Saturday, November 27, 2021

On This Day... Once Upon a Honeymoon (1942)

 Released today back in 1942, Once Upon a Honeymoon was Cary Grant's 42nd full length feature film.


Austrian Baron, Franz Von Luber (Walter Slezak) and old money Philadelphia socialite Katherine Butt (pronounced Bute)-Smith (Ginger Rogers) marry in Prague, then set off on an around the continent honeymoon. American radio broadcaster Patrick O'Toole (Cary Grant), currently based in Vienna as a correspondent, is assigned by his boss to discover the truth about Nazi-related rumours surrounding Von Luber.  He finds that the honeymoon is only a guise for Von Luber to pave the wayfor Nazi take over in those countries where he and the Baroness will be traveling.

 Unable to get to Von Luber directly, Pat decides to get his story through the Baroness instead. In meeting the her, he is amazed by her resemblance to a burlesque queen he saw perform in Brooklyn named Kathie O'Hara. Indeed, the Baroness is said Kathie O'Hara, a social climber trying to put her burlesque life behind her. In falling for the Baroness, Pat tries to rescue her from her marriage to Von Luber.  In Kathie too falling for Pat, they have to decide how best to save themselves and also thwart Von Luber's plans.


Cary Grant...Patrick O'Toole
Ginger Rogers...Kathie O'Hara / Katherine Butt-Smith / Baroness Katherine Von Luber
Walter Slezak...Baron Franz Von Luber
Albert Dekker...Gaston Le Blanc
Albert Bassermann...Gen. Borelski
Ferike Boros...Elsa
John Banner...German Capt. Von Kleinoch
Harry Shannon...Ed Cumberland
Natasha Lytess...Anna

Did You Know?

Towards the beginning of the film, Cary Grant tells Ginger Rogers that he will always remember her character "just the way you look tonight;" evoking a smirk from Rogers. The line alludes to the song of the same title Fred Astaire sang to Rogers in Swing Time (1936).

RKO's advertising top-billed Cary Grant east of the Mississippi, but Ginger Rogers rated first west of the Mississippi.

Sections of the conversation between Kathie (Ginger Rogers) and Gaston (Albert Dekker) about life in America, were deemed politically incorrect and removed from the 35mm master; in the DVD they have been restored using obviously inferior 16mm material, which makes it that much easier to identify what today's naysayers chose to remove and were granted the authority to do so.

When Pat comes back to the photographer's shop in Paris loaded with a new outfit for Kathie, he mentions that he bought the clothes at the "shop around the corner." This is likely a reference to the Ernst Lubitsch film of a few years earlier The Shop Around the Corner (1940) and, possibly by inference, The Mortal Storm (1940), a film starring the same principals and many of the same actors, released at the same time - a film that warned of the rise of the Nazis.


Patrick 'Pat' O'Toole: [after seeing the Feuhrer from his hotel balcony, he goes to the bedroom door] Hey! Hitler is here!
Katie O'Hara Von Luber, aka Katherine Butt-Smith: [Unimpressed from behind the door] Well I can't see him now. I'm dressing.

Patrick O'Toole: [ending his coerced radio speech] You can tell it to the Army. And you can tell it to the Navy. And most of all, you can tell it to the Marines!

Patrick 'Pat' O'Toole: I even found myself the other night trying to write some poetry. That should give you some idea.
Katie O'Hara Von Luber, aka Katherine Butt-Smith: Did you do it?
Patrick 'Pat' O'Toole: Oh, yes. I did it. Well, it's not so good. The thoughts not bad, though.
Katie O'Hara Von Luber, aka Katherine Butt-Smith: Well, how does it go?
Patrick 'Pat' O'Toole: Here you read it. Well, it just proves one thing: the man's in love.
Katie O'Hara Von Luber, aka Katherine Butt-Smith: [reading] 'Let's make our love song one that will live / Let's make it one to forget and forgive / As life's shadows lengthen over the years / our love will strengthen through laughter and tears / I will know your thoughts / You will know mine / Without ever a word / Without ever a sign / We will know what is deep in each other's heart / We will know, for it must be, till death do us part.'

Gaston Le Blanc: So, now I'm a spy for Uncle Sam, passing as a Frenchman, being paid by the Germans, and the beauty of it is: No income tax.

Katie O'Hara Von Luber, aka Katherine Butt-Smith: You mean it's up to Hitler who can have babies and who can't?
Patrick 'Pat' O'Toole: Yes. It used to be the will of God. Hitler doesn't like that. Too many people might be born who wouldn't agree with him.
Katie O'Hara Von Luber, aka Katherine Butt-Smith: It would make better sense if his mother'd thought of it.

Posters and Lobby Cards:

Directed by Leo McCarey.
Produced by RKO Radio.
Running time: 116 minutes.

Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36.

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