AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Paid in Full
Alternate Title: Bitter Victory
Director: William Dieterle (Dir)
Release Date:   Mar 1950
Production Date:   mid-Oct--late Nov 1948
Duration (in mins):   98 or 104-105
Duration (in feet):   9,462
Duration (in reels):   11
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Cast:   Robert Cummings (Bill Prentice)  
    Lizabeth Scott (Jane Langley)  
    Diana Lynn (Nancy Langley)  
    Eve Arden (Tommy Thompson)  
    Ray Collins (Dr. Fredericks)  
    Frank McHugh (Ben)  
    Stanley Ridges (Dr. Winston)  
    Louis Jean Heydt (Dr. Carter)  
    John Bromfield (Dr. Clark)  
    Kristine Miller (Miss Williams)  
    Laura Elliot (Tina)  
    Ida Moore (Dorothy)  
    James Nolan (Charlie Malloy)  
    Rolland Morris (Bunny Howard)  
    Geraldine Wall (Miss Ames)  
    Laura Lee Michel (Joanne)  
    Margaret Field (Joanne's mother)  
    Jane Novak (Mrs. Fredericks)  
    Dean Martin (Singer of "You're Wonderful")  
    Carol Channing (Mrs. Peters)  
    Arthur Hecht (Night boy)  
    Dorothy Adams (Emily Burroughs)  
    Carole Mathews (Model)  
    Yvette von Koris (Model)  
    Billie Fuchs (Model)  
    Gini Adams (Model)  
    Charmineene Harker (Model)  
    Vivian Eaton (Model)  
    Maruja Ploss (Model)  
    Georgia Clancy (Model)  
    Arlene Jenkins (Secretary)  
    Cristine Cooper (Secretary)  
    Martin Doric (Waiter)  
    Ralph Soncuya (Waiter)  
    John Bishop (Man at bar)  
    Gil Herman (Man at bar)  
    Byron [S.] Barr (Man at bar)  
    Kristine Miller (Bridesmaid)  
    Laura Elliot (Bridesmaid)  
    Marie Blake (Tired woman)  
    Mary Field (Angular woman)  
    Frances Sandford (Nurse)  
    Jimmie Dundee (Truck driver)  
    Elaine Riley (Wife)  
    Virginia Vinson (Listener woman)  
    Gladys Blake (Talkative woman)  
    Harry Cheshire (Minister)  
    Julia Morgan (Older woman)  
    Douglas Spencer (Crib man)  
    Dewey Robinson (Diaper man)  
    Franz Roehn (Cashier, Ben's place)  
    Salvador Báguez (Official)  
    Charles Bradstreet (Marc Hickman)  
    Charles Williams    
    Robert Kellard    

Summary: Jane Langley drives to San Francisco Hospital on a rainy night while she is in labor. Jane uses a pseudonym at the hospital, and surgeon Dr. Fredericks is called from his sleep to perform a cesarean section on her. Before the surgery, Fredericks advises Jane that if she survives, her baby will die, and vice versa. Jane, having left a letter of instruction in the event of her death, insists that her baby's life is more important than her own. As she is wheeled into surgery, Jane recalls the past few years of her life: Jane, a Los Angeles dress designer who reared her younger sister Nancy after their mother died in childbirth, is in love with Bill Prentice, who works in the advertising department of her firm. However, Bill is in love with Nancy, a model for the company. Still stinging from a recent failed affair, Nancy selfishly accepts Bill's marriage proposal, and Jane grapples with her own disappointment. Although bored by married life, Nancy becomes jealous of her sister after she is promoted and starts working closely with Bill. To save her marriage, Nancy fulfills Bill's desire to become a father, but then refuses to share her daughter Deborah with her husband. As time passes, Nancy grows more possessive and vindictive, and shuts Jane out of her life completely. During a consultation with her family physician, Dr. Winston, Jane learns that the Langley women are predisposed to difficult childbirths, and she is advised never to have children. After a few years, Nancy is so bored and bitter that she threatens Bill with divorce, and plans to take custody of Deborah. One day, when Nancy is out of town, Bill encounters Jane at a restaurant, and the two lonely people finally confess their love for each other. Jane nevertheless urges him to stay with Nancy for Deborah's sake, and spends the night on his couch because the hour has gotten so late. When Nancy arrives home in the morning, she assumes they have had an affair and becomes hysterical. Jane is so distraught that she is blinded by tears, and accidentally kills her niece with her car. Nancy and Bill divorce, and Jane becomes estranged from her sister. However, after working closely with a psychiatrist, Nancy finally reconciles with Jane, who believes that another child would restore Nancy's spirit. Jane proposes to Bill and they cross the border into Mexico to marry immediately. A few blissful weeks later, Jane leaves Bill without explanation and drives to San Francisco, all the while praying to have a girl "for them." Back in the hospital, Jane's baby girl is delivered by cesarean section, and as Jane is dying, Fredericks sends for Bill and Nancy. On her deathbed, Jane gives her baby to Nancy, thereby effecting a reunion between the couple. 

Production Company: Paramount Pictures Corp.  
Production Text: Hal Wallis' Production
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures Corp.  
Director: William Dieterle (Dir)
  Richard McWhorter (Asst dir)
Producer: Hal B. Wallis (Prod)
Writer: Robert Blees (Scr)
  Charles Schnee (Scr)
Photography: Leo Tover (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Hans Dreier (Art dir)
  Earl Hedrick (Art dir)
Film Editor: Warren Low (Ed)
Set Decoration: Sam Comer (Set dec)
  Bertram Granger (Set dec)
Costumes: Edith Head (Cost)
Music: Victor Young (Mus score)
Sound: Gene Merritt (Sd rec)
  Walter Oberst (Sd rec)
Special Effects: Gordon Jennings (Spec photog eff)
  Farciot Edouart (Process photog)
Make Up: Wally Westmore (Makeup supv)
Country: United States

Songs: "You're Wonderful," music by Victor Young, lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.
Composer: Ray Evans
  Jay Livingston
  Victor Young
Source Text: Suggested by the short story "Paid in Full" by Frederic M. Loomis in Reader's Digest (Apr 1946).
Authors: Frederic M. Loomis

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Paramount Pictures Corp. 3/3/1950 dd/mm/yyyy LP2906 Yes

PCA NO: 13519
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Recording

Genre: Melodrama
Subjects (Major): Death in childbirth
  Romantic rivalry
Subjects (Minor): Accidental death
  Clothing industry
  Los Angeles (CA)
  Operations, Surgical
  San Francisco (CA)
  Unrequited love

Note: The working title of this film was Bitter Victory . Dean Martin's onscreen credit appears with the song credit, and is listed as "Sung by Dean Martin." According to a HR news item, this film was based on an actual event, as related by Frederic M. Loomis in his article in Reader's Digest . According to a Paramount News publicity item, the film was the first Paramount feature to be shot on the just introduced celluloid film stock. According to various news items, Andre de Toth was initially slated to direct the film, and Don DeFore was originally cast as "Bill Prentice." In addition, news items reported that Anne Baxter, Ann Richards and Mickey Knox were cast in the picture. Baxter and Richards did not appear, and Knox's appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Paid in Full marked Carol Channing's feature film debut. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   24 Dec 1949.   
Daily Variety   20 Dec 49   p. 3, 7
Film Daily   3 Jan 50   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   3 Jun 1946.   
Hollywood Reporter   28 Oct 1946.   
Hollywood Reporter   5 Feb 48   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   15 Oct 48   p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter   26 Nov 48   p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Dec 1949.   
Los Angeles Times   21 Sep 1948.   
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   24 Dec 49   p. 130.
New York Times   16 Feb 50   p. 28.
Variety   21 Dec 49   p. 8.

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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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