The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy  |  1 September 1947 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 4,251 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 24 critic

A clumsy daydreamer gets caught up in a sinister conspiracy.



(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fay Bainter ...
Mrs. Eunice Mitty
Gertrude Griswold
Thurston Hall ...
Bruce Pierce
Tubby Wadsworth
Florence Bates ...
Mrs. Irma Griswold
Konstantin Shayne ...
Peter van Hoorn
Doris Lloyd ...
Mrs. Leticia Follinsbee
Fritz Feld ...
Milton Parsons ...
Tyler - the Butler


In New York the clumsy Walter Mitty is the publisher of pulp fiction at the Pierce Publishing house owned by Bruce Pierce. He lives with his overbearing mother and neither his fiancée Gertrude Griswold and her mother nor his best friend Tubby Wadsworth respects him. Walter is an escapist and daydreams into a world of fantasy many times along the day. When Walter is commuting, he stumbles in the train with the gorgeous Rosalind van Hoorn who uses Walter to escape from her pursuer. Walter unintentionally gets involved with a dangerous ring of spies that are seeking a black book with notes about a hidden treasure. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

1 September 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Doppelleben des Herrn Mitty  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Author James Thurber acknowledged that the character Walter Mitty was based on his friend, writer Robert Benchley. Thurber said that he got the idea for Mitty from the character created by Benchley in a series of shorts that he made for Fox and MGM, respectively, in the 1920s and 1930s. Thurber is also on record as saying that he hated this film and that Danny Kaye's interpretation of Mitty is nothing at all like he intended the character to be. See more »


Reginald Denny wears an Air Vice Marshal's uniform in the RAF daydream, yet he is credited with playing the "Colonel". (Danny Kaye wears Group Captain rank insignia in the sequence, and is correctly called that by the other pilots.) See more »


Mrs. Mitty: The clock didn't strike. I definitely heard it not strike.
See more »


Referenced in Forrest Gump (1994) See more »


Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
Played at the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

Danny Kaye in his most fun-filled film role...great fun!
30 January 2003 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Danny Kaye at his best in a fantasy/comedy about a hen-pecked (by his mom and girlfriend) man who daydreams that he's a hero rescuing a damsel in distress (Virginia Mayo) from all sorts of perils. In real life he stumbles across her path and instantly becomes involved in an espionage plot involving villainous Boris Karloff. It's all played for laughs and Danny even gets to do a couple of his tongue-twisting musical routines.

Especially enjoyable in the supporting cast are Ann Rutherford as his silly girlfriend and Florence Bates as her overbearing mother. Thurston Hall has fun with his role as Kaye's harried, blustery boss who, while browbeating him, is nevertheless prone to borrowing ideas from Kaye for new sales angles in the pulp fiction market.

Kaye has a field day when his dreams take over, impersonating everyone from a sea captain to a riverboat gambler to a fashion designer--all with his own distinct flair for comic routines. A funny, witty, always entertaining little gem that has somehow been overlooked through the years. Virginia Mayo makes a delightful co-star.

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