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Having Wonderful Time (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 1 July 1938 (USA)
Ginger Rogers, a bored New York office girl, goes to a camp in the Catskill Mountains for rest and finds Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.



(stage play: New York), (screen play)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chick Kirkland
Fay Coleman
Buzzy Armbruster
Dorothea Kent ...
Itchy (as Richard 'Red' Skelton)
P.U. Rogers
Emil Beatty
Clarence Wilson ...
Mr. G (as Clarence H. Wilson)
Maxwell Pingwell aka Mac
Shimen Ruskin ...


Ginger Rogers, an overworked New York office girl, seeks 2 weeks of rest and relaxation at a camp in the Catskills. She is definitely not a happy camper because of the crowded and noisy conditions. She tries her best to fit in and, after an initial dislike, falls for college educated Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., a waiter at the camp. Ginger becomes suspicious of his motives, however, and he becomes alarmed when she spends an innocent night in the cabin of a rival suitor. All ends happily, however, as their love proves true enough and trust triumphs over suspicions. Written by Jim Corrigan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

1 July 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Having a Wonderful Time  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Broadway production of "Having Wonderful Time" opened at the Lyceum Theater in New York City on 20 February 1937 and ran for 372 performances. See more »


When Teddy states the line "But I've always wanted to" on the Bronx Express in talking to her friend Francis, the movement of Teddy's mouth does not match the word "wanted". See more »


Mrs. Shaw: I'll go and make you some lettuce and tomato sandwiches.
Teddy Shaw: Oh, never mind, Mom, it's only a few hours away. Gosh, you'd think I was going to Europe or something.
Mrs. Shaw: You better take some heavy nighties, it gets pretty cold in the mountains.
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Referenced in The Mad Miss Manton (1938) See more »


The Band Played Out of Tune
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Sam H. Stept
Lyrics by Charles Tobias
Written for the movie but not used
See more »

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User Reviews

The Jewish Alps Go Goy
25 March 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Arthur Kober's play Having Wonderful Time was fresh from its Broadway run of 372 performances for 1937-38 when RKO bought it to the screen starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Ginger Rogers. The play was a homage to the Catskill resort area so frequented by New York's Jewish population because of restrictions on other vacation areas. The area with its own Jewish owned and operated resorts became popularly known as the Jewish Alps.

On Broadway John Garfield and Katharine Locke starred, but for the screen RKO used two of its best contract players of the time Fairbanks and Rogers. According to Salad Days the memoir of Fairbanks, both he and Rogers did use proper Brooklyn and Bronx accents in their characters, but after the audiences in Red State America had trouble understanding them, both he and Ginger were called back and dubbed a whole lot of their lines in more generic tones.

By the way Fairbanks could and did use a really good New York type accent in Angels On Broadway a few years later.

A whole lot of outstanding character players are in Having Wonderful Time like Eve Arden, Donald Meek, Lee Bowman, Jack Carson, and Lucille Ball. Making his screen debut as the camp social director where we got to see some of his Catskill type shtick was Red Skelton.

Having Wonderful Time is a good screen comedy, showing off Fairbanks and Rogers to their best advantage. But I would probably have liked to have seen the film done as it was presented on Broadway. The days of the great Jewish resorts of the Catskills are gone now so it's highly unlikely we'll see a remake of Having Wonderful Time. An opportunity to have preserved a piece of history is now gone unfortunately.

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