A Very Young Lady


1h 20m 1941

Brief Synopsis

Tomboy (Withers) is sent to finishing school where she falls for the headmaster (Sutton). When her love letters are discovered she okays his relation with a teacher (Kelly) and gets her first kiss from a beau (Clayton).

Film Details

Release Date
Jun 27, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Matura by Ladislas Fodor (Budapest, 27 Oct 1935).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
7,129ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

Tomboy Kitty Russell would rather ride horses and dream of owning a motorcycle than pay attention to her classes at the Spring Valley School for Girls, much to the despair of her teachers. The handsome school principal, Dr. Franklin Meredith, listens to the advice of teacher Alice Carter, who urges him to induce Kitty to attend one of the school's tea dances, to which the neighboring Carver cadets are invited. Kitty's father sends her a pretty party dress, and on the day of the dance, Meredith praises Kitty's newly found feminity and gives her a bouquet of flowers. Although Kitty spends the afternoon dancing with Carver cadet Tom Brighton, she thinks only of Meredith. She develops a crush on the prinicipal, and because her friends tell her that giving flowers is a sign of love, believes that Meredith returns her feelings. One night, Kitty sneaks out of her dormitory, and when Meredith finds her outside his house, she pretends she is sleepwalking. She falls off the wall on which she is walking, and Meredith catches her. Miss Steele, a priggish teacher, finds them and escorts Kitty home. Soon after, Kitty accepts Tom's pin, even though she confesses to her roommate Madge that she is actually in love with an older man. One afternoon, Miss Steele finds a love letter, obviously written by a student, in a classroom waste basket. The letter's author rhapsodizes about a meeting in the moonlight and being held in her beloved's arms, and the scandalized Miss Steele demands that Meredith investigate immediately. Through checking the handwriting, Alice determines that Kitty wrote the letter, but when Meredith confronts her about it, she refuses to discuss it. Meredith warns her that she will be brought up on charges in front of the teacher's council, and the girl, who wrote the fanciful letter about Meredith himself, runs from the room. Kitty runs away that night, and when she is discovered missing, Madge reveals that Kitty mentioned her love for an older man. Fearing that Kitty has eloped, Meredith searches for her and finds her at a train station with Sheriff Bill Stone, who had given the youngster a ride. After establishing that Stone is not Kitty's older lover and that the child had merely tried to run away, Meredith returns her to the school. Miss Steele and Oliver Brixton, another conservative teacher, insist on conducting an official investigation, during the course of which Kitty confides to Alice that Meredith is the object of her overwrought affections. Realizing that the girl's crush is harmless, Alice succeeds in calming down the other teachers and convincing them to forget the matter. Kitty, however, believes that Meredith still loves her and will ask her to marry him after graduation in June. Several months pass until the night of the graduation dance arrives. Kitty tells Tom that she has another admirer and returns his pin, but his pleas that he will "go to the dogs" without her convince her to stick by him. Kitty then informs the bewildered Meredith that he must give her up so that she can save Tom, and also that Alice has been in love with him for a long time. At the dance, Kitty and Tom are reconciled and Meredith finally begins romancing Alice.

Film Details

Release Date
Jun 27, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Matura by Ladislas Fodor (Budapest, 27 Oct 1935).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
7,129ft (9 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection and Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, Wanda Tuchock and Vera Caspary worked on separate treatments for this film's screenplay, but it is unlikely that their work was used in the completed picture. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Donald Douglas was tested for "the juvenile lead," and Barbara Lynn was to be included in the cast, although her appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. Twentieth Century-Fox first filmed Ladislas Fodor's play in 1936 as Girl's Dormitory. That picture was directed by Irving Cummings and starred Herbert Marshall, Ruth Chatterton and Simone Simon (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.1622). In 1957, the studio was set to film the play again, according to Daily Variety, but that picture was never produced.