AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Bride by Mistake
Alternate Title: That Hunter Girl
Director: Richard Wallace (Dir)
Release Date:   1944
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 15 Sep 1944
Production Date:   late Mar--mid-May 1944
Duration (in mins):   80-81
Duration (in feet):   7,290
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Cast:   Alan Marshal (Tony Travis) Services of Alan Marshal secured through the courtesy of David O. Selznick Productions, Inc.
    Laraine Day (Nora Hunter)  
    Marsha Hunt (Sylvia Lockwood)  
    Allyn Joslyn (Phil Vernon)  
    Edgar Buchanan (Jonathan Connors)  
    Michael St. Angel (Stephen Corey)  
    Marc Cramer (Ross)  
    William Post Jr. (Donald)  
    Bruce Edwards (Chaplain)  
    Nancy Gates (Janie Mason)  
    Slim Summerville (Samuel)  
    John Miljan (Major Harvey)  
    Robert Anderson (Lieutenant Wilson)  
    Larry Wheat (Butler)  
    Frances Grant (Dancing instructress)  
    Chris Drake (Flyer)  
    George Chandler (Armed guard)  
    Frank Melton (Armed guard)  
    Ralph Montgomery (Dance instructor)  
    John Gibbs (Bus driver)  
    Sammy Blum (Bus driver)  
    Gwen Crawford (Red Cross nurse)  
    Claire Carleton (Nurse Harrison)  
    William Haade (Guard)  
    Eddie Acuff (Photographer)  
    Harry Harvey, Sr. (Motel manager)  
    Robert Schoemer (Laundry truck driver)  
    Cliff Clark (Ship's captain)  
    George Lessey (Executive)  
    Forbes Murray (Executive)  
    Stanley Price (Officer's secretary)  
    Dewey Robinson (Welder)  
    George Lloyd (Welder)  
    Margie Stewart    
    Margaret Landry    
    Mary Halsey    
    Daun Kennedy    

Summary: At the plush La Playa Hotel in Santa Barbara, where soldiers from the U. S. Air Force await their reassignments, officer Tony Travis notices the neighboring estate of weatlhy heiress Nora Hunter and wonders what it would be like to have her money. Meanwhile, at the Hunter estate, Nora's secretary, Sylvia Lockwood, who often impersonates her publicity-shy boss in public, informs Nora that she plans to leave for Washington with her new husband, Phil Vernon. Nora begs Sylvia to stay until she marries her fiancĂ© Donald, who has just returned from the war. Sylvia agrees but when Donald appears, he tells Sylvia that he is breaking their engagement because he has fallen in love with someone else. He advises Nora to marry a man who loves her so much that he does not care about her money. To cheer up Nora, Sylvia suggests inviting the neighboring servicemen to a party, and Nora agrees on the condition that Sylvia pretends to be her. At the party, Nora, posing as Sylvia, meets Tony and plays a game of pool with him. She is charmed by Tony, but he seems to be more interested in Sylvia. When both Nora and Tony catch a cold after becoming trapped in the estate's spouting sprinklers, Tony medicates them with a potent alcoholic drink. While tipsy, he tells Nora that he would never marry without love. To test Tony, Nora decides to continue her charade and invites him for a weekend at her beach house with Sylvia, Phil and Jonathan Connors, her overprotective guardian. At the beach, Nora begins to confess her love to Tony, but is rebuffed when he confides that he is afraid to approach Sylvia because he fears her rejection. Disillusioned, Nora urges Tony to woo Sylvia, and that night, while Phil, Connors and Nora play cards, Tony romances Sylvia in the next room. Drunk on Tony's medicinal potion, Sylvia accepts Tony's proposal, and Connors warns Nora to stop playing games and tell Tony the truth. Later that night, Tony sees Phil sneak into Sylvia's room, and the next morning, Tony tells Sylvia that he is breaking their engagement. To test Tony further, Nora says that she had switched rooms with Sylvia and that Phil was visiting her. When Phil comes to the breakfast table singing, Tony slugs him and carries Nora out of the house and marries her. In their honeymoon motel room, Nora tells Tony to read their marriage license, and he finally realizes that he has married an heiress and not a secretary. 

Production Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Distribution Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Director: Richard Wallace (Dir)
  Edward Killy (Asst dir)
  John Elliott (Dial dir)
Producer: Bert Granet (Prod)
Writer: Phoebe Ephron (Scr)
  Henry Ephron (Scr)
  Norman Krasna (Orig story)
Photography: Nicholas Musuraca (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Albert S. D'Agostino (Art dir)
  Walter E. Keller (Art dir)
Film Editor: Les Milbrook (Ed)
Set Decoration: Darrell Silvera (Set dec)
  Al Fields (Set dec)
Costumes: Edward Stevenson (Gowns)
Music: C. Bakaleinikoff (Mus dir)
  Roy Webb (Mus)
Sound: James S. Thomson (Rec)
  James G. Stewart (Re-rec)
Special Effects: Vernon L. Walker (Spec eff)
Make Up: Mel Berns (Makeup artist)
Country: United States

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. 9/8/1944 dd/mm/yyyy LP13005 Yes

PCA NO: 10057
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA Sound System

 
Genre: Drama
 
Subjects (Major): Heiresses
  Impersonation and imposture
  Love tests
  Romance
  Secretaries
 
Subjects (Minor): Drunkenness
  Engagements
  Fortune hunters
  Motels
  Proposals (Marital)
  Santa Barbara (CA)
  Soldiers
  Wards and guardians

Note: The working title of this film was That Hunter Girl . According to a news item in HR , John Lockert was assigned to edit the film, but his death on 14 May 1944 prevented his participation in the project. Another news item in HR notes that the sprinkler scene was filmed at Pickfair, the Beverly Hills mansion owned by Mary Pickford. Other location shots were filmed in Monterey, CA. Bride by Mistake marked the first producer credit for screenwriter Bert Granet. RKO borrowed Marsha Hunt from M-G-M, Allyn Joslyn from Twentieth Century-Fox and Alan Marshal from David O. Selznick Productions for the film. Norman Krasna's story was first filmed by RKO in 1934 under the title The Richest Girl in the World . That picture was directed by William A. Seiter and starred Miriam Hopkins and Joel McCrea (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1931-40 ; F3.3726). Marsha Hunt and Laraine Day reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 1 Jan 1945, co-starring John Hodiak. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   29 Jul 1944.   
Daily Variety   27 Jul 44   p. 3.
Film Daily   27 Jul 44   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   21 Mar 44   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Mar 44   p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter   28 Mar 44   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   12 May 44   p. 4, 23
Hollywood Reporter   18 May 44   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   19 May 44   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Jun 44   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   27 Jul 44   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   13 May 44   p. 1890.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   29 Jul 44   p. 2017.
New York Times   16 Sep 44   p. 20.
Variety   2 Aug 44   p. 20.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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