Room for One More


1h 38m 1952
Room for One More

Brief Synopsis

A family with three children takes in troubled orphans.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Easy Way
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 26, 1952
Premiere Information
New York opening: 14 Jan 1952
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the book Room for One More by Anna Perrott Rose (Boston, 1950).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 38m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

After Anna Rose, mother of three and collector of stray animals, tentatively expresses interest in becoming a foster parent during a PTA tour of a children's home, the director, Miss Kenyon, arrives unannounced at the Rose household with a sullen teenager, Jane, who needs a place to stay for two weeks. Anna's good-natured husband George, called "Poppy" by the family, is reluctant to add to his motley household of kids and pets, which is swelling with the birth of a litter of kittens. However, recognizing what he calls "the gleam in Anna's eye," he does not interfere with her need to do good. Jane, an abused child with a history of suicide attempts, is at first distrusting and abrasive, but after Anna realizes that she is resentful of her dependence on others, who, in the past, have not wanted her, Anna finds her small paying jobs to help her feel self-reliant. During Jane's first baby-sitting job, which Anna arranged with their friends, the Foremans, Jane proves to be dependable and resourceful, and after two weeks, she is amiable, happy and loved by the Roses, who want her to stay permanently. Later, Anna arranges with Miss Kenyon for a young handicapped boy, Jimmy-John, to accompany them on vacation to the beach. Poppy, who had hoped to spend more adult time with Anna now that the children were settled, insists that his engineer's salary cannot afford another child, but relents after seeing the harsh conditions in which Jimmy-John lives. However, Jimmy-John, who compensates for his leg braces and difficulties in school with a mean-spirited reserve, hits the Roses' daughter Trot, destroys one of the boys' bicycles during a tantrum, and is caught peeking in the girls' window. Although Poppy solves the latter problem by explaining to the inquisitive boy how babies are born, the family is nearly convinced that Jimmy-John is more than they can handle. As Poppy prepares to take him back to Miss Kenyon, however, the children generously give him a reprieve. Back at home, Jimmy-John continues to throw tantrums when he is frustrated with his disabilities, until he is introduced to the Boy Scouts at a meeting held in the Rose home. Using the Boy Scout manual as a primer, he learns to read and is further challenged to earn merit badges, and as his self-confidence grows, he becomes more lovable. Later, at a PTA meeting, featured speaker Anna describes the "fun" of raising foster children, but during the question period, Poppy wonders aloud if her husband is neglected. She answers that her husband is respected and loved by every member of the family. Later, Jane's distress at being asked to the New Year's Eve prom by her beau, Ben, confuses Poppy and Rose, until the children explain that a formal evening gown is required for the occasion, which they cannot afford. As a Christmas gift, Anna alters her own evening dress for Jane, who is thrilled, until Teenie, the Roses' youngest, unflinchingly honest son announces that the dress "stinks." The children return their Christmas gifts to raise the money to buy Jane a new dress, but on the day of the prom, Jane is stood up by Ben, whose mother disapproves of her background. After sending Jane to the prom with their oldest son Tim, Poppy confronts Ben's parents at their home and persuades them to allow him to take Ben to the prom. There Poppy discovers that Jane is finding plenty of dance partners. Meanwhile, Jimmy-John undertakes a ten-mile hike required for a merit badge, which is made especially difficult by the cold weather and his leg braces, and he is late in returning. Poppy drives around until he finds Jimmy-John valiantly determined to succeed. When the annual Boy Scout Court of Honor is held, Jimmy-John is awarded the Boy Scout's highest honor, the Eagle badge. When asked to speak, Jimmy-John attributes his success to his luck in choosing his own parents. Later, the Foremans invite all five Rose children to spend the night at their house. After Poppy cheerfully bids each child a good night, he and Anna return home for a well-earned night to themselves.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Easy Way
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 26, 1952
Premiere Information
New York opening: 14 Jan 1952
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the book Room for One More by Anna Perrott Rose (Boston, 1950).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 38m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Articles

Room For One More


A moving comedy-drama about foster care, Room for One More (1952) tells the based-on-fact story of New Jersey mother Anna Rose (Betsy Drake) whose saga of the "problem" children she took into her home spawned a popular 1950 book. The screenplay was adapted from Anna Perrot Rose's novel by Jack Rose and Melville Shavelson.

When Room for One More opens Anna has just toured the filled-to-the-rafters local orphanage with a cadre of PTA women. The women all express anxiety about adopting a child but Anna is intrigued by the idea. Following a meeting with the orphanage supervisor Miss Kenyon (Lurene Tuttle), Anna is surprised when, days later, the woman drops off a troubled, suicidal 13-year-old Jane (Iris Mann) at her home "just for a few weeks." Despite three children of her own and a deeply skeptical husband, "Poppy" (Cary Grant), Anna welcomes the neglected girl into the fold. And with her gentle nurturing and the love of the entire family, the previously sullen, insolent girl becomes a beloved member of the family.

The Rose clan then undertakes an even greater challenge when they decide to foster a withdrawn, antisocial child named Jimmy-John (Clifford Tatum, Jr.) with the added, more visible handicap of legs confined to metal braces. Jimmy-John accompanies the Roses on their summer vacation but is so difficult and unlikeable the other kids initially don't balk when it looks like he will be returned to the orphanage. Though he seems beyond help, Anna again works her magic and a child who once seemed beyond saving becomes a determined, self-confident Eagle Scout and profoundly transformed child. Fifty-one San Fernando and Verdugo, California residents appear as extras in the Boy Scout Court of Honor scene where Jimmy-John attributes his success to having chosen his own parents.

A heartwarming -- if occasionally sentimental--ode to the fierce power of maternal will and love, Room for One More boasts its fair share of comedy too. Much of Room for One More's humor is provided by the baritone-voiced child actor George "Foghorn" Winslow (who plays the youngest child in the Rose clan), and whom Cary Grant discovered on Art Linkletter's television show People Are Funny. Delighted by the child, Grant pegged the five-year-old for his first film role in Room for One More.

Moderately successful at the box office, The Hollywood Reporter called the film "a delightful domestic comedy...as the father, Cary Grant offers a sock performance, witty, debonair but always real. Betsy Drake is superb as the young matron; pretty, serious and with a heart that never falters." Redbook said "it's full of the fun and heartaches of growing up, of the experiences of young marrieds in establishing a home, and of the warmth of a fine family relationship." Variety heralded the film for its "happy combination of good humor and warm drama." The New York Times' Bosley Crowther called the film "appealing movie fare." But Crowther also took issue with what he saw as the "unwholesome" way the film showed Poppy and Anna unable to find any private, romantic time away from the children, a running joke as the film goes on and the Rose clan grows. The Manchester Guardian had a strangely outraged reaction of its own, that apparently had to do with the film's very "American" child-rearing display. "The behavior of American children and the attitude at once maudlin, indulgent and puerile, which American grown-ups (on the screen) adopt toward their young are subjects which simply should not be allowed to cross the Atlantic."

While Drake (Cary Grant's third wife out of five) is charming and authentic as a pure-hearted woman who sees the inherent goodness in every child and never met a stray--animal or human--she wouldn't take in, Grant is a little harder to swallow as the amiable dad to this motley brood. In a deep Palm Springs tan, glossy hair and racy white shorts, Grant is a visual non-sequitur amidst the cozy domestic tableaux. Watching Grant flip pancakes for his children's breakfast is like seeing James Bond pick up his dry-cleaning. But Room for One More benefits greatly from the believable on-screen rapport of real-life husband and wife Grant and Drake, married from 1949 to 1959.

Grant and Drake selected the project according to W.G. Harris in Cary Grant: A Touch of Elegance after reading Anna Perrot Rose's book. "Feeling that none of Drake's previous films did justice to her talent, Grant hoped that this one would put her over," writes Harris.

In 1952 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast a radio adaptation of the film, with Phyllis Thaxter as "Anna Rose" and Cary Grant reprising his role as "Poppy." The film was eventually shown on TV as The Easy Way and was a 1962 television series starring Andrew Duggan and Peggy McCay. The film earned a special mention in the Films for Children Fete at the Venice International Film Festival for its "positive treatment of social problems regarding childhood and adolescence."

Director: Norman Taurog
Producer: Henry Blanke
Screenplay: Jack Rose and Melville Shavelson from the book by Anna Perrot Rose
Cinematography: Robert Burks
Production Design: Douglas Bacon
Music: Max Steiner
Cast: Cary Grant ("Poppy" Rose), Betsy Drake (Anna Rose), Lurene Tuttle (Miss Kenyon), Randy Stuart (Mrs. Foreman), John Ridgely (Harry Foreman), Irving Bacon (The Mayor), Mary Treen (Mrs. Roberts), Iris Mann (Jane), George Winslow (Teenie), Clifford Tatum, Jr. (Jimmy-John), Gay Gordon (Trot), Malcolm Cassell (Tim), Larry Olsen (Ben).
BW-95m.

by Felicia Feaster
Room For One More

Room For One More

A moving comedy-drama about foster care, Room for One More (1952) tells the based-on-fact story of New Jersey mother Anna Rose (Betsy Drake) whose saga of the "problem" children she took into her home spawned a popular 1950 book. The screenplay was adapted from Anna Perrot Rose's novel by Jack Rose and Melville Shavelson. When Room for One More opens Anna has just toured the filled-to-the-rafters local orphanage with a cadre of PTA women. The women all express anxiety about adopting a child but Anna is intrigued by the idea. Following a meeting with the orphanage supervisor Miss Kenyon (Lurene Tuttle), Anna is surprised when, days later, the woman drops off a troubled, suicidal 13-year-old Jane (Iris Mann) at her home "just for a few weeks." Despite three children of her own and a deeply skeptical husband, "Poppy" (Cary Grant), Anna welcomes the neglected girl into the fold. And with her gentle nurturing and the love of the entire family, the previously sullen, insolent girl becomes a beloved member of the family. The Rose clan then undertakes an even greater challenge when they decide to foster a withdrawn, antisocial child named Jimmy-John (Clifford Tatum, Jr.) with the added, more visible handicap of legs confined to metal braces. Jimmy-John accompanies the Roses on their summer vacation but is so difficult and unlikeable the other kids initially don't balk when it looks like he will be returned to the orphanage. Though he seems beyond help, Anna again works her magic and a child who once seemed beyond saving becomes a determined, self-confident Eagle Scout and profoundly transformed child. Fifty-one San Fernando and Verdugo, California residents appear as extras in the Boy Scout Court of Honor scene where Jimmy-John attributes his success to having chosen his own parents. A heartwarming -- if occasionally sentimental--ode to the fierce power of maternal will and love, Room for One More boasts its fair share of comedy too. Much of Room for One More's humor is provided by the baritone-voiced child actor George "Foghorn" Winslow (who plays the youngest child in the Rose clan), and whom Cary Grant discovered on Art Linkletter's television show People Are Funny. Delighted by the child, Grant pegged the five-year-old for his first film role in Room for One More. Moderately successful at the box office, The Hollywood Reporter called the film "a delightful domestic comedy...as the father, Cary Grant offers a sock performance, witty, debonair but always real. Betsy Drake is superb as the young matron; pretty, serious and with a heart that never falters." Redbook said "it's full of the fun and heartaches of growing up, of the experiences of young marrieds in establishing a home, and of the warmth of a fine family relationship." Variety heralded the film for its "happy combination of good humor and warm drama." The New York Times' Bosley Crowther called the film "appealing movie fare." But Crowther also took issue with what he saw as the "unwholesome" way the film showed Poppy and Anna unable to find any private, romantic time away from the children, a running joke as the film goes on and the Rose clan grows. The Manchester Guardian had a strangely outraged reaction of its own, that apparently had to do with the film's very "American" child-rearing display. "The behavior of American children and the attitude at once maudlin, indulgent and puerile, which American grown-ups (on the screen) adopt toward their young are subjects which simply should not be allowed to cross the Atlantic." While Drake (Cary Grant's third wife out of five) is charming and authentic as a pure-hearted woman who sees the inherent goodness in every child and never met a stray--animal or human--she wouldn't take in, Grant is a little harder to swallow as the amiable dad to this motley brood. In a deep Palm Springs tan, glossy hair and racy white shorts, Grant is a visual non-sequitur amidst the cozy domestic tableaux. Watching Grant flip pancakes for his children's breakfast is like seeing James Bond pick up his dry-cleaning. But Room for One More benefits greatly from the believable on-screen rapport of real-life husband and wife Grant and Drake, married from 1949 to 1959. Grant and Drake selected the project according to W.G. Harris in Cary Grant: A Touch of Elegance after reading Anna Perrot Rose's book. "Feeling that none of Drake's previous films did justice to her talent, Grant hoped that this one would put her over," writes Harris. In 1952 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast a radio adaptation of the film, with Phyllis Thaxter as "Anna Rose" and Cary Grant reprising his role as "Poppy." The film was eventually shown on TV as The Easy Way and was a 1962 television series starring Andrew Duggan and Peggy McCay. The film earned a special mention in the Films for Children Fete at the Venice International Film Festival for its "positive treatment of social problems regarding childhood and adolescence." Director: Norman Taurog Producer: Henry Blanke Screenplay: Jack Rose and Melville Shavelson from the book by Anna Perrot Rose Cinematography: Robert Burks Production Design: Douglas Bacon Music: Max Steiner Cast: Cary Grant ("Poppy" Rose), Betsy Drake (Anna Rose), Lurene Tuttle (Miss Kenyon), Randy Stuart (Mrs. Foreman), John Ridgely (Harry Foreman), Irving Bacon (The Mayor), Mary Treen (Mrs. Roberts), Iris Mann (Jane), George Winslow (Teenie), Clifford Tatum, Jr. (Jimmy-John), Gay Gordon (Trot), Malcolm Cassell (Tim), Larry Olsen (Ben). BW-95m. by Felicia Feaster

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Voice-over narration by Cary Grant as "George Rose" is heard intermittently throughout the film. Room for One More was based on an autobiographical novel by Anna Maria Rose Wright of Lynwood, NJ. Wright was credited onscreen as Anna Perrott Rose. Although September 1951 Hollywood Reporter news items add Karoline Grimes, Tommy Law and Elizabeth Flournoy to the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Fifty-one San Fernando and Verdugo, CA, Boy Scouts were extras in the Boy Scout Court of Honor scene, according to Warner Bros. production notes. Grant and Betsy Drake were real-life spouses from 1949 to 1959.
       Room for One More marked the film debut of five-year-old George "Foghorn" Winslow, who first appeared on Art Linkletter's People Are Funny television show. The child, who appeared in a number of films during the 1950s, was known for his distinctive voice. Grant reprised his role for a Lux Radio Theatre production on May 26, 1952, which co-starred Phyllis Thaxter as "Anna Rose." The film was later broadcast on television under the title The Easy Way. A television series based on the film, starring Andrew Duggan and Peggy McCay as George and Anna Rose, ran on the ABC network in 1962.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter January 26, 1952

Released in United States Winter January 26, 1952