes to the boat, Gordy closes up the house. When Speed's real uncle Barney arrives, Gordy offers to drive him to the boat. As Connie boards the boat in search of her husband, Speed pulls off his disguise and dons a robe. Just then, Willie's son Ignatius arrives, thinking that Speed is his father. After Kismet shoves Ignatius into a cabin, Barney climbs on board, demanding to see Connie, and Kismet locks him in the engine room. Taking Kismet's advice, Speed plays on Connie's sympathies by feigning amnesia and wanders out of the cabin. After donning Barney's disguise once more, he returns to advise Connie to offer Speed her undying love. Disappearing once more, Speed pulls off his disguise and returns to Connie. They are about to reconcile when the real Barney bursts in. When Speed tries to pass him off as an impostor, Barney becomes offended and Speed explains the situation to him. Overhearing Speed's confession, Connie becomes furious until she realizes that he deceived her because he loves her, and the two reconcile.
John Tucker Battle
Edwin Harvey Blum
Albert S. D'agostino
Francis M. Sarver
James G. Stewart
Vernon L. Walker
Ellen Drew, 1914-2003
She was born Esther Loretta "Terry" Ray on November 23, 1914, in Kansas City, Missouri. The daughter of a barber, her family moved to Chicago when she was still an infant and she lived a very quiet childhood far removed from the glamour of Hollywood. She was encouraged by some friends to enter a beauty contest when she was just 17. After winning, she tried her luck in Hollywood, but found that they were no immediate offers for her particular talents.
She eventually took a waitressing job at C.C. Brown's, a famed Hollywood Boulevard soda fountain, and had virtually abandoned her dreams as a starlet when William Demarest, a popular actor's agent and well-known character actor, spotted her. Demarest arranged a screen test for her at Paramount, and she was promptly placed under contract for $50 a week.
For the first few years, (1936-38), Drew got only bit parts, and was often uncredited. When she finally got prominent billing in the Bing Crosby musical Sing You Sinners (1938), she decided to change her name, from Terry Ray to Ellen Drew. She earned her first major role in Frank Lloyd's If I Were King (1938) opposite Ronald Colman, yet for the most part of her career, rarely rose above "B" material and second leads. Still, she had some fine exceptions: Preston Sturges' enchanting comedy Christmas in July (1940), with Dick Powell; Tay Garnett's lighthearted war romp My Favorite Spy (1942) co-starring Kay Kyser; Julien Duvivier's taut The Imposter (1944), holding her own with a brooding Jean Gabin; and Mark Robson's chilling low-budget chiller Isle of the Dead (1945) opposite Boris Karloff. Drew made some notable television appearances in the late '50s including Perry Mason and The Barbara Stanwyck Show, before retiring from the entertainment industry. She is survived by her son David; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
by Michael T. Toole
Ellen Drew, 1914-2003
The working titles of this film were The Amorous Ghost and The Passionate Ghost. According to a pre-production news item in Hollywood Reporter, Ruth Hussey was originally slated to play "Connie." The film was Pat O'Brien's first production under his new six-picture deal with RKO, according to a news item in Hollywood Reporter. Another news item in Hollywood Reporter adds that the river boat set that was built for the production was the first permanent set of its kind.