Queen for a Day (1951)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  7 July 1951 (USA)
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The film was based on the popular daytime Mutual Broadcasting Company radio program that originated from New York on April 30, 1945 as "Queen For Today" and moved to Hollywood a few months ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Bailey ...
Jack Bailey - Studio Segment Program Host
Jim Morgan ...
Jim Morgan - Studio Segment
Fort Pearson ...
Ford Pearson - Studio Segment Program Announcer (as Ford Pearson)
Melanie York ...
First Contestant, studio segment
Cynthia Corley ...
Second Contestant, Studio segment
Kay Wiley ...
Third Contestant, Studio segment
Helen Mowery ...
Jan, Studio segment
Dian Fauntelle ...
Helena, Studio segment
Marjorie, Gossamer World segment
Dan, Gossamer World segment
Rudy Lee ...
Pete, Gossamer World segment
Frances E. Williams ...
Anna, Gossamer World segment
Joan Winfield ...
Laura, Gossamer World segment
Lonnie Burr ...
Charles, Gossamer World segment (as Lonny Burr)
Doctor, Gossamer World segment


The film was based on the popular daytime Mutual Broadcasting Company radio program that originated from New York on April 30, 1945 as "Queen For Today" and moved to Hollywood a few months later as "Queen For A Day", with Jack Bailey, former vaudeville music man and World's Fair barker, as the emcee host. The five-times-a-week, thirty minute doses spun over to television and lasted into the 70's. Bailey, in pre-airing interviews with audience members, would select 3-4 contestants who would pour out their (mostly pitiful) hearts explaining why they deserved to be Queen For A Day, and the audience selected the winner. The movie version was comprised of three short story segments which led some character to the television program. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama






Release Date:

7 July 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Horsie  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Feature film debut of Leonard Nimoy. See more »


An advertiser executive on the Queen For a Day program suggests that a nurse attend a live broadcast of the show on her night off, even though it's already been established that performances of the program take place during the afternoon. See more »


Referenced in Biography: Leonard Nimoy: Spock and Beyond (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Very well written and acted.
22 August 2006 | by (California) – See all my reviews

This is sort of a film about a television show. At least a television show was the starting point for the trilogy of stories that comprise the body of the narrative. It was a television show that was originally a radio show that had very extremely popular. The producers felt it could make the transition, and it did, pretty well. The American public loved the format. Ordinary people wrote to the show asking for something that would make their lives a little easier. Usually it was a housewife asking for a new washing machine. It was something with which the audience could identify. As justification for being selected as the recipient of their heart's desire, they would describe their lives and try to show that they were worthy. In a sense, the show was a precursor for reality shows like Jerry Springer's, although not nearly as crass and tacky. But to get back to the film, the stories were written by three of the top American writers working at the time: Dorothy Parker, John Ashworth and Faith Baldwin. The stories were all excellent snapshots of contemporary American life. Dorothy Parker's pen was always dipped in acid and she was never happier that when she was ridiculing the class of people into which she was born. Parker's story was the one entitled, "Horsie". It concerned a nurse hired as a nanny for a newborn child. The child was born to a husband and wife who were too rich and stylish to ever attend to the mundane details of taking care of the child themselves, although I was surprised they had actually gone through a pregnancy. They seemed like the sort that would have hired that out as well. They do go on with their upper crust friends about how the experience has enriched them spiritually. Of course they do have a good deal of malicious fun at the expense of their sweet, innocent, unsuspecting nanny, simply because she is unattractive and unsophisticated. She doesn't realize she is the butt of their jokes and thinks they are wonderful. To her, they must be wonderful people because they are rich and smart (in the fashion sense). And the child, whom she loves so well, is being given such a wonderful life. The film, and Ms. Parker, is not making fun of poor Horsie. They are pointing up the cruelty and thoughtlessness of the people she works for. It is not Horsie who is depicted as being pathetic.

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