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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947 film)

 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947 film)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Norman Z. McLeod
Produced by Samuel Goldwyn
Screenplay by Ken Englund
Everett Freeman
Philip Rapp
Based on The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber
Starring Danny Kaye
Virginia Mayo
Boris Karloff
Fay Bainter
Ann Rutherford
Music by Sylvia Fine (songs)
David Raksin (score)
Cinematography Lee Garmes
Edited by Monica Collingwood
Production
company
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release dates
  • August 4, 1947 (1947-08-04) (Premiere-Chicago)[1]
  • September 1, 1947 (1947-09-01) (U.S.)[1]
Running time
110 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a 1947 Technicolor comedy film, loosely based on the short story of the same name by James Thurber. The film stars Danny Kaye as a young daydreaming proof reader (later associate editor) for a magazine publishing firm and Virginia Mayo as the girl of his dreams. The film was adapted for the screen by Ken Englund, Everett Freeman, and Philip Rapp, and directed by Norman Z. McLeod.

Contents

  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Production 3
  • Reception 4
  • Adaptations to other media 5
  • Remake 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Plot

Walter Mitty (Kaye) is an "inconsequential guy from Perth Amboy, New Jersey",[2] henpecked and harassed by everyone in his life including his bossy mother, his overbearing, idea-stealing boss Bruce Pierce, his childishly dimwitted fiancée Gertrude Griswold, and Gertrude's obnoxious would-be suitor Tubby Wadsworth and loud-mouthed mother, Mrs. Griswold.

His escape from their incessant needling is to imagine all sorts of exciting and impossible lives for himself, fueled perhaps by the pulp magazines he reads every day as an editor at the Pierce Publishing Company. But his dreams only seem to land him in more trouble. In one scene, while stoking the heating boiler, he dreams what it would be like to be an RAF fighter pilot. He is awakened from this daydream by his mother, who orders him to come to dinner. Believing he is still a British fighter pilot, he salutes, and places a red-hot poker under his arm—only to burn a hole in his suit jacket.

Things become much more complicated when he runs into a mysterious woman, Rosalind van Hoorn (Mayo), who just happens to perfectly resemble the girl of his dreams. Rosalind is working with her uncle, Peter van Hoorn, to help secure some Dutch crown jewels hidden from the Nazis during World War II. Caught up in a real-life adventure that seems unbelievable even to him, Walter attempts to hide his double life from his mundane family and friends. Eventually, he acquires the courage to stand up to those who kick him around.

Cast

Production

Ken Englund and Everett Freeman reportedly began work adapting James Thurber's story in January 1945. According to Thurber, producer Samuel Goldwyn rejected the Englund and Freeman script in December 1945, and sent Englund to consult with Thurber, who worked with him for ten days. Thurber later complained that at one time the psychiatrist scene contained "a bathing girl incident which will haunt me all the days of my life." He was repeatedly consulted by Goldwyn, but his suggestions were largely ignored. In a letter to Life Magazine, Thurber expressed his considerable dissatisfaction with the script, even as Goldwyn insisted in another letter that Thurber approved of it.[3] Thurber also mentioned that Goldwyn asked him not to read part of the script, because it was "too blood and thirsty." Thurber said that he read the entire script anyway, and was "horror and struck".

In moving away from Thurber's material, Goldwyn instead had the writers customize the film to showcase Kaye's talents, altering the original story so much that Thurber called the film "The Public Life of Danny Kaye".[4]

Goldwyn also briefly changed the film's title to I Wake Up Dreaming in response to a Gallup poll he had commissioned, a title that was actually a word play on the 1941 Steve Fisher novel I Wake Up Screaming (and the 1941 film of the same name). However, Goldwyn soon changed it back to Thurber's title in response to the angry protests of Thurber fans, as reporting in a May 1947 article in Collier's Weekly.[3]

The film includes many of Kaye's trademark patter-songs and one of his best-remembered dream characters, "Anatole of Paris," a fey women's milliner whose inspiration for the ridiculous chapeaux he creates is in actuality his loathing of women. The Anatole character is based on "Antoine de Paris," a women's hair-salon professional of the era, known for creating preposterous hairstyles. The lyrics to the song Anatole of Paris were written by Kaye's wife, Sylvia Fine.

Reception

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty ranks 479th on Empire magazine's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.[5]

Adaptations to other media

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was dramatized as a half-hour radio play on the November 3, 1947 broadcast of The Screen Guild Theater with Kaye and Mayo in their original film roles.

Remake

Plans to remake The Secret Life of Walter Mitty arose in the early 90s, with producer Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. eying actor Jim Carrey for the starring role.[6] After development that spanned over two decades, the film finally came to fruition with Ben Stiller as both the lead and director.[7] The film was released in the US on December 25, 2013.[8]

See also

References


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p
  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
  5. ^ Empireonline.com
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^

External links

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