AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Stork Bites Man
Director: Cyril Endfield (Dir)
Release Date:   21 Jun 1947
Production Date:   mid-Jan--early Feb 1947
Duration (in mins):   74
Duration (in feet):   6,697
Duration (in reels):   8
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Cast:   Jackie Cooper (Ernest "Ernie" C. Brown)  
    Gene Roberts (Peg Brown)  
    Emory Parnell (Alan Kimberly)  
    Gus Schilling (Hubert Butterfield)  
    Sarah Selby (Mrs. Greene)  
    Scott Elliott (Jerry)  
    Marjorie Beckett (Mabel)  
    Ralph Peters (Morgan)  
    Dave Willock (Lester)  
    Stanley Prager (Voice of the stork)  

Summary: One morning, an invisible, heavenly stork is sent down to Earth to give assistance to Ernest C. Brown, the manager of the Kimberly Towers apartment building. The stork awakens Ernie and, after explaining his divine mission, informs him that he will soon become a father. Ernie, who is the only living person who can hear the stork, assumes he has dreamt the "news" and is startled when his wife Peg reveals the next morning that she is indeed pregnant. That same day, Ernie is forced to turn down an applicant for a vacant apartment because the applicant has children and the Kimberly Towers has a "no pets, no peddlers, no children" policy. Hubert Butterfield, an avid salesman for the Baby Fairyland Department Store, eavesdrops on Ernie's exchange with the applicant and later berates him for turning away families, whose business he hopes someday to cultivate. After he suddenly realizes that he and Peg will soon fall victim to the building's rules, Ernie tries to tell the explosive Alan Kimberly about Peg's pregnancy, but loses his nerve and invites him to dinner instead. During dinner, Peg's mother, Mrs. Greene, arrives, ready to move in and care for her expectant daughter. For the remainder of the evening, Ernie struggles to keep Mrs. Greene from revealing Peg's condition to Kimberly. Butterfield, however, soon learns about the situation from Mrs. Greene, who has come to shop at Baby Fairyland. Later, when Kimberly catches Ernie receiving baby care instructions from Butterfield, Ernie diverts his suspicions by saying that Peg's mother is pregnant. Ernie is then given a temporary respite from his problems after Kimberly leaves for an extended vacation in California. On the day that Kimberly returns, Ernie, who has been fretting about his situation for months, learns about a vacant rental house and gleefully makes plans to move. After he tells Peg and her mother the good news, however, Ernie is visited by Jerry, an old Army friend, who is desperately looking for a home for his wife and children. Unable to turn his friend away, Ernie sends the family to the rental house. Kimberly then discovers the truth about Peg, as Butterfield is setting up broadcasting equipment in the Browns's apartment in order to announce that Ernie has been chosen Father of the Year by Baby Fairyland. True to his word, Kimberly throws Ernie and Peg out of their home. Peg, who is nearing her due date, leaves town with her mother, while a depressed Ernie drops out of sight. Still vigilant, the stork convinces the homeless Ernie to start a campaign against Kimberly and all landlords who refuse to rent to families. After Baby Fairyland publicly endorses Ernie's efforts, the many workers who service Kimberly Towers start a boycott of the building. Ernie then brings pressure to bear on city officials, and soon the health commission, fire department and Kimberly's bank are urging the landlord to change his ways. Overwhelmed by the boycott, Kimberly offers Ernie his home and job back, but stops short of opening up his building to other families. As Ernie starts to argue the point, Butterfield reveals that Peg has gone to the hospital, and Baby Fairyland flies Ernie and Kimberly there. Peg gives birth to a boy and reunites with a proud Ernie, who then returns to lecturing Kimberly about his civic responsibilities. Finally assured of Ernie's parental aptitude, the stork flies off to his next assignment. 

Production Company: Comet Productions, Inc.  
Distribution Company: United Artists Corp.  
Director: Cyril Endfield (Dir)
  John Morse (Asst dir)
  Craig Reynolds (Dial dir)
Producer: Buddy Rogers (Prod)
  Ralph Cohn (Prod)
  Harold Greene (Assoc prod)
Writer: Cyril Endfield (Scr)
  Fred Frieberger (Adpt)
Photography: Robert W. Pittack (Dir of photog)
  Vincent J. Farrar (Dir of photog)
Film Editor: Lynn Harrison (Film ed)
Music: David Chudnow (Mus supv)
  Raoul Kraushaar (Mus score)
Sound: William Randall (Sd rec)
Production Misc: Robert M. Beche (Prod mgr)
Country: United States

Source Text: Based on the book Stork Bites Man, What the Expectant Father May Expect by Louis Pollock (Cleveland, 1945).
Authors: Louis Pollock

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Comet Productions, Inc. 1/8/1947 dd/mm/yyyy LP1208

PCA NO: 12276
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Recording

 
Genre: Fantasy
Sub-Genre: Domestic
 
Subjects (Major): Apartment buildings
  Fatherhood
  Housing shortages
  Landlords
  Pregnancy
  Storks
 
Subjects (Minor): Banks
  Boycotts
  Contests
  Department stores
  Dinners and dining
  Eavesdropping
  Fire departments
  Heaven
  Homelessness
  Hospitals
  Infants
  Invisibility
  Marriage
  Mothers and daughters
  Neighbors
  Postwar life
  Radio broadcasting
  Salesmen
  Self-sacrifice
  Veterans

Note: HR news items add George Chandler, Alvin Hammer and Phil Arnold to the cast, but their appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   23 Aug 1947.   
Daily Variety   12-Aug-47   
The Exhibitor   20 Aug 1947.   
Film Daily   15 Aug 47   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   14 Jan 47   p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter   15 Jan 47   p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter   17 Jan 47   p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter   29 Jan 47   p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter   7 Feb 47   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Aug 1947.   
Independent Film Journal   1 Feb 47   p. 47.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   16 Aug 1947.   
Variety   13 Aug 47   p. 15.

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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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