Man's Favorite Sport?


2h 7m 1964
Man's Favorite Sport?

Brief Synopsis

A sporting goods salesman who knows nothing about fishing must enter an angling contest.

Photos & Videos

Man's Favorite Sport? - Movie Posters

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
Miami Beach, Florida, opening: 29 Jan 1964
Production Company
Gibraltar Productions; Laurel Productions
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures
Country
United States
Location
San Francisco, California, USA
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "The Girl Who Almost Got Away" by Pat Frank (publication undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 7m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Synopsis

Roger Willoughby, the most successful fishing equipment salesman for Abercrombie and Fitch in San Francisco, is the author of a bestselling book on fishing, although he has never fished. Abby Page, publicity agent for the Wakopoogee Lake fishing tournament, persuades Roger's boss, Mr. Cadwalader, that Roger should enter the tournament. Roger confesses to Abby that he cannot fish, but she and a friend promise to teach him. Tex, Roger's fiancée, becomes jealous of his time spent with the two women and leaves. Roger wins the tournment with the help of a bear, but, confessing that he is a phony, he forfeits the prize. Cadwalader fires him and then reconsiders when he realizes that a novice winning a tournament is better advertising for the company. Meanwhile, Roger finds Abby camping in the woods, and he climbs into her sleeping bag when a storm breaks. They fall asleep and awaken floating in the lake in the bag. Cadwalader appears in a canoe to inform Roger that he has been rehired at a higher salary, and he abandons the happy couple to find their way ashore.

Photo Collections

Man's Favorite Sport? - Movie Posters
Man's Favorite Sport? - Movie Posters

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
Miami Beach, Florida, opening: 29 Jan 1964
Production Company
Gibraltar Productions; Laurel Productions
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures
Country
United States
Location
San Francisco, California, USA
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "The Girl Who Almost Got Away" by Pat Frank (publication undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 7m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Articles

Man's Favorite Sport?


In the early 1960s, director Howard Hawks was one of Hollywood's elder statesmen. The director of such films as Scarface (1932), Bringing Up Baby (1938), and The Big Sleep (1946) had only made a handful of films in recent years. But his two most recent, Rio Bravo (1959) and Hatari! (1962) had been hits, and he was in demand again. Hawks agreed to stay at Paramount, where he'd made Hatari!, for a three-picture deal. There was talk of reuniting the director with the stars of Rio Bravo, John Wayne and Dean Martin, for another western. But Hawks had different ideas. He had a story about a fishing "expert" who's never fished in his life, which he thought would make a good romantic comedy for Cary Grant, with whom Hawks had made five films. Hawks would make the film, Man's Favorite Sport? (1964), but not at Paramount, and not with Cary Grant.

Grant's own career was winding down, and he was hesitant about committing to Man's Favorite Sport? Nearing sixty, the actor didn't like the idea of co-starring opposite three young actresses - Paula Prentiss, Maria Perschy and Charlene Holt. Eventually, Grant found another project he liked better: Charade (1963), despite the fact that he was cast opposite the much younger Audrey Hepburn. Hawks replaced Grant in Man's Favorite Sport? with Rock Hudson, who had recently made two very successful romantic comedies with Doris Day, Pillow Talk (1959), and Lover Come Back (1961). Hudson was under contract at Universal, and Paramount agreed to borrow him for Man's Favorite Sport?.

Meanwhile, Hawks was having script problems. He wanted Leigh Brackett, who had written both Rio Bravo and Hatari!, as well as The Big Sleep. But Brackett was unavailable. So Hawks decided to use two television writers, John Fenton Murray and Steve McNeil. But they weren't comfortable with Hawks' working methods, and he wasn't happy with their work.

To play the role of the bossy publicist in Man's Favorite Sport? who tries to transform the non-fishing expert into a fisherman, Hawks chose a young MGM contract player, Paula Prentiss. She was very much in the mold of the typical Hawks heroine: tall, willowy, husky-voiced, and witty. Paramount insisted Prentiss wasn't a big enough name, but Hawks was adamant. When Paramount would not back down, he struck a deal with Universal, and moved the production there. Production was delayed for several weeks while sets were built on the Universal lot. The delay also meant that Leigh Brackett was now available to rewrite the script, and she was on the set during filming. However, the Writers Guild eventually denied her screen credit.

Although Hawks had fought for Prentiss, Todd McCarthy claims in his biography of Hawks that the director reduced the high-strung Prentiss to tears with his working methods. McCarthy writes that Prentiss felt he was trying to model her too much after the actresses in his 1930's screwball comedies. However, in a recent interview, Prentiss recalled how much she enjoyed working with Hawks. "Howard was very good about letting you overlap [dialogue]," she said. "He told the dialogue person to just let us do whatever we wanted to do, which was great because it was a bit more spontaneous.... So if I would make up something or rattle on, that was kept, and he said 'we'll fix it later.'"

When Man's Favorite Sport? was finished, it ran 145 minutes, which was too long for a romantic comedy, although Hawks claimed it played well at that length. But Universal executives said it had to be cut. Hawks always claimed that 40 minutes were cut (actually it was about 25), and that it ruined the film. But he may have been rationalizing the film's lukewarm reviews and equally tepid box office. "At its best, Man's Favorite Sport? generates some uncommonly adroit visual comedy," wrote the Variety critic. "But the picture is only spasmodically scintillating, for producer-director Howard Hawks has forgotten that brevity is the soul of wit." Others complained about the look of the film, which was shot entirely on a soundstage, and looked artificial. But critics liked Prentiss, and while Rock Hudson was no Cary Grant, most felt that he had his own brand of charm. Man's Favorite Sport? was not vintage Hawks, but even the old master himself eventually admitted, "we ended up with a pretty good picture."

Producer/Director: Howard Hawks
Screenplay: John Fenton Murray, Steve McNeil, Leigh Brackett (uncredited), based on the story, "The Girl Who Almost Got Away," by Pat Frank
Cinematography: Russell Harlan
Editor: Stuart Gilmore
Costume Design: Edith Head
Art Direction: Alexander Golitzen
Music: Henry Mancini
Principal Cast: Rock Hudson (Roger Willoughby), Paula Prentiss (Abigail Page), Maria Perschy (Isolde "Easy" Mueller), Charlene Holt (Tex Connors), John McGiver (William Cadwalader), Roscoe Karns (Maj. Phipps), Forrest Lewis (Skaggs), Regis Toomey (Bagley), Norman Alden (John Screaming Eagle).
C-121m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.

by Margarita Landazuri
Man's Favorite Sport?

Man's Favorite Sport?

In the early 1960s, director Howard Hawks was one of Hollywood's elder statesmen. The director of such films as Scarface (1932), Bringing Up Baby (1938), and The Big Sleep (1946) had only made a handful of films in recent years. But his two most recent, Rio Bravo (1959) and Hatari! (1962) had been hits, and he was in demand again. Hawks agreed to stay at Paramount, where he'd made Hatari!, for a three-picture deal. There was talk of reuniting the director with the stars of Rio Bravo, John Wayne and Dean Martin, for another western. But Hawks had different ideas. He had a story about a fishing "expert" who's never fished in his life, which he thought would make a good romantic comedy for Cary Grant, with whom Hawks had made five films. Hawks would make the film, Man's Favorite Sport? (1964), but not at Paramount, and not with Cary Grant. Grant's own career was winding down, and he was hesitant about committing to Man's Favorite Sport? Nearing sixty, the actor didn't like the idea of co-starring opposite three young actresses - Paula Prentiss, Maria Perschy and Charlene Holt. Eventually, Grant found another project he liked better: Charade (1963), despite the fact that he was cast opposite the much younger Audrey Hepburn. Hawks replaced Grant in Man's Favorite Sport? with Rock Hudson, who had recently made two very successful romantic comedies with Doris Day, Pillow Talk (1959), and Lover Come Back (1961). Hudson was under contract at Universal, and Paramount agreed to borrow him for Man's Favorite Sport?. Meanwhile, Hawks was having script problems. He wanted Leigh Brackett, who had written both Rio Bravo and Hatari!, as well as The Big Sleep. But Brackett was unavailable. So Hawks decided to use two television writers, John Fenton Murray and Steve McNeil. But they weren't comfortable with Hawks' working methods, and he wasn't happy with their work. To play the role of the bossy publicist in Man's Favorite Sport? who tries to transform the non-fishing expert into a fisherman, Hawks chose a young MGM contract player, Paula Prentiss. She was very much in the mold of the typical Hawks heroine: tall, willowy, husky-voiced, and witty. Paramount insisted Prentiss wasn't a big enough name, but Hawks was adamant. When Paramount would not back down, he struck a deal with Universal, and moved the production there. Production was delayed for several weeks while sets were built on the Universal lot. The delay also meant that Leigh Brackett was now available to rewrite the script, and she was on the set during filming. However, the Writers Guild eventually denied her screen credit. Although Hawks had fought for Prentiss, Todd McCarthy claims in his biography of Hawks that the director reduced the high-strung Prentiss to tears with his working methods. McCarthy writes that Prentiss felt he was trying to model her too much after the actresses in his 1930's screwball comedies. However, in a recent interview, Prentiss recalled how much she enjoyed working with Hawks. "Howard was very good about letting you overlap [dialogue]," she said. "He told the dialogue person to just let us do whatever we wanted to do, which was great because it was a bit more spontaneous.... So if I would make up something or rattle on, that was kept, and he said 'we'll fix it later.'" When Man's Favorite Sport? was finished, it ran 145 minutes, which was too long for a romantic comedy, although Hawks claimed it played well at that length. But Universal executives said it had to be cut. Hawks always claimed that 40 minutes were cut (actually it was about 25), and that it ruined the film. But he may have been rationalizing the film's lukewarm reviews and equally tepid box office. "At its best, Man's Favorite Sport? generates some uncommonly adroit visual comedy," wrote the Variety critic. "But the picture is only spasmodically scintillating, for producer-director Howard Hawks has forgotten that brevity is the soul of wit." Others complained about the look of the film, which was shot entirely on a soundstage, and looked artificial. But critics liked Prentiss, and while Rock Hudson was no Cary Grant, most felt that he had his own brand of charm. Man's Favorite Sport? was not vintage Hawks, but even the old master himself eventually admitted, "we ended up with a pretty good picture." Producer/Director: Howard Hawks Screenplay: John Fenton Murray, Steve McNeil, Leigh Brackett (uncredited), based on the story, "The Girl Who Almost Got Away," by Pat Frank Cinematography: Russell Harlan Editor: Stuart Gilmore Costume Design: Edith Head Art Direction: Alexander Golitzen Music: Henry Mancini Principal Cast: Rock Hudson (Roger Willoughby), Paula Prentiss (Abigail Page), Maria Perschy (Isolde "Easy" Mueller), Charlene Holt (Tex Connors), John McGiver (William Cadwalader), Roscoe Karns (Maj. Phipps), Forrest Lewis (Skaggs), Regis Toomey (Bagley), Norman Alden (John Screaming Eagle). C-121m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning. by Margarita Landazuri

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Location scenes filmed in San Francisco.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter January 29, 1964

Released in United States March 1964

Released in United States Winter January 29, 1964

Released in United States March 1964