AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Claudia and David
Director: Walter Lang (Dir)
Release Date:   Sep 1946
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 14 Aug 1946
Production Date:   25 Feb--19 Apr 1946
Duration (in mins):   78
Duration (in feet):   7,025
Duration (in reels):   8
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Cast:   Dorothy McGuire (Claudia Naughton)  
    Robert Young (David Naughton)  
    Mary Astor (Elizabeth van Doren)  
    John Sutton (Phil Dexter)  
    Gail Patrick (Julia Naughton)  
    Rose Hobart (Edith Dexter)  
    Harry Davenport (Dr. Harry)  
    Florence Bates (Nancy Riddle)  
    Jerome Cowan (Brian O'Toole)  
    Else Janssen (Bertha)  
    Frank Twedell (Fritz)  
    Anthony Sydes (Bobby)  
    Pierre Watkin (Hartley Naughton)  
    Henry Mowbray (Mr. Riddle)  
    Clara Blandick (Mrs. Harry)  
    Eric Wilton (Butler)  
    Frank Darien (Charlie)  
    Eve Novak (Maid)  
    Jacqueline Warrington (Maid)  
    Walter Baldwin (Farmer)  

Summary: In New York City, Claudia Naughton collects her husband David from a construction site where he is the architect, and they drive back to their home in Connecticut. That evening, before keeping a dinner party engagement with David's sister Julia and her husband Hartley, Claudia checks on their child Bobby, who will celebrate his third birthday the next day. At the party, David is seated next to Elizabeth van Doren, a rich widow who is interested in hiring him to design a house and farm she wants to build locally. Later in the evening, as David is showing Elizabeth some rough sketches of what he might design, Claudia tells them that another guest, Brian O'Toole, is going to hold a séance. O'Toole receives messages from the "beyond" by handling objects given to him by guests. He tells Claudia that her mother is sending a message that David should not go on any trips as he will have an accident. Later, when Claudia becomes a little anxious about Bobby, dinner guest Phil Dexter offers to run her home for a quick look at him, annoying his wife Edith. On the way home, Phil explains the trickery used in O'Toole's presentation and reveals that he and his wife have recently lost a young son, and she now goes from phony medium to phony medium seeking solace. When Claudia arrives home, she finds Bobby unconscious with a temperature of 104 degrees. Servants Bertha and her husband Fritz have telephoned the doctor, and while they await his arrival, Phil and Bertha help Bobby through several convulsions. Dr. Harry pronounces Bobby out of danger, but when David arrives, he tells them that Bobby is probably going to have a case of the measles. Although Claudia and David thank Phil for all his help, David is upset about Phil bringing Claudia home, even though he has just returned from escorting Elizabeth home. The couple have a big fight but quickly make up. By the next morning, Bobby has a full-fledged case of the measles. Reacting to the message O'Toole gave her at the séance, Claudia tells David not to go to a convention of architects in Los Angeles, even though he has not been officially invited yet. While Julia is visiting, Claudia receives a bouquet of white roses, which she assumes are from David but are actually from Phil. Julia tells her that Phil is a fine man but that Edith has been quite hysterical since their son died and could have a complete breakdown. Later, while David is busy helping Elizabeth with plans for her farm, Phil brings a present for Bobby and invites Claudia for a drive. They stop at Elizabeth's place, and Claudia invites her to a dinner party the following week. David stays on to do more work with Elizabeth, which results in another big fight with Claudia. When Edith then pays a visit to Claudia and accuses her of seducing Phil, Claudia tries to assure her that there is nothing between them. Edith appears to be on the brink of a total breakdown but Claudia is able to calm her. That night, David returns very late but, to his astonishment, Claudia is very forgiving, having realized the relative good fortune she enjoys. A few days later, David receives the invitation to Los Angeles and asks his secretary to arrange for the airline reservations. He tells Claudia about the invitation but she is reluctant to leave Bobby and still does not want him to go. On the afternoon of Claudia's dinner party, David has a serious car accident and is taken to Dr. Harry's house. When Claudia arrives, the doctor informs her that David is alive but that he cannot assure her of anything more until David has had a full examination at the hospital. Claudia returns home to find that all her dinner guests have come to keep a vigil, and finally word comes that David will be all right. After David comes home from the hospital with a broken rib, Dr. Harry recommends a trip to California. When Claudia tries, without success, to book airline tickets, her fatalistic attitudes are reinforced. Later, O'Toole visits and reveals he knew nothing at all about David being in the hospital, and Claudia is finally convinced that he is a fraud. David then tells her that he already has the airline reservations, so the trip to California is on. 

Production Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.  
Distribution Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.  
Director: Walter Lang (Dir)
  Gaston Glass (Asst dir)
Producer: Darryl F. Zanuck (Exec prod)
  William Perlberg (Prod)
Writer: Rose Franken (Scr)
  William Brown Meloney (Scr)
  Vera Caspary (Adpt)
  Frank Davis (Contr wrt)
  Tess Slesinger (Contr wrt)
Photography: Joseph LaShelle (Dir of photog)
  Lloyd Ahern (Cam op)
Art Direction: James Basevi (Art dir)
  Albert Hogsett (Art dir)
  Richard Day (Supv art dir)
Film Editor: Robert Simpson (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Thomas Little (Set dec)
  Ernest Lansing (Assoc)
Costumes: Bonnie Cashin (Cost)
Music: Cyril J. Mockridge (Mus)
  Edward Powell (Orch arr)
  Herbert Spencer (Orch arr)
  Herb Taylor (Orch arr)
  Maurice de Packh (Orch arr)
Sound: Bernard Freericks (Sd)
  Roger Heman (Sd)
  Paul Neal (Mus mixer)
Special Effects: Fred Sersen (Spec photog eff)
  Edwin Hammeras (Transparencies)
  Edward Snyder (Transparencies)
  J. O. Taylor (Transparencies)
Make Up: Ben Nye (Makeup artist)
Production Misc: Frances C. Richardson (Research dir)
  Ruth Fox (Asst research)
Country: United States

Source Text: Based on the novel Claudia and David by Rose Franken (Garden City, NY, 1940).
Authors: Rose Franken

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. 14/8/1946 dd/mm/yyyy LP610

PCA NO: 11497
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Recording

Genre: Comedy-drama
Sub-Genre: Domestic
Subjects (Major): Family relationships
Subjects (Minor): Architects
  Automobile accidents
  Dinners and dining
  New York City
  Nervous breakdown

Note: Although HR production charts place Roy Roberts in the cast, his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. This film is a sequel to the 1943 Twentieth Century-Fox picture Claudia (see above), which was also produced by William Perlberg and starred Dorothy McGuire and Robert Young in the leading roles. According to HR news items, Edmund Goulding, the director of Claudia , was originally scheduled to direct the sequel, for which Young was borrowed from M-G-M. Although Twentieth Century-Fox had planned to produce a third film based on Rose Franken's "Claudia" and "David" characters, according to a 16 Aug 1946 HR news item, that picture was not made due to the difficulties in "simultaneously obtaining" the services of Young and McGuire. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   27 Jul 1946.   
Daily Variety   24 Jul 46   p. 3.
Film Daily   25 Jul 46   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   15 Sep 44   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Nov 45   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   22 Feb 46   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Apr 46   p. 21.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Jul 46   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   16 Aug 46   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Aug 46   p. 12.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   13 Apr 46   p. 2939.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   27 Jul 46   p. 3113.
New York Times   15 Aug 46   p. 19.
Variety   24 Jul 46   p. 14.

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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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