My American Wife


1h 5m 1936

Film Details

Also Known As
Count of Arizona, The Old Timer
Release Date
Aug 7, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Bel Air, California, United States; Beverly Hills, California, United States; Palmdale, California, United States; Pasadena, California, United States; Victorville, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Old Timer" by Elmer Davis in The Saturday Evening Post (20 Apr 1935).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

Count Ferdinand von und zu Reidenach arrives in Smelter City, Arizona, with his American bride, Mary Cantillon. Mary's grandfather, Lafe Cantillon, founded the town and disapproves of Mary's marriage to a foreigner. Mary and her mother, however, are thrilled with the fact that Mary is now a countess, and they make the most of it via various social occasions. "Ferdie," however, is tired of high society and has dreams of becoming a "real" American by running his own ranch. He has a difficult time fitting in with the Cantillon family, who grudgingly give him a position at their bank, but provide him with no work to do. Ferdie's determination eventually wins Lafe over, and the two men become buddies, much to the disgust of the rest of the family, who find Lafe's rough, earthy manners intolerable. The final blow comes when Ferdie informs Mary he has begun building a ranch house for the two of them, and she refuses to live there. At a family meeting Ferdie announces that he is surrendering trusteeship of Mary's inheritance and is dissolving their marriage because he wants to be an American, but she only wants what her mother wants. Before Mary heads for Reno, she realizes she loves Ferdie, and that he protected her inheritance out of love for her, while the rest of the family lost their money in a bad stock investment. When she hears that a redhead named Helena is moving in with Ferdie, she becomes infuriated and drives out to the ranch, where she discovers that Helena is the valet Adolph's homely daughter. By this time, however, Mary has decided to "grow up" and return to her husband, who happily embraces her.

Film Details

Also Known As
Count of Arizona, The Old Timer
Release Date
Aug 7, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Bel Air, California, United States; Beverly Hills, California, United States; Palmdale, California, United States; Pasadena, California, United States; Victorville, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Old Timer" by Elmer Davis in The Saturday Evening Post (20 Apr 1935).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Film Length
8 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

The working titles of the film were The Old-Timer and The Count of Arizona. Copyright records, CBCS, and Hollywood Reporter production charts indicate Edith Fitzgerald contributed to the screenplay, however, she is not credited elsewhere, nor does her name appear in the Paramount story files at the AMPAS library. Cast credited in pre-release sources includes Terry Ray, Jeanne Perkins, Gail Sheridan, Ann Evers, Irene Bennett, Louise Stanley, Fred Parent and Marvin Jones. According to the pressbook and an article in Daily Variety, some scenes were filmed on location in Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Palmdale, Pasadena and Victorville, CA.