Thursday, September 2, 2021

On This Day...People Will Talk (1951)

 Released today back in 1951, People Will Talk was Cary Grant's 56th full length feature film.


Successful and well-liked, Dr. Noah Praetorius (Cary Grant) becomes the victim of  harassment at the hands of Professor Elwell. Things start to get worse when Praetorius befriends young Deborah Higgins, who has become suicidal on finding herself pregnant by her ex boyfriend, a military reservist killed in action in the Korean War.


Cary Grant..Dr. Noah Praetorius
Jeanne Crain...Deborah Higgins
Finlay Currie...Shunderson
Hume Cronyn...Prof. Rodney Elwell
Walter Slezak...Prof. Barker
Sidney Blackmer...Arthur Higgins
Basil Ruysdael...Dean Lyman Brockwell
Katherine Locke...Miss James

Did You Know?

In early pre-production, Jeanne Crain campaigned for the female lead, but the role went to Anne Baxter. After Baxter had to forfeit due to approaching motherhood, Crain's wishes were granted.

The working title for the film when it was announced, according to the In Hollywood column by Erskine Johnson, syndicated by NEA, was "Dr. Praetorius", the same as the German original, but acknowledged that the title was expected to be changed. (The San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, Monday 9 April 1951, Volume LVII, Number 189, page 4.)

Cary Grant left his hand and footprints outside Grauman's Chinese Theater as part of the opening publicity for this film. The pictures of him taking part in the ceremony of making his prints in the cement clearly show the People Will Talk poster on the Theater's famous "next attraction" wall.


Shunderson: Professor Elwell, you're a little man. It's not that you're short. You're...little, in the mind and in the heart. Tonight, you tried to make a man little whose boots you couldn't touch if you stood on tiptoe on top of the highest mountain in the world. And as it turned're even littler than you were before.

Doctor Noah Praetorius: How old were you when you learned to walk?
Arthur Higgins: I could get around alright at four.
Doctor Noah Praetorius: And how old were you when you left the farm?
Arthur Higgins: Sixteen.
Doctor Noah Praetorius: Surely it didn't take you twelve years to make up your mind!

Shunderson: The dog is frightened and unhappy.
Doctor Noah Praetorius: He has that in common with most of humanity.


Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
Distributed by 20th Century-Fox.
Running time: 109 minutes.
Based on the play "Dr. Praetorius" by Curt Goetz.

Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36.

No comments: