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The Housekeeper's Daughter (1939)

Passed | | Adventure, Comedy, Crime | 26 October 1939 (USA)
Movie opens with a murder involving gangster. Gangster's girl goes to stay with mother. Mother is the housekeeper for upper class family with an attractive son. Family returns early from ... See full summary »


Hal Roach


Rian James (screen play), Gordon Douglas (screen play) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Bennett ... Hilda
Adolphe Menjou ... Deakon Maxwell
John Hubbard ... Robert Randall
William Gargan ... Ed O'Malley
George E. Stone ... Screw-Loose Benny
Peggy Wood ... Olga
Donald Meek ... Editor Wilson
Marc Lawrence ... Floyd
Lilian Bond ... Gladys
Victor Mature ... Lefty
John Hyams ... Professor Randall
Leila McIntyre Leila McIntyre ... Mrs. Randall
Luis Alberni ... Veroni
Rosina Galli Rosina Galli ... Mrs. Veroni
Tom Dugan ... Gangster


Movie opens with a murder involving gangster. Gangster's girl goes to stay with mother. Mother is the housekeeper for upper class family with an attractive son. Family returns early from vacation. Gangster's gang follows girl to house, police follow. Comedy ensures.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She Couldn't Keep House! She Couldn't Cook! But What She Knew About Men Would Fill A Book! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

26 October 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Criada para Amar See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When the film was re-released in 1946, the name of Victor Mature , who was by then riding the crest of his popularity, was raised from 7th credited position, where it originally began, to co-starring position opposite that of leading lady Joan Bennett, even though he had a decidedly secondary role. See more »


Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
Hummed by Adolphe Menjou
See more »

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User Reviews

gets tired
14 May 2011 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

The brunette, beautiful Joan Bennett is the main attraction in "The Housekeeper's Daughter," a 1939 Hal Roach movie. With her similarly-shaped face, hair-do, and hairline, the dark-haired Joan is reminiscent of Hedy Lamar, whereas, as a blonde, she resembled her sister Constance. In my opinion, Bennett was the most beautiful actress who auditioned for Scarlett in Gone with the Wind and didn't get it.

Bennett plays Hilda, a gun moll who gets sick of the life and goes home to mother. Her mother, Olga (Peggy Wood) is the housekeeper and lives in the home of a wealthy man, Robert Randall (John Hubbard) who has aspirations to be a reporter. When two reporters (Adolphe Menjou and William Gargan) see Randall throwing around money, they stick to him like glue and wind up sleeping at his home and meeting mother and daughter. Randall, meanwhile, is hot on a murder case, which will eventually combine Hilda's past and present.

This is a pleasant enough, well acted film in the beginning but deteriorates into a lot of slapstick later on. Victor Mature has an early role, and Donald Meek is the harried newspaper editor.

As a side note about William Gargan, he had a laryngectomy in 1960 and spoke thereafter with the use of an artificial voice box. He spent the remaining 19 years of his life involved with the American Cancer Society and warning about the hazards of smoking.

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