We're Not Married!


1h 25m 1952

Brief Synopsis

A Justice of the Peace performed weddings a few days before his license was valid. A few years later five couples learn they have never been legally married. Annabel Norris, already Mrs. Mississippi and ready to enter the Mrs. America contest, is now free to enter the Miss Mississippi contest.

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 1952
Premiere Information
New York opening: 11 Jul 1952; Los Angeles opening: 23 Jul 1952
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 25m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,691ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

On Christmas Eve, newly appointed justice of the peace Melvin Bush and his wife welcome Stephen Gladwyn and his fiancée Ramona to their home in Gretna Green, Maryland, "the marriage capital of the world." Despite Steve's anxiety about Melvin's inexperience, he and Ramona must marry immediately in order to be hired for a lucrative morning radio show. Melvin performs his first marriage ceremony for Steve and Ramona, who communicate with each other through sarcastic quips. Two years and six months later, Melvin's nephew, the state governor, and his cousin, Attorney General Frank Bush, inform him that he married six couples, including Steve and Ramona, a week before his appointment became official. The problem was uncovered when one of the couples attempted to divorce and found out that their marriage was never actually legal. Stymied over how to approach the remaining five couples, the governor's secretary suggests sending letters informing the couples of the situation and letting them decide how to handle it.
       Ramona and Steve, who have grown to loathe each other, are the first couple to receive the letter, and are overjoyed to learn that they are not really married. Their producer, H. D. Graves, frantically reminds them that their husband-and-wife radio program, Breakfast with the Glad Gladwyns , is the highest-rated morning show, and that if they are not married, they will no longer be making their $5,000 weekly salary. Graves is supported by radio station executive Twitchell, who points out that the Gladwyns signed their contract "Mr. and Mrs. Gladwyn," and must therefore get re-married in order to honor it. Steve and Ramona's quarreling instantly ceases as they begin their commercial-laden show, which is listened to by Melvin and his wife, who are discussing the other four couples.
       The next couple to receive a chance to change their marital status is Annabel and Jeff Norris. Annabel is the statuesque winner of the "Mrs. Mississippi" beauty contest, and although Jeff is proud of his wife, he is dismayed to learn that her promoter, Duffy, intends to keep her so busy that she will not be able to return to her housewifely duties. Jeff is exhausted from caring for their infant son Bitsy, and so, when he receives the governor's letter, he calls the beauty pageant officials to announce that as a single woman, Annabel must be disqualified. Jeff's scheme backfires, however, when Annabel runs for and wins the Miss Mississippi contest.
       Kathleen and Hector Woodruff, the next couple on Melvin's list, have settled into an uneventful life in the suburbs, and are spending their usual quiet evening when Hector reads the governor's letter. Hector indulges in an elaborate fantasy of cavorting with his numerous ex-girl friends in fancy nightclubs, but when he imagines getting the huge bills for the entertainment, he quickly burns the letter before Katie can see it.
       Melvin's fourth ceremony was the wedding of Dallas millionaire Frederick S. Melrose and his exotic, much younger sweetheart Eve. The scheming Eve, who only married Freddie for his money, arranges for him to be photographed in a compromising position in a New Orleans hotel, and uses the photograph to blackmail him for a hefty divorce settlement. Freddie is thunderstruck by the greed of Eve and her lawyer, Stone, and when the governor's letter is delivered to his office, Freddie laughingly sees a solution to his problem. Pretending to cooperate, Freddie lists his numerous assets, then shows the letter to Eve. After Eve faints, Freddie smugly tells Stone that he can pick up his client now.
       The final couple, Willie and Patsy Fisher, bid a tearful farewell at a train station after Willie, a Navy man, is deployed to the Pacific. While the train pulls out, Patsy tells Willie that he is about to become a father, and after Willie reads the governor's letter, he is horrified by the realization that their baby will be illegitimate. Willie jumps off the train and goes AWOL, then telegrams Patsy to meet him in Port City. Patsy reaches their meeting spot, and they rush to city hall to get a license. The clerk gives them the license but informs them that they must be married by the justice of the peace, whose office is across the street. Crossing the street is made difficult by two patroling military police officers, who lose Willie after a brief chase. At the office, the justice of the peace informs the unhappy couple that they must first get a physical report, and Patsy is afraid that it will reveal her pregnancy. All that is needed is a simple blood test, however, but while they wait in the physician's office, Willie is arrested by the M.P.s. As the forlorn Patsy stands at the dock after Willie has been shipped out, a friendly chaplain offers his assistance. Upon hearing the problem, the chaplain arranges for Patsy and Willie, who has been thrown in the brig, to be married over ship-to-shore radio.
       Soon after, Annabel and Jeff are re-married, as are Katie and Hector. Ramona and Steve glumly go to city hall for their ceremony, and when an excited young couple emerges, Steve asks if they can share their rice. Cheered by the gesture, Steve and Ramona realize that they do love each other, and smile as they enter the city clerk's office.

Cast

Ginger Rogers

Ramona Gladwyn

Fred Allen

Stephen Gladwyn

Victor Moore

Melvin Bush

Marilyn Monroe

Annabel Norris

David Wayne

Jeff Norris

Eve Arden

Kathleen Woodruff

Paul Douglas

Hector Woodruff

Eddie Bracken

Willie Fisher

Mitzi Gaynor

Patsy Fisher

Louis Calhern

Frederick S. Melrose

Zsazsa Gabor

Eve Melrose

James Gleason

Duffy

Paul Stewart

Stone, Eve's lawyer

Jane Darwell

Mrs. Bush

Alan Bridge

Detective Magnus

Harry Golder

Radio announcer

Victor Sutherland

Governor Bush

Tom Powers

Attorney General Frank Bush

Maurice Cass

Organist

Maude Wallace

Autograph hound

Margie Liszt

Irene

Richard Buckley

H. D. Graves

Blyth Daly

Miss O'Brien, Melrose's secretary

Mike Lally

Man in radio station

Eddie Firestone

Man in radio station

Mary Newton

Woman in radio station

Alvin Greenman

Sound effects man for radio show

Phyllis Brunner

Bride

Murray Pollock

Groom

James Burke

Sgt. Nuckols

Fred Datig Jr.

Soldier

Gregg Martell

Soldier

Robert Dane

M.P. at railroad station

Steve Pritko

M.P. at railroad station

Jerry Miley

Station master

Dick Cogan

Telegraph agent

Kay English

Wife

Ann Staunton

Wife

Robert Forrest

M.P.

Bill Hale

M.P.

Ed Max

Counterman

Richard Reeves

Brig guard

George Wallace

Shore patrolman

John Close

Major

June Bright

Secretary

Marjorie Holliday

Secretary

Byron Foulger

License Bureau clerk

Harry Antrim

Port City justice of the peace

Ralph Dumke

Twitchell

Lee Marvin

Pinky

Marjorie Weaver

Ruthie

O. Z. Whitehead

Postman

Harry Harvey

Ned

Selmer Jackson

Chaplain Hall

Helene Stanley

Mary

Carol Brewster

Bridesmaid

Jack Davidson

Best man at wedding

Al Thompson

Minister

Luther Crockett

Minister

Emile Meyer

Beauty contest announcer

Jack Daly

Photographer

Marvel Andre

Governor's secretary

Forbes Murray

Mississippi governor

Henry Faber

State trooper

Larry Stamps

State trooper

Billy Graeff Jr.

Bellboy

Christopher Milne

Bitsy Norris

Jonathan Milne

Bitsy Norris

Gloria Talbot

One of Hector's dream girls

Paul Brinegar

Beauty contest audience member

Dabbs Greer

Beauty contest audience member

Douglas Brooks

Walter Craig

Harry Carter

Jean Bartel

Barbara Carroll

Sue Casey

Ruth Hall

Eden Hartford

Meredith Leeds

Diana Mumby

Winifred Mcphie

Mavis Russell

Jane Wurster

Noreen Nash

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 1952
Premiere Information
New York opening: 11 Jul 1952; Los Angeles opening: 23 Jul 1952
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 25m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,691ft (9 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The title of Gina Kaus's and Jay Dratler's unpublished story was "If I Could Remarry." Information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library indicates that Tallulah Bankhead was originally considered for the role of "Ramona Gladwyn." In reviewing the film for New York Times, Bosley Crowther noted that the Fred Allen-Ginger Rogers sequence "is not only endowed with stinging satire but with the magic of well-deserved fame. It is substantially the skit Mr. Allen and Tallulah Bankhead have played on the air as often, almost, as Lionel Barrymore had read A Christmas Carol." A August 7, 1951 Los Angeles Times news item reported that producer-writer Nunnally Johnson was writing one of the episodes for Helen Hayes. Although Hollywood Reporter news items and production charts include the following actors in the cast, their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed: Lou Mason, Bert Mustin, Bill Sundholm, Dolores Huff and Mona Knox. Hollywood Reporter production charts also include January Sterling in the cast, but she does not appear in the released film.
       According to a November 25, 1951 New York Times article, the picture was going to feature the stories of seven married couples, although the released film has only five. A March 1952 studio synopsis, contained in the PCA file, reveals that Hope Emerson and Walter Brennan were the stars of one of the dropped episodes, in which "Mattie Beaufort" (Emerson) an over-worked, rural housewife is courted by "Handsome" (Brennan), a shiftless philanderer. When Mattie receives the governor's letter notifying her of her marital status, she asks Handsome to read it for her, and he quickly feeds it to the hogs rather than have her learn that she would be free to marry him. A July 25, 1952 entry in Hollywood Reporter's "Rambling Reporter" column indicates that the sequence was filmed, but the reason for its removal from the finished picture has not been determined.
       According to a August 22, 1952 Daily Variety news item, well-known playwright J. B. Priestley filed an injunction and plagiarism suit against Twentieth Century-Fox, alleging that the film's title was too similar to that of one of his plays, When We Are Married, and also that the subject matter too closely resembled that of his play. Priestley dropped the suit shortly after it was filed, however.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States on Video June 25, 1992

Released in United States Summer July 1952

Released in United States on Video June 25, 1992

Released in United States Summer July 1952