6.9/10
923
28 user 6 critic

H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941)

A man who lived his life as he was was told he should, not as he would have chosen to, is brought out of his shell by a beautiful young woman.

Director:

King Vidor

Writers:

John P. Marquand (novel), Elizabeth Hill (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Hedy Lamarr ... Marvin Myles
Robert Young ... Harry Pulham
Ruth Hussey ... Kay Motford
Charles Coburn ... Mr. Pulham Sr.
Van Heflin ... Bill King
Fay Holden ... Mrs. John Pulham
Bonita Granville ... Mary Pulham
Douglas Wood Douglas Wood ... Mr. Bullard
Charles Halton ... Walter Kaufman
Leif Erickson ... Rodney 'Bo-Jo' Brown (as Leif Erikson)
Phil Brown ... Joe Bingham
David Clyde ... Hugh the Butler
Sara Haden ... Miss Rollo
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Storyline

Fortysomething, blue blooded Boston born and bred, Harvard educated businessman Harry Pulham leads a regimented, routinized life with his wife, the former Kay Motford, who he's known since childhood. Harry outwardly believes he is all the more happy because of the way his life is, which was somewhat predetermined as part of his upbringing. This day, he receives two telephone calls which make him examine his life. The first is from Bo-Jo Brown, a Harvard colleague who is heading a twenty-five year reunion committee, with Harry foisted into the job of writing attendee biographies, which is to include his own. The second is from Marvin Myles, a former work colleague from his time over twenty years ago at the J.T. Bullard Advertising Agency in New York City, that job which Harry got from his more liberally minded Harvard friend Bill King. The result of these two telephone calls makes Harry wonder if he is happy, if he is or ever was in love with Kay, and if he never was if he would have ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

My name is Marvin Myles...I love Harry Pulham...but when he asked me to marry him, I knew it would never work...his way. (original 6x7.5 newspaper ad) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

13 August 1942 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Sol de Outono See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Favorite film of Hedy Lamarr. See more »

Goofs

The flashback scenes in a taxi take place in 1919, however, the footage through rear-projection through the back window of the cab clearly show late 1930s automobiles. See more »

Quotes

Harry Moulton Pulham: In the 26 states east of the Mississippi River, there are 23,942 men's washrooms. 9,680 use liquid soap, 7,222 use powdered soap, 3,102 use old fashioned cake soap, and the rest don't use any soap.
Bill King: Amazing. Absolutely amazing.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

K-K-Katy
(1918) (uncredited)
Music by Geoffrey O'Hara
Played at the end of the World War I sequence
See more »

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User Reviews

How sad, how true
27 July 2000 | by jaykay-10See all my reviews

Though dealing primarily with an upper-class character, this picture involves decisions and emotional conflicts that everyone can relate to. The bittersweet story reminds us that to a greater or lesser extent we all settle for something less than the life we dreamed of. On the surface, the characters here are happy: they say they are, and they mean it. But beneath that surface are disappointment and longing that they keenly feel when the past is recalled. Better not to think about it, and just go on with the life you have.

Hedy Lamarr was a curious choice for this role. It doesn't really suit her, but she handles it better than one might expect.


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