6.6/10
245
8 user 1 critic

The Affairs of Martha (1942)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 21 June 1942 (USA)
Members of a well-to-do small community become worried when it is revealed that one of their maids is writing a telling exposé.

Director:

Writers:

(original screenplay "Once Upon a Thursday"), (original screenplay "Once Upon a Thursday")
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Evie's co-workers at the uniform shirt factory, and her almost-fiancée's inability to kiss, inspire her to slip a letter into a size sixteen-and-a-half shirt for some anonymous soldier. ... See full summary »

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Marsha Hunt, John Carroll, Hume Cronyn
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A remake of Robert Montgomery's 1934 hit Hide-Out, this superb film directed by Robert B. Sinclair (known for his classic Broadway productions of The Philadelphia Story, Dodsworth and Pride... See full summary »

Director: Robert B. Sinclair
Stars: Robert Sterling, Marsha Hunt, Virginia Weidler
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A $50,000 life-insurance sale puts mild-mannered Henry Twinkle on the fast track at Ajax Insurance Company. Now he can marry his girl and climb the corporate ladder -- just as long as the ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie Fenton
Stars: Lew Ayres, Rita Johnson, Lloyd Nolan
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Covering the tulip festival in Little Delft, Michigan, reporter Henry Taggart takes a room at an inn ran by an eccentric old Dutchman, Mr. Van Maaster and his seven daughters. The eldest, ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Marsha Hunt, Cecilia Parker
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Crime lab expert Gordon McKay uses the latest forensic techniques to solve murders in a city plagued by political corruption and mob rackets.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Van Heflin, Marsha Hunt, Lee Bowman
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Joe Smith is an average American citizen, working in an aircraft factory. He has access to the plans for a new bomb-sight and is kidnapped by enemy agents who unsuccessfully torture him to ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Robert Young, Marsha Hunt, Harvey Stephens
Yellow Canary (1943)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A woman wrongfully accused of being a Nazi sympathizer is forced to move to Halifax, a city in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

Director: Herbert Wilcox
Stars: Anna Neagle, Richard Greene, Nova Pilbeam
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The research, development, and deployment of the first atomic bomb, as well as the bombing of Hiroshima, are detailed in this docudrama.

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Brian Donlevy, Robert Walker, Tom Drake
Side Street (1949)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A struggling young father-to-be gives in to temptation and impulsively steals money from the office of a shady lawyer - with catastrophic consequences.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Farley Granger, Cathy O'Donnell, James Craig
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Raymond Dabney returns to his family after trouble with the law. He convinces the sheriff to give him a job watching the house and furniture of widow Crystal Wetherby without knowing she is... See full summary »

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Jean Harlow, Robert Taylor, Reginald Owen
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The secretary of an affably suave radio mystery host mysteriously commits suicide after his wealthy young niece disappears.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Claude Rains, Joan Caulfield, Audrey Totter
Madam Satan (1930)
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Angela and Bob Brooks are an upper class couple. Unfortunately, Bob is an unfaithful husband. But Angela has a plan to win back her husband's affections. An elaborate masquerade ball is to ... See full summary »

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Kay Johnson, Reginald Denny, Lillian Roth
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Sophia Sommerfield
...
Joel Archer
...
Sylvia Norwood
...
...
...
Mrs. Jacell
...
Mrs. Justin I. Peacock
...
Guinevere
...
Llewellyn Castle
...
Mrs. Llewellyn Castle
...
Homer Jacell
Edit

Storyline

The town gossips are reporting that a household servant in exclusive Rocky Point is writing an expose of the colony. Mrs. Sophia Sommerfield is convinced it can't be either one of her maids, Martha Lindstrom or Mrs. McKessic, although, unknown to Sophia, she is totally unaware that her son, Jeff, is married to Martha. At the moment, Jeff wants a divorce so he can marry another woman. The book comes out and Sophia is relieved to find that Martha's book does not reveal Sophia's fondness for reading "true-confession" magazines, nor mention that Sophia's young daughter, Mirand, writers her club reports for Sophia. Other items are cleaned up, also. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 June 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Once Upon a Thursday  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's initial USA telecast took place in Minneapolis Monday 21 January 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9); it first aired in New Haven CT 11 February 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), in Altoona PA 19 February 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Chicago 5 March 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Seattle 12 March 1957 on KING (Channel 7), in Philadelphia 19 March 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Portland OR 3 April 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), and in Hartford CT 14 April 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18); it was first telecast in Los Angeles 15 January 1958 on KTTV (Channel 11) and in San Francisco 1 April 1959 on KGO (Channel 7); in New York City its earliest documented airing took place 15 May 1963 on WCBS (Channel 2). . See more »

Goofs

When Martha is drawing a face on the soaped window, in the long shot of her doing so it is quite simple, but in the next closeup shot the figure is much more complicated and complete as she's looking through it. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. McKessic: Well, bust my britches!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Great Cast-Weak Screenplay
24 October 2007 | by See all my reviews

"The Affairs of Martha" (1942) is a good illustration of how even a dream cast and solid directing cannot transform a weak script into anything more than a very average production. Imagine having the luxury of Marsha Hunt as your leading lady and female love interest; surround her with some of the best comic character actors of the era (Virginia Weidler, Marjorie Main, Margaret Hamilton, Spring Byington, and Grady Sutton); finally throw in Richard Carlson's best ever performance. Any movie buff would expect quite a treat from this ensemble.

In writer Isobel Lennart's defense, Weidler was miscast; what are hilarious lines coming from a precocious 11-year-old (for which the part was written and for which Weidler would have been perfect a few years earlier) just don't work coming from a 15-year-old actress who looks even older. Following this film with several similar disasters Weidler retired from the business.

Contrary to the plot summary, young housekeeper Martha Linddstrom's soon to be published book is not the real focus of the film. It is a romantic comedy much like "Bringing Up Baby", and could have benefited from a few of that film's screwball elements. Jeff Sommerfield (Carlson) returns home from a long absence with his new fiancée Sylvia in tow. Jeff does not reckon on the continued presence of Martha (Marsha Hunt) in his parent's household. Just prior to his departure he married his parent's housekeeper at the conclusion of a drunken bender. Because she is genuinely in love with him Martha did not follow through on her promise to have the marriage annulled but instead has worked to improve herself in night school and has just completed a book lauding his family.

Oddly, coming from a misunderstood woman writer and centered on a misunderstood woman writer, Lennart takes a lot of cheap shots at the third side of the screenplay's love triangle. Academic Sylvia Norwood (Francis Drake) is beautiful, intellectual, accomplished, and very well-adjusted. This is not the sterile Alice Swallow character in "Bringing Up Baby". Sylvia must serve as the film's villainess, which not only fails to generate any audience concern (Jeff would benefit greatly from being paired with either woman), it totally undermines the working woman political subtext of the production.

Along with Carlson's performance there are several very good things about "The Affairs of Martha". Marsha Hunt (as always) is excellent in both melodramatic and comedic moments; its just too bad her character as written is so bland. For my money Hunt is the Hollywood's all-time most underrated actress and I've enjoyed her each time I've seen her. Grady Sutton has the film's best moment early in the film in a nonverbal sequence at the breakfast table; unfortunately his character is not developed further Given the film's very short running length and its failure to develop many of the most amusing secondary characters it is likely that much was trimmed out during the editing process.

There is a clever dinner table scene near the end of the film in which Jeff is emotionally ranting against writers and publishers; a demonstration that further alienates Martha. Eventually you understand that it is a ploy to delay the announcement of his engagement to Sylvia but it works as a very nice bit of misdirection.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


9 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 8 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017

"The IMDb Show" connects the dots between IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017 and unwraps some of the most memorable and festive animated holiday specials.

Watch now