AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Man I Love
Alternate Title: Why Was I Born
Director: Raoul Walsh (Dir)
Release Date:   11 Jan 1947
Production Date:   mid-Jul--mid Sep 1945
Duration (in mins):   96-97
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Cast:   Ida Lupino (Petey Brown)  
    Robert Alda (Nicky Toresca)  
    Andrea King (Sally Otis)  
    Martha Vickers (Virginia Brown)  
    Bruce Bennett (San Thomas)  
    Alan Hale (Riley)  
    Dolores Moran (Gloria O'Connor)  
    John Ridgely (Roy Otis)  
    Don McGuire (Johnny O'Connor)  
    Warren Douglas (Joey Brown)  
    Craig Stevens (Johnson)  
    Tony Romano    
    Florence Bates (Mrs. Thorpe)  
    Patrick Griffin (Buddy Otis)  
    Eddie Bruce (Drunk)  
    Ed Featherstone (Drunk)  
    Sailor Vincent (Drunk)  
    Tom Quinn (Drunk)  
    Frank Marlowe (Sign man)  
    Barbara Brown (Maggie)  
    David Marshall (Musician)  
    John Sheridan (Musician)  
    Robin Raymond (Lee, the waitress)  
    Janet Barrett (Cashier)  
    William Edmunds (Tony Toresca)  
    Ralph Peters (Taxi driver)  
    Joe Devlin (Taxi driver)  
    Benny Burt (Taxi driver)  
    Frank Ferguson (Army doctor)  
    Jack Wise (Waiter)  
    James Dobbs (Jimmy)  
    Jane Harker (Cigarette girl)  
    Jack Mower (Desk sergeant)  
    Fred Kelsey (Doorman)  
    Paula Drew (Chorus girl)  
    Patricia White (Chorus girl)  
    Helen Pender (Chorus girl)  
    Nancy Brinckman (Chorus girl)  
    John Vosper (Man with Gloria)  
    Ben Welden (Jack Atlas)  
    Lennie Bremen (Bartender)  
    Jack Daley (Flynn, the bartender)  
    Carl Harbough (Jim, the bartender)  
    Dorothy Vaughn (Lucita)  
    Monte Blue (Policeman)  

Summary: Singer Petey Brown leaves New York to spend the Christmas holidays with her sisters, Sally Otis and Virginia Brown, and her brother Joey in Long Beach, California. To support her husband Roy, an ex-soldier who is recovering from a nervous breakdown, and her son Buddy, Sally works as a waitress in a restaurant owned by the lecherous Nicky Toresca. Although Toresca's uncle Tony warns his nephew away from Sally, he persists in his pursuit of her. Shortly after Petey arrives, Joey, who works for Toresca, brings Sally an expensive evening gown as a gift. When Sally learns it was purchased by Toresca, she angrily demands that Joey return it. Seeing the difficulties facing her sister, Petey decides to stay in town with her for a while. She wears the dress to Toresca's nightclub and talks her way into a singing job there. Ginny, meanwhile, has a crush on Johnny O'Connor, who lives across the hall from them with his irresponsible wife Gloria and their twins. One night, before Petey's number, Riley, Toresca's right-hand man, tells her that Joey has been arrested. Petey hurries to the police station to bail him out and learns that he blames a man named San Thomas for starting the fight that got him arrested. Angry at her brother's irresponsible actions, Petey bails San out of jail. Although Petey is clearly taken with San, he leaves after thanking her. After Petey returns to the club, she sees Gloria there with another man. Toresca wangles an introduction to Gloria and offers her a job at the club. Later Toresca takes Petey to a little jazz club, where she again meets San and learns that he is a jazz pianist who stopped performing and joined the Merchant Marines after his wife left him. Petey and San begin an affair, but one day, San's wife comes to town, and he tells Petey that he still loves her. Petey angrily asks San to leave, and he does after returning the money she spent on his bail. Meanwhile, Toresca has started an affair with Gloria, but when Johnny comes looking for her, Toresca asks Joey to take her home. Joey is reluctant, knowing Johnny's temper, but manages to get a drunken Gloria into the car. On the way home, however, she jumps out and is killed by an oncoming car. When Joey tells Toresca what happened, Toresca lets him know that he will have to take the blame for Gloria's death. Hearing this, Petey confronts Toresca, and he agrees to keep quiet if she will return to him. Even though she is still in love with San, Petey accepts his terms. Shortly after, Johnny comes gunning for Toresca. Petey wrestles the gun away from Johnny, and informs Toresca that she will tell the police everything. By the time Joey and Petey return to Sally's, Roy has come home from the hospital, and now that her family's problems seem sorted out, Petey decides to leave town. She sees San off to his new assignment in the Merchant Marines, and without promising her anything, San says he will return. 

Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.  
Production Text: A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
Distribution Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.  
Director: Raoul Walsh (Dir)
  John Maxwell (Dial dir)
  Reggie Gallow (Asst dir)
Producer: Jack L. Warner (Exec prod)
  Arnold Albert (Prod)
Writer: Catherine Turney (Scr)
  Jo Pagano (Adpt)
  Catherine Turney (Adpt)
Photography: Sid Hickox (Dir of photog)
  Michael P. Joyce (2d cam)
Art Direction: Stanley Fleischer (Art dir)
  Bertram Tuttle (Supv art dir)
Film Editor: Owen Marks (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Eddie Edwards (Set dec)
Costumes: Milo Anderson (Ward)
Music: Leo F. Forbstein (Mus dir)
  Max Steiner (Mus adpt)
  Hugo Friedhofer (Orch arr)
  Ray Turner (Piano solos)
Sound: Dolph Thomas (Sd)
  David Forrest (Sd)
  Gordon M. Davis (Re-rec and eff mixer)
  E. Kenneth Martin (Re-rec and eff mixer)
  Charles David Forrest (Mus mixer)
Special Effects: Harry Barndollar (Spec eff dir)
  Edwin Du Par (Spec eff)
  Russell Collings (Spec optical eff)
Make Up: Perc Westmore (Makeup artist)
Stand In: Peg LaCentra (Singing voice double for Ida Lupino)
Country: United States

Music: "Body and Soul," music by John W. Green.
Songs: "The Man I Love" and "Liza," music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin; "Why Was I Born?" and "Bill," music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, II and P. G. Wodehouse; "If I Could Be with You," music and lyrics by Henry Creamer and James P. Johnson.
Composer: Henry Creamer
  George Gershwin
  Ira Gershwin
  John W. Green
  Oscar Hammerstein II
  James P. Johnson
  Jerome Kern
  P. G. Wodehouse
Source Text: Based on the novel Night Shift by Maritta Wolff (New York, 1942).
Authors: Maritta Wolff

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. 11/1/1947 dd/mm/yyyy LP776

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA Sound System

 
Genre: Melodrama
 
Subjects (Major): Family relationships
  Pianists
  Romance
  Singers
 
Subjects (Minor): Alcoholics
  Automobile accidents
  California
  Christmas
  Infidelity
  Irresponsibility
  Jazz music
  Jealousy
  Marriage
  New Year's Eve
  Nightclubs
  Post-traumatic stress disorder
  Twins
  Waitresses

Note: The film's working titles were Night Shift and Why Was I Born? . A 7 Oct 1942 HR news item reports that Warner Bros. purchased Maritta Wolff's novel for $25,000. At that time, the film was to star Ann Sheridan and Humphrey Bogart, according to a 12 Oct 1942 HR news item. In mid-Feb and again in early Mar 1943, a film based on Wolff's novel was announced with a cast that included Sheridan, Jack Carson, Julie Bishop, Helmut Dantine, Dane Clark, Eleanor Parker and Dolores Moran. In Feb, Raoul Walsh was to direct and Benjamin Glazer was the producer. In Mar, Lloyd Bacon had been assigned to direct. Modern sources report that Ida Lupino's singing voice was dubbed by Peg LaCentra. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   28 Dec 1946.   
Daily Variety   24 Dec 46   p. 3.
Down Beat   26 Feb 47   p. 7.
Film Daily   27 Dec 46   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   7 Oct 42   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Oct 42   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Feb 43   p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Jul 45   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   14 Sep 45   p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Dec 46   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest      p. 2784.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   28 Dec 46   p. 3385.
New York Times   25 Jan 47   p. 12.
Variety   25 Dec 46   p. 12.

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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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