We're Not Dressing


1h 3m 1934

Brief Synopsis

A marooned socialite finds herself taking orders from the sailor she had snubbed before their shipwreck.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Musical
Adaptation
Release Date
Apr 27, 1934
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 3m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

Doris Worthington, a beautiful, spoiled heiress, is being courted by Princes Michael and Alexander Stofani on her private yacht. Bored with aristocracy, she starts to pick on impoverished singing sailor Stephen Jones, by constantly reprimanding him on the job. One day while Stephen is playing with a tame bear that is on board, Doris insinuates that he is wasting his life and should be applying himself to working toward a captaincy. Stephen's response prompts Doris to slap him, and when he surprises her by kissing her, she fires him. Doris's uncle Hubert, who is engaged to her friend Edith, drunkenly causes an accident at the helm of the yacht while they are in a deep fog, causing the ship to run into a reef and capsize. As everyone rushes off the yacht, Stephen rescues Doris because she has hit her head and is unconscious. After they land safely on an island, the princes take credit for Doris' rescue. Everyone wants to assign the work of building a shelter and gathering food to Stephen, who, because he has been fired, refuses to take any more orders, and takes charge himself. He determines that "with a hammer and a saw, [he] could build a city." His charges dislike the idea of manual labor, however, so they go hungry while he makes himself a meal of cooked mussels and coconuts. Everyone finally gives in and gathers their own food, but Doris remains indignant and infuriated by Stephen's attitude. Wandering through the jungle growth one day, Doris gets caught in a lion trap built by Gracie, whose husband George has been conducting scientific research on the other side of the island. They release Doris and invite her to join them, but she decides to get even with Stephen, who had slapped her when she tricked him into giving her food. She borrows some clothes and tools and arranges for them to float past Stephen while he is on the beach. Stephen's "discovery" of tools and clothing swells his ego, and he builds an entire house in one day. Later that night, Doris and Stephen admit they are in love with each other, but feel mismatched. Two search boats arrive, and George and Gracie reveal that they had given the clothes and tools to Doris, so she could play a joke on Stephen. Angry at being duped, Stephen takes a different boat than Doris. While the princes try to meet new women on the ship, Doris realizes she misses Stephen and changes ships to join him, for better or for worse.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Musical
Adaptation
Release Date
Apr 27, 1934
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 3m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Articles

We're Not Dressing


Starring Bing Crosby and Carole Lombard, We're Not Dressing (1934) was the musical comedy version of the play The Admirable Crichton, by Peter Pan author J. M. Barrie. Released in 1934, the film centers on a spoiled heiress and her beleaguered deckhand. When her yacht crashes into a desert island, however, the tables are turned since the sailor is the only one with any practical skills! (The plot may even have inspired Lina Wertmuller's desert island romance, Swept Away [1974]). Directed by Norman Taurog, We're Not Dressing featured an outstanding supporting cast that included George Burns, Gracie Allen, and Ethel Merman. The musical team of Mack Gordon and Harry Revel wrote five songs for the film, including the soon-to-be Crosby hits, "May I?" and "Love Thy Neighbor." Those five songs would be the source of a classic George Burns story, as told in his 1996 memoir, 100 Years, 100 Stories:

"Not many people know that longtime chairman of the board of Paramount Pictures, Adolph Zukor, and I were very close friends. I'm not sure that even Zukor knew it. But Gracie and I did make about a dozen pictures for him. And I would often go into his office and play gin rummy with him. We were playing one time, and he knocked and said, "I'm going down with ten." But he had eleven - he had a seven and a four. I said, "Before we throw the cards in, Mr. Zukor, you know Gracie and I are now doing this picture with Bing Crosby, and in it Crosby sings five songs. How about letting me sing one of those songs? " He looked right at me at said, "George, Bing Crosby, one of our major stars, is going to sing all five songs." So I looked back at him and said, "Mr. Zukor, you got eleven." He said, "George, you and Gracie have been with us now for six years. Do you like working for Paramount?"

"I love it."

"Do you like living out here?"

"I love it."

"You wouldn't want to move back east?"

"No, sir."

Then he said, "How much is seven and four?"

I said, "Ten."

Bing Crosby sang the five songs, Gracie and I never moved back east, and I never won a game of gin rummy from Mr. Zukor.

Lombard, who had regretted turning down the co-starring role in the Crosby hit film The Big Broadcast (1932), leapt at the chance to work with him when Miriam Hopkins rejected the female lead in We're Not Dressing. The film shot for three weeks on Catalina Island, off the California coast. The feisty actress and Crosby got along very well, according to Gary Giddins' biography Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams, The Early Years 1903-1940. Crosby was amused by Lombard's antics, including her penchant for practical jokes and coarse language; Giddins writes, "Bing enjoyed her dedicated swearing – 'colorful epithets' he described as 'good, clean, and lusty. Her swear-words weren't obscene. They were gusty and eloquent. They resounded, they bounced. They had honest zing!'" Her jokes included flashing Crosby between takes and commanding the attention of the cast and crew's hotel guests by loudly asking Bing at breakfast if she left her nightie in his room the night before. Her charm was inexplicable: Crosby wrote, "The fact that she could make us think of her as being a good guy rather than a sexy mamma is one of those unbelievable manifestations impossible to explain. She was the least prudish person I've ever known."

Lombard, who would tragically perish in a plane crash five years later, seemed to hold the key to her joie d'vie: in a 1938 interview, she declared, "I love everything I do. I'm intensely interested in and enthusiastic about everything I do, everything. No matter what it is I'm doing, no matter how trivial, it isn't trivial to me. I give it all I've got, and I love it. I love living, I love life. Eating, sleeping, waking up again, skeet-shooting, sitting around an old barn doing nothing, my work, taking a bath, talking my ears off, the little things, the big things, the simplest things, the most complicated things--I get a kick out of everything I do while I'm doing it."

Producer: Benjamin Glazer
Director: Norman Taurog
Screenplay: Horace Jackson, George Marion, Jr., Francis Martin, Benjamin Glazer (story), J.M. Barrie (play)
Cinematography: Charles Lang
Film Editing: Stuart Heisler
Art Direction: Hans Dreier, Ernst Fegte
Music: Mack Gordon, Harry Revel
Cast: Bing Crosby (Stephen Jones), Carole Lombard (Doris Worthington), George Burns (George), Gracie Allen (Gracie), Ethel Merman (Edith), Leon Errol (Hubert).
BW-77m.

by Eleanor Quin
We're Not Dressing

We're Not Dressing

Starring Bing Crosby and Carole Lombard, We're Not Dressing (1934) was the musical comedy version of the play The Admirable Crichton, by Peter Pan author J. M. Barrie. Released in 1934, the film centers on a spoiled heiress and her beleaguered deckhand. When her yacht crashes into a desert island, however, the tables are turned since the sailor is the only one with any practical skills! (The plot may even have inspired Lina Wertmuller's desert island romance, Swept Away [1974]). Directed by Norman Taurog, We're Not Dressing featured an outstanding supporting cast that included George Burns, Gracie Allen, and Ethel Merman. The musical team of Mack Gordon and Harry Revel wrote five songs for the film, including the soon-to-be Crosby hits, "May I?" and "Love Thy Neighbor." Those five songs would be the source of a classic George Burns story, as told in his 1996 memoir, 100 Years, 100 Stories: "Not many people know that longtime chairman of the board of Paramount Pictures, Adolph Zukor, and I were very close friends. I'm not sure that even Zukor knew it. But Gracie and I did make about a dozen pictures for him. And I would often go into his office and play gin rummy with him. We were playing one time, and he knocked and said, "I'm going down with ten." But he had eleven - he had a seven and a four. I said, "Before we throw the cards in, Mr. Zukor, you know Gracie and I are now doing this picture with Bing Crosby, and in it Crosby sings five songs. How about letting me sing one of those songs? " He looked right at me at said, "George, Bing Crosby, one of our major stars, is going to sing all five songs." So I looked back at him and said, "Mr. Zukor, you got eleven." He said, "George, you and Gracie have been with us now for six years. Do you like working for Paramount?" "I love it." "Do you like living out here?" "I love it." "You wouldn't want to move back east?" "No, sir." Then he said, "How much is seven and four?" I said, "Ten." Bing Crosby sang the five songs, Gracie and I never moved back east, and I never won a game of gin rummy from Mr. Zukor. Lombard, who had regretted turning down the co-starring role in the Crosby hit film The Big Broadcast (1932), leapt at the chance to work with him when Miriam Hopkins rejected the female lead in We're Not Dressing. The film shot for three weeks on Catalina Island, off the California coast. The feisty actress and Crosby got along very well, according to Gary Giddins' biography Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams, The Early Years 1903-1940. Crosby was amused by Lombard's antics, including her penchant for practical jokes and coarse language; Giddins writes, "Bing enjoyed her dedicated swearing – 'colorful epithets' he described as 'good, clean, and lusty. Her swear-words weren't obscene. They were gusty and eloquent. They resounded, they bounced. They had honest zing!'" Her jokes included flashing Crosby between takes and commanding the attention of the cast and crew's hotel guests by loudly asking Bing at breakfast if she left her nightie in his room the night before. Her charm was inexplicable: Crosby wrote, "The fact that she could make us think of her as being a good guy rather than a sexy mamma is one of those unbelievable manifestations impossible to explain. She was the least prudish person I've ever known." Lombard, who would tragically perish in a plane crash five years later, seemed to hold the key to her joie d'vie: in a 1938 interview, she declared, "I love everything I do. I'm intensely interested in and enthusiastic about everything I do, everything. No matter what it is I'm doing, no matter how trivial, it isn't trivial to me. I give it all I've got, and I love it. I love living, I love life. Eating, sleeping, waking up again, skeet-shooting, sitting around an old barn doing nothing, my work, taking a bath, talking my ears off, the little things, the big things, the simplest things, the most complicated things--I get a kick out of everything I do while I'm doing it." Producer: Benjamin Glazer Director: Norman Taurog Screenplay: Horace Jackson, George Marion, Jr., Francis Martin, Benjamin Glazer (story), J.M. Barrie (play) Cinematography: Charles Lang Film Editing: Stuart Heisler Art Direction: Hans Dreier, Ernst Fegte Music: Mack Gordon, Harry Revel Cast: Bing Crosby (Stephen Jones), Carole Lombard (Doris Worthington), George Burns (George), Gracie Allen (Gracie), Ethel Merman (Edith), Leon Errol (Hubert). BW-77m. by Eleanor Quin

Quotes

Trivia

A number "It's the Animal in Me" was filmed, but cut. See also Big Broadcast of 1936, The (1935).

Notes

Although Marion Dix is listed with the other credited writers on an January 8, 1934 script for this film in the Paramount story files at the AMPAS Library, her contribution to the final film has not been determined. Reviews noted the similarity between this story and the play The Admirable Crichton by Sir James M. Barrie (London, 4 November 1902). Variety called the film an "unofficial remake" of the 1919 Famous Players-Lasky film Male and Female (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.2735), directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Thomas Meighan and Gloria Swanson, which was based on The Admirable Crichton. Furthermore, there is a reference in this film to that same play. According to Variety, the song "It's the Animal in Me" in the Paramount film The Big Broadcast of 1936, was originally made for We're Not Dressing, but was cut from the film. According to a news item in Daily Variety, some scenes were filmed on Santa Catalina Island, CA.