Mother Didn't Tell Me


1h 28m 1950
Mother Didn't Tell Me

Film Details

Also Known As
Oh, Doctor!
Release Date
Mar 1950
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 24 Feb 1950
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the book The Doctor Wears Three Faces by Mary Bard (Philadelphia, 1949).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 28m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,924ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

Jane Morgan, a young radio jingle writer for a leading Los Angeles advertising agency, has a terrible cough and goes to consult a doctor, William Wright, who turns out to be young, handsome and available. Jane takes a fancy to Bill and, later that same evening, phones him to say she is feeling worse. Bill offers to make a house call and ends up making a dinner date with Jane for later in the week. However, on their way to dinner, Bill has to make a house call, and Jane is forced to wait in the car. After an hour, she goes for a stroll, and when Bill comes back a moment later, he thinks she has already left and drives away. Later, however, he drops by Jane's apartment and prepares a dinner, during which Jane tells him that she lost both her parents in an accident about five years earlier. While on their second date, Bill proposes and takes her to meet his mother. Mrs. Wright, a doctor's widow, tells Jane that she is jumping into marriage too quickly and does not realize what it is like to be married to a doctor. After Mrs. Wright asks Jane if Bill has told her about a woman named Helen, Jane questions Bill. Bill explains that Helen worked in his office as a technician to earn money for medical school and, at Bill's insistence, plans to become his associate when she finishes her studies. Despite some apprehensions on Jane's part, Bill and Jane marry and end up spending their honeymoon in Detroit because Bill wants to attend a medical convention there. On their return to Los Angeles, the newlyweds move into a semi-furnished house that has been provided to them by one of Bill's grateful patients. While Bill's friend, Dr. Pete Roberts, and his wife Maggie help them move in, Maggie tells Jane about some of the realities of being a doctor's wife. One evening, Bill arrives late for a dinner party, then immediately has to leave. One by one, all the doctors at the party are summoned back to work and their wives are left to talk with one another. Soon after, Jane finds moving men emptying the house, and Bill, who has forgotten to tell Jane that a pregnancy test she took came back positive, explains that the owner needs it back earlier than expected. Bill has, however, made a down payment on another house, without consulting Jane, and it turns out to be run down and lacking furniture. Eventually, the house is fixed up and Jane gives birth to twins, a boy and a girl. Just before he is to attend a dinner party to celebrate his birthday, Bill receives a cable from Helen, who has finished her studies in the East and is returning that evening on a flight to be his new associate. Jane does not like the idea of Bill working with Helen but asks him to bring Helen to the dinner party after he picks her up at the airport. Maggie brings famous psychiatrist Dr. Bruce Gordon to the party and he immediately begins flirting with Jane and Maggie. When Bill and Helen eventually arrive, they find Jane and Gordon dancing to a pastiche South Seas beat he learned when he studied in Bali. The meeting between Jane and Helen does not go well, and Jane is distressed to discover that Helen is gorgeous. Later, when Jane again asks Bill not to take Helen on as his associate, they have a fight and Jane ends up sleeping in the children's room. The next day, Jane calls Bill's office and leaves a message saying she is not feeling well, hoping that he will rush home. She then puts on an attractive nightgown, hops into bed and awaits her husband. However, Helen comes instead of Bill and more friction develops between them. Bill returns home to find Jane packing to leave, and she declares she cannot be a doctor's wife as well as share her husband with another woman. Bill's mother then arrives and tells Jane that she has handicapped Bill personally and professionally. After Bill arranges for Jane to stay at a remote cabin, he loads up the car and they are about to leave when Jane discovers that the twins have eaten poisonous ant paste. They rush to the hospital, where the children have their stomachs pumped and recover. Later, Bill tells Jane, who still intends to leave the next day, that Helen is going off to work in Chicago. Bill's mother then admits to Jane that she persuaded Helen to leave by telling her that she would tell Bill that she and Helen were plotting to break up his marriage. Jane and Mrs. Wright become more friendly, and Jane and Bill reunite.

Film Details

Also Known As
Oh, Doctor!
Release Date
Mar 1950
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 24 Feb 1950
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the book The Doctor Wears Three Faces by Mary Bard (Philadelphia, 1949).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 28m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,924ft (9 reels)

Articles

Mother Didn't Tell Me


In 1949, Mary Bard, best known as the sister of author Betty MacDonald (who wrote several popular books, including The Egg and I), published her first semi-autobiographical work, The Doctor Wears Three Faces. Bard, who worked in advertising as a commercial songwriter, was also married to a medical doctor. Inspired by the joys and unforeseen struggles of being a doctor's wife, as well as her own professional career, Bard decided to write about her experiences in a humorous way for this first book. Its success prompted her to write two more autobiographical books: Forty Odd in 1952 and Just Be Yourself four years later in 1956. After the release of The Doctor Wears Three Faces, 20th Century-Fox acquired the rights to the book as a vehicle for their star Dorothy McGuire, and with an adapted screenplay by writer and director Claude Binyon, the studio brought Bard's story to the big screen under the more marketing and audience-friendly title Mother Didn't Tell Me (1950).

Dorothy McGuire stars as Jane Morgan, a commercial jingle writer. When Jane falls ill with the common cold, she makes an appointment with Dr. William "Bill" Wright (played by William Lundigan). The two immediately hit it off and strike up a romance, quickly leading to marriage. While both Jane and Bill are in love with each other, Jane ignores the warnings from both friends and her future mother-in-law, the meddling Mrs. Wright (played by Jessie Royce Landis), that being a doctor's wife is quite difficult with the unpredictability of patient illnesses and the subsequent demands of always being on duty. Jane soon realizes those demands, coupled with raising twins and Bill's professional partnership and friendship with Maggie Roberts (played by June Havoc), are perhaps too much for her to handle.

Mother Didn't Tell Me came seven years after Dorothy McGuire's on-screen debut in the film Claudia (1943), where she played a young, naïve wife who is skittish when it comes to the affairs of the bedroom. Following the success of that debut performance, McGuire was a rising star for 20th Century-Fox, with the studio casting her in the romantic drama The Enchanted Cottage (1945), reuniting her with her Claudia co-star Robert Young (she would work with Young twice more throughout her career; first in the sequel Claudia and David in 1946 and 32 years later in the television mini-series Little Women in 1978); Elia Kazan's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945); The Spiral Staircase (1945) and Gentleman's Agreement (1947), which earned her the only Academy Award nomination of her career. Following her critically-acclaimed performance in Gentleman's Agreement, McGuire turned down several projects, including the lead in 1946's Anna and the King of Siam (a role that eventually went to Irene Dunne), so that she could spend time with her family and focus on returning to the stage, where she had originally gotten her start. During this time, McGuire also worked with her Gentleman's Agreement co-star Gregory Peck to form the famed La Jolla Playhouse, starring in several productions there. And while Mother Didn't Tell Me marked McGuire's return to the big screen, it wasn't quite the return she had hoped for as the film was a flop at the box office. However, McGuire had a successful comeback in a series of strong, matronly roles in films such as Friendly Persuasion (1956); A Summer Place (1959) and Swiss Family Robinson (1960).

Director Claude Binyon got his start as a journalist in Chicago, later transitioning to entertainment reporting for Variety throughout the 1920s. By the early 1930s, Binyon ditched his journalism job to become a screenwriter at Paramount Studios, penning the scripts for films such as The Gilded Lily (1935) and True Confession (1937), embarking on a long, multi-film collaboration with director Wesley Ruggles. By 1948, Binyon made his directorial debut with The Saxon Charm, directing six more feature-length films in the years that followed (many of which he also wrote the screenplays for), including Mother Didn't Tell Me and Stella (1950), starring Ann Sheridan and Victor Mature. Binyon's final screenplay was for 1964's Kisses for My President, starring Fred MacMurray and Polly Bergen.

Director: Claude Binyon
Producer: Fred Kohlmar
Screenplay: Claude Binyon
Cinematography: Joseph LaShelle
Editing: Harmon Jones
Music: Cyril J. Mockridge
Art Direction: Richard Irvine and Lyle R. Wheeler
Costume Design: Travilla
Cast: Dorothy McGuire (Jane Morgan), William Lundigan (Dr. William Wright), June Havoc (Maggie Roberts), Gary Merrill (Dr. Peter Roberts), Jessie Royce Landis (Mrs. Wright), Joyce Mackenzie (Helen Porter) and Leif Erickson (Dr. Bruce Gordon).
BW-88m

Resources: https://www.filmaffinity.com/en/film680128.html https://www.bfi.org.uk/films-tv-people/4ce2b6b0d415f https://josephinereadersadvisory.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/the-doctor-wears-three-faces-by-mary-bard/

By Jill Blake
Mother Didn't Tell Me

Mother Didn't Tell Me

In 1949, Mary Bard, best known as the sister of author Betty MacDonald (who wrote several popular books, including The Egg and I), published her first semi-autobiographical work, The Doctor Wears Three Faces. Bard, who worked in advertising as a commercial songwriter, was also married to a medical doctor. Inspired by the joys and unforeseen struggles of being a doctor's wife, as well as her own professional career, Bard decided to write about her experiences in a humorous way for this first book. Its success prompted her to write two more autobiographical books: Forty Odd in 1952 and Just Be Yourself four years later in 1956. After the release of The Doctor Wears Three Faces, 20th Century-Fox acquired the rights to the book as a vehicle for their star Dorothy McGuire, and with an adapted screenplay by writer and director Claude Binyon, the studio brought Bard's story to the big screen under the more marketing and audience-friendly title Mother Didn't Tell Me (1950). Dorothy McGuire stars as Jane Morgan, a commercial jingle writer. When Jane falls ill with the common cold, she makes an appointment with Dr. William "Bill" Wright (played by William Lundigan). The two immediately hit it off and strike up a romance, quickly leading to marriage. While both Jane and Bill are in love with each other, Jane ignores the warnings from both friends and her future mother-in-law, the meddling Mrs. Wright (played by Jessie Royce Landis), that being a doctor's wife is quite difficult with the unpredictability of patient illnesses and the subsequent demands of always being on duty. Jane soon realizes those demands, coupled with raising twins and Bill's professional partnership and friendship with Maggie Roberts (played by June Havoc), are perhaps too much for her to handle. Mother Didn't Tell Me came seven years after Dorothy McGuire's on-screen debut in the film Claudia (1943), where she played a young, naïve wife who is skittish when it comes to the affairs of the bedroom. Following the success of that debut performance, McGuire was a rising star for 20th Century-Fox, with the studio casting her in the romantic drama The Enchanted Cottage (1945), reuniting her with her Claudia co-star Robert Young (she would work with Young twice more throughout her career; first in the sequel Claudia and David in 1946 and 32 years later in the television mini-series Little Women in 1978); Elia Kazan's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945); The Spiral Staircase (1945) and Gentleman's Agreement (1947), which earned her the only Academy Award nomination of her career. Following her critically-acclaimed performance in Gentleman's Agreement, McGuire turned down several projects, including the lead in 1946's Anna and the King of Siam (a role that eventually went to Irene Dunne), so that she could spend time with her family and focus on returning to the stage, where she had originally gotten her start. During this time, McGuire also worked with her Gentleman's Agreement co-star Gregory Peck to form the famed La Jolla Playhouse, starring in several productions there. And while Mother Didn't Tell Me marked McGuire's return to the big screen, it wasn't quite the return she had hoped for as the film was a flop at the box office. However, McGuire had a successful comeback in a series of strong, matronly roles in films such as Friendly Persuasion (1956); A Summer Place (1959) and Swiss Family Robinson (1960). Director Claude Binyon got his start as a journalist in Chicago, later transitioning to entertainment reporting for Variety throughout the 1920s. By the early 1930s, Binyon ditched his journalism job to become a screenwriter at Paramount Studios, penning the scripts for films such as The Gilded Lily (1935) and True Confession (1937), embarking on a long, multi-film collaboration with director Wesley Ruggles. By 1948, Binyon made his directorial debut with The Saxon Charm, directing six more feature-length films in the years that followed (many of which he also wrote the screenplays for), including Mother Didn't Tell Me and Stella (1950), starring Ann Sheridan and Victor Mature. Binyon's final screenplay was for 1964's Kisses for My President, starring Fred MacMurray and Polly Bergen. Director: Claude Binyon Producer: Fred Kohlmar Screenplay: Claude Binyon Cinematography: Joseph LaShelle Editing: Harmon Jones Music: Cyril J. Mockridge Art Direction: Richard Irvine and Lyle R. Wheeler Costume Design: Travilla Cast: Dorothy McGuire (Jane Morgan), William Lundigan (Dr. William Wright), June Havoc (Maggie Roberts), Gary Merrill (Dr. Peter Roberts), Jessie Royce Landis (Mrs. Wright), Joyce Mackenzie (Helen Porter) and Leif Erickson (Dr. Bruce Gordon). BW-88m Resources: https://www.filmaffinity.com/en/film680128.html https://www.bfi.org.uk/films-tv-people/4ce2b6b0d415f https://josephinereadersadvisory.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/the-doctor-wears-three-faces-by-mary-bard/ By Jill Blake

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Oh, Doctor!. According to a November 11, 1948 Hollywood Reporter news item, when Twentieth Century-Fox bought Mary Bard's book, Jeanne Crain was being considered as the lead. The Variety and other reviews incorrectly list the characters played by Gary Merrill and June Havoc as "Mike and Katie Bell."