AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Young and Willing
Alternate Title: Out Of the Frying Pan
Director: Edward H. Griffith (Dir)
Release Date:   5 Feb 1943
Production Date:   10 Nov--late Dec 1941
Duration (in mins):   82-83
Duration (in feet):   7,494
Duration (in reels):   9
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Cast:   William Holden (Norman Reese)  
    Eddie Bracken (George Bodell)  
    Robert Benchley (Arthur Kenny)  
    Susan Hayward (Kate Benson)  
    Martha O'Driscoll (Dottie Coburn)  
    Barbara Britton (Marge Benson)  
    Mabel Paige (Mrs. Garnet)  
    Florence MacMichael (Muriel Foster)  
    James Brown (Tony Dennison)  
    Jay Fassett (Mr. Coburn)  
    Paul Hurst (First cop)  
    Olin Howlin (Second cop)  
    Billy Bevan (Phillips)  
    Barbara Slater (Actress)  
    Laurie Douglas (Actress)  
    Blanche Grady (Actress)  
    Lynda Grey (Actress)  
    Louise LaPlanche (Actress)  
    Judith Gibson (Actress)  
    Cheryl Walker (Actress)  
    Kenneth Griffith (Actor)  
    Fay Helm (Miss Harris)  
    Lora Lee (Stenographer)  
    William Cabanne (Soda jerk)  
    Betty Farrington    

Summary: Norman Reese, George Bodell, Tony Dennison, Marge and Kate Benson and Dottie Coburn are struggling actors sharing a New York apartment, which the wealthy Dottie pays for with an allowance from her father. They have been rehearsing a murder-mystery play that their scatterbrained landlady, Mrs. Garnet, found in the building and hope to use it to get the attention of their neighbor, Broadway producer Arthur Kenny. Kenny, however, has taken an apartment in the old building so that he can secretly pursue his true avocation, gourmet cooking. One day, Dottie's straightlaced cousin, Muriel Foster, visits and, shocked by her relative's living arrangements, contacts Dottie's father, who comes to see how his daughter is spending her allowance. Although Norman and George, followers of the Stanislavsky acting method, leave the apartment temporarily while Mr. Coburn visits, Tony, who is secretly married to Marge, is unaware of the situation and arrives home after visiting the draft board and strips down to his underwear. Mr. Coburn is shocked by the unusual living arrangements and, after Marge reveals that she is pregnant, he insists that Dottie return home with him in a couple of days. Believing that their survival depends on Kenny, Dottie convinces him to watch their rehearsal, and he realizes that they are enacting the play he had written years ago when he first lived in the building, but lost when Mrs. Garnet evicted him. Kenny insists that they return the script, but Norman pretends to have lost it and convinces the producer to record the play on his dictaphone while they perform it. Muriel promises to fix things with Mr. Coburn so that Dottie, who is in love with Norman, can remain in New York, and they allow her to take the part of a corpse in the play. Because she cannot keep still, however, they put some of Marge's medicine in a glass of water Muriel requests and she falls unconscious. When the police arrive to investigate neighbors' complaints about an apparent murder taking place, they discover that Muriel has been drugged and Dottie's father angrily refuses to let her remain with her friends. A couple of days later, Mr. Coburn is still insisting that Dottie leave, and Kenny replays the tape for the rest of the group. The roommates realize that their poor acting is laughable and they are hopeless until Kenny hires them for an actual production of the play, which he recognizes is now burlesque, and insists that Dottie be cast because she is a true comedienne. Meanwhile, heartbroken Dottie, who is about to leave New York, escapes from her father and returns home to a happy Norman, who suddenly realizes that he has fallen in love with her. 

Production Company: Cinema Guild Productions  
  Paramount Pictures, Inc.  
Distribution Company: United Artists Productions, Inc.  
Director: Edward H. Griffith (Dir)
  Edmund Bernoudy (Asst dir)
Producer: Edward H. Griffith (Prod)
Writer: Virginia Van Upp (Scr)
Photography: Leo Tover (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Hans Dreier (Art dir)
  Ernst Fegté (Art dir)
Film Editor: Eda Warren (Ed)
Costumes: Edith Head (Cost)
Sound: Harold Lewis (Sd rec)
  Don Johnson (Sd rec)
Make Up: Wally Westmore (Makeup artist)
Production Misc: Lee Frederic (Scr clerk)
Country: United States

Source Text: Based on the play Out of the Frying Pan by Francis Swann (New York, 11 Feb 1941).
Authors: Francis Swann

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
United Artists Productions, Inc. 22/10/1942 dd/mm/yyyy LP11966 Yes

PCA NO: 7920
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording

 
Genre: Comedy-drama
 
Subjects (Major): Actors and actresses
  Eccentrics
  Fathers and daughters
  New York City
  Poverty
  Theatrical producers
 
Subjects (Minor): Chefs
  Cousins
  Drugging
  Knives
  Marriage--Secret
  Landladies
  Police
  Pregnancy
  Konstantin Stanislavsky

Note: The working title of this film was Out of the Frying Pan . Florence MacMichael recreated her stage role for this film. According to HR news items, Paul Jones was slated to produce, Mercedes Hughes was considered for a role in this film, and female wrestlers Valda Raymond and Cleo Drakes were cast in the film. Raymond and Drakes's appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. In 1942, Paramount sold the distribution rights to a group of films to United Artists; this film, which bore the name "Cinema Guild Productions" in the opening credits, was included in that package. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   10-Oct-42   
Daily Variety   11 Feb 43   p. 3.
Film Daily   18 Feb 43   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   10 Jul 41   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Oct 41   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   10 Nov 41   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   25 Nov 41   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   17 Feb 42   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   11 Feb 43   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald   13 Feb 43   p. 34.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   20 Feb 43   p. 1170.
Variety   10 Feb 43   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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