AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Ringside Maisie
Director: Edwin L. Marin (Dir)
Release Date:   1 Aug 1941
Production Date:   20 May--late Jun 1941
Duration (in mins):   95-96
Duration (in feet):   8,542
Duration (in reels):   10
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Cast:   Ann Sothern (Maisie Ravier)  
    George Murphy (Skeets Maguire)  
    Robert Sterling (Terry Dolan [also known as Young O'Hara])  
    Virginia O'Brien (Virginia O'Brien)  
    Natalie Thompson (Cecelia Reardon)  
    Margaret Moffat (Mrs. Dolan)  
    Maxie Rosenbloom (Chotsie)  
    Jack LaRue (Rickey Du Prez)  
    "Rags" Ragland (Vic)  
    Oscar O'Shea (Conductor)  
    John Indrisano (Peaches)  
    Roy Lester (Jitterbug)  
    Eddie Simms (Jackie-Boy Duffy)  
    Jonathan Hale (Dr. Kramer)  
    Purnell Pratt (Dr. Taylor)  
    Tom Hanlon (Radio announcer)  
    Tom Dugan (Checker)  
    Almira Sessions (Landlady)  
    Leon Belasco (Band leader)  
    Hooper Atchley (Waiter)  
    Larry McGrath (Referee Zinick)  
    Lawrence Creighton (Scribe)  
    Marty Faust (Scribe)  
    Al Hill (Scribe)  
    Harry Harvey (Photographer)  
    Eddie Chandler (Policeman)  
    James G. Blaine (Policeman)  
    Eddie Hogan (Hank Johnson)  
    Dan Tobey (Garden announcer)  
    Russ Clark (Al Donnelly)  
    Robert Perry (Duffy's manager)  
    Helen Brown (Nurse)  
    Harold Minjir (Clerk)  
    Ralph McCullough (Sports writer)  
    May McAvoy (Day nurse)  
    Edna Holland (Surgical nurse)  
    Dick French (Ambulance doctor)  
    Billy Coe (Timekeeper)  
    Frank Riggi (Cardin, fighter)  
    Mickey Martin (Boy)  

Summary: When fed-up New York taxi dancer Maisie Ravier quits her job, she is offered a real dancing job in the Adirondacks. Because she cannot afford to buy a ticket, Maisie sneaks onto a train, but is thrown off fifteen miles from her hotel. While she is walking, Maisie encounters boxer Terry Dolan, who fights under the name "Young O'Hara." The kind Terry offers Maisie a ride to the hotel. but when they first stop at his training camp, they incur the ire of his manager, Skeets Maguire, who trades insults with the feisty dancer. That evening, Maisie encounters more trouble when her amorous partner, Ricky Du Prez, fires her for rejecting his advances. Terry, his girl friend Cecelia Reardon and Skeets are dining at the hotel and Terry offers to drive her back to New York when he takes "Cissy" home. Privately, Skeets, who is very protective of Terry, infuriates Maisie when he accuses her of being a gold digger. The next day, on the way to New York, Terry tells her that Skeets acts tough but is really all heart and supported Terry's wheelchair-bound mother, who thinks her son is a salesman, long before the boxing started paying off. They stop for a visit at Mrs. Dolan's and when Terry sees how much his mother likes Maisie, he offers her a job as his mother's companion. Two weeks later, Maisie and Cissy attend Terry's next fight, and Skeets is very friendly toward Maisie. After the fight, which Terry wins by a knockout, Maisie and Skeets "bury the hatchet" and go dancing. At home, when Maisie congratulates Terry, he confesses that he hates boxing and would like to quit after his next fight, then buy back the grocery store his mother lost. When he says that he cannot quit because of his contract with Skeets, she assures him that Skeets will understand. Two months later, Terry tries to tell Skeets how he feels, but Skeets misunderstands and thinks Terry is trying to thank him. On the night of Terry's next fight, Maisie tells Mrs. Dolan that Terry will soon be quitting "sales" and coming home to buy a grocery store. Terry easily wins the fight, and after talking with Maisie, finally is able to tell Skeets that he wants to quit boxing. Skeets feels betrayed and threatens to ruin him if Terry does not honor their contract. Even Maisie cannot change Skeets's mind, and he and Terry remain at odds during training for the next match. During his fight, Terry doesn't seem to have his old spark and takes a terrible beating. Skeets, who at first thinks that Terry is deliberately holding back, won't stop the fight, despite Maisie's pleadings. Terry is knocked out cold in the sixth round and in his dressing room, they discover that he is blind. Maisie then lashes out at Skeets, who feels terrible. Cissy is also chastised by Maisie when she admits that she needs someone to take care of her and cannot bear the thought of having to care for a blindman. Later, Mrs. Dolan, who learns of Terry's sacrifices from Maisie, visits him in the hospital and is told that his blindness might be cured by an operation to relieve pressure on the brain. Mrs. Dolan then tells Terry to use his money for the operation and forget about the grocery store. After the operation, which is a success, Maisie learns from one of the doctors that Skeets chartered a plane to bring a specialist down from Boston and that he is planning to set Terry up in the grocery business. Maisie then rushes to Skeets's hotel and they embrace. 

Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. (Loew's Inc.)
Distribution Company: Loew's Inc.  
Director: Edwin L. Marin (Dir)
  Joe Boyle (Asst dir)
Producer: J. Walter Ruben (Prod)
Writer: Mary C. McCall Jr. (Orig scr)
Photography: Charles Lawton (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons (Art dir)
  Stan Rogers (Assoc)
Film Editor: Frederick Y. Smith (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis (Set dec)
Costumes: Kalloch (Gowns)
Music: David Snell (Mus score)
Sound: Douglas Shearer (Rec dir)
Dance: Roy Lester (Instructor to Ann Sothern for Jitterbug number)
Country: United States
Series: Maisie

Songs: "A Bird in a Gilded Cage," words by Arthur J. Lamb, music by Harry Von Tilzer.
Composer: Arthur J. Lamb
  Harry Von Tilzer
Source Text: Based on characters created by Wilson Collison.
Authors: Wilson Collison

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Loew's Inc. 29/7/1941 dd/mm/yyyy LP10671 Yes

PCA NO: 7474
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Sound System

 
Genre: Comedy
Sub-Genre: Boxing
 
Subjects (Major): Boxers
  Boxing managers
  Dancers
  Mothers and sons
 
Subjects (Minor): Adirondack Mountains
  Accidents
  Blindness
  Contracts
  Engagements
  Hotels
  Impersonation and imposture
  Jitterbug (Dance)
  Live-in companions
  New York City
  Paraplegics
  Physicians
  Taxi dancers
  Trains

Note: According to HR news items, actor John Shelton was originally scheduled to co-star in the film. Ringside Maisie was director Edwin L. Marin's last M-G-M contract picture after seven years with the studio. The remainder of Marin's career was spent at various studios. HR production charts include Florence Bates in the cast, but she was not in the released film. Ringside Maisie marked the motion picture debut of actor "Rags" Ragland, who had recently become well-known due to his success in the stage version of the musical Panama Hattie . According to news items, M-G-M brought Ragland to Hollywood to re-create his role in the film version of the musical, but placed him in other pictures first when production of Panama Hattie was delayed until 1942 (see above). He spent his entire motion picture career at M-G-M. His last picture was The Hoodlum Saint , released in 1946, the year of his death, (see above).
       Actress Ann Sothern and actor Robert Sterling were married from 1943 to 1949. This was their only film together. Actor Purnell Pratt, who portrayed "Dr. Taylor" in the film, died in late Jul 1941. It is unclear whether Ringside Maisie or Life Begins for Andy Hardy (released on 15 Aug 1941, see above), which were shot simultaneously, was his last completed film. Ringside Maisie was the fifth picture in the Maisie series. For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index and see entry for Maisie in ( AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.2662. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
American Cinematographer   Aug 41   p. 392.
Box Office   2 Aug 1941.   
Daily Variety   23 Jul 1941.   
Film Daily   23 Jul 41   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   6 May 41   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   23 May 41   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   2 Jun 41   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   27 Jun 41   p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter   23 Jul 41   p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald   26 Jul 1941.   
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   12 Jul 41   p. 182.
New York Times   1 Aug 41   p. 11.
Variety   30 Jul 41   p. 18.

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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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