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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)

Passed  -  Comedy | Drama | Fantasy  -  1 September 1947 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 3,369 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 18 critic

A clumsy daydreamer gets caught up in a sinister conspiracy.

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(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Rosalind van Hoorn
...
Dr. Hollingshead
Fay Bainter ...
Mrs. Mitty
...
Gertrude Griswold
Thurston Hall ...
Bruce Pierce
Gordon Jones ...
Tubby Wadsworth
Florence Bates ...
Mrs. Griswold
Konstantin Shayne ...
Peter van Hoorn
...
Colonel
...
Hendrick
Doris Lloyd ...
Mrs. Follinsbee
Fritz Feld ...
Anatole
...
Maasdam
Milton Parsons ...
Butler
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Storyline

Walter Mitty, a daydreaming pulp-fiction proofreader with an overprotective mother, likes to imagine that he is a hero who experiences fantastic adventures. His dream becomes true when he accidentally meets a mysterious woman who hands him a little black book. According to her, it contains the locations of the Dutch crown jewels hidden since World War II. Soon, Mitty finds himself in the middle of a confusing conspiracy and has to admit that being a hero in real life isn't that easy. Written by Robert Zeithammel <zeit@cip.physik.uni-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

1 September 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 3, 1947 with Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

During the scene in the Mitty home's kitchen, after Rosalind van Hoorn has come in the middle of the night during a rain storm to ask for Walter's help, she removes her dress to dry it. As they are talking, Rosalind is shown putting her dress back on and buttoning it all the way to the neck. As the scene shifts and pans back, she is shown once again buttoning the top button of her dress. See more »

Quotes

Walter Mitty: [singing while daydreaming that he's Anatole of Paris] And why do I sew each new chapeau with a style they must look positively grim in?/Strictly between us, entrez-nous, I hate women.
[giggles]
See more »


Soundtracks

Symphony For an Unstrung Tongue (The Little Fiddle)
(1947)
Written by Sylvia Fine
Performed by Danny Kaye (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Danny Kaye Shines as Thurber Gets The Goldwyn Treatment
24 November 2004 | by (Whitehall, PA) – See all my reviews

While WONDER MAN and THE COURT JESTER might be more consistently wacky, I thought THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (TSLoWM) brought out the vulnerable side of Danny Kaye, one of my faves since childhood (I never missed any of Kaye's movies on WPIX when I was growing up). It usually gets on my nerves when I see movie characters allowing themselves to be as put-upon and henpecked as Kaye's Walter is here, but there was a sweetness about him that made me root for him instead of merely growling, "Oh, tell 'em all to go to hell already" -- and as a result, it's that much more satisfying when Walter finally does tell off his obnoxious so-called friends and loved ones (unlike such "comedies of cruelty" as MADHOUSE, where the last 10 minutes of Revenge Against The Oppressors are the only entertaining parts of the movie)! Although James Thurber, another of my faves, reportedly tried to buy off producer Samuel Goldwyn to keep the film from being made and hated the finished product, I think perhaps Thurber wasn't being quite fair. First off, books and film have different storytelling requirements, and second, the first 10 minutes are almost straight from Thurber's story (except it's Walter and his nagging mom instead of a nagging wife :-), and it seemed to me that the characters and performances had very Thurberesque qualities about them. Boris Karloff and Konstantin Shayne are delightfully unctuous villains (Fun Fact: their henchman, Henry Corden, later became the voice of Fred Flintstone!). As Walter's literal and figurative dream girl Rosalind van Hoorn, frequent Kaye co-star Virginia Mayo was thoroughly beguiling and never looked lovelier (and hey, the radiant Mayo was a size 12 and nobody considered *her* a "plus size," thank you very much! :-). TSLoWM also contains two of my favorite Kaye/Sylvia Fine musical numbers: "Symphony for Unstrung Tongue" (am I the only one who finds the line "He gets so excited that he has a solo passage" to be subtly salacious? :-) and "Anatole of Paris." To top it all off, it takes place primarily in my hometown and favorite city, New York City, and is set in one of my favorite milieus, pulp magazine publishing! My hubby and I like to think that Uncle Peter's grand home must be located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, where we used to live, since it looks like the kind of homes we used to see while walking around in the Fieldston area and it didn't seem to take horrifically long for Walter and Rosalind to drive there from the Flatiron district of Manhattan! :-) (Interestingly, the interior of the van Hoorn home looks a lot like the interior of evil Bruno Anthony's home in STRANGERS ON A TRAIN; anybody know if these scenes might have been shot in the same house/set?) I wish the DVD extras had included deleted scenes (there's a bit in the trailer with Karloff and Corden in a pub that I definitely don't recall seeing in the finished film), but it was nice to see Virginia Mayo still alive and well (and bigger than "size 12," but on her it's pleasant plumpness, in my opinion! :-) in the intro and outro, even though she only had time to say one line about most of her co-stars ("Ann Rutherford was delightful...Fay Bainter was a consummate actress...").


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