6.5/10
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8 user 1 critic

The Affairs of Martha (1942)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 21 June 1942 (USA)
Members of a well-to-do small community become worried when it is revealed that one of their maids is writing a telling exposé.

Director:

Jules Dassin

Writers:

Isobel Lennart (original screenplay "Once Upon a Thursday"), Lee Gold (original screenplay "Once Upon a Thursday")
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marsha Hunt ... Martha Lindstrom
Richard Carlson ... Jeff Sommerfield
Marjorie Main ... Mrs. McKissick
Virginia Weidler ... Miranda Sommerfield
Spring Byington ... Sophia Sommerfield
Allyn Joslyn ... Joel Archer
Frances Drake ... Sylvia Norwood
Barry Nelson ... Danny O'Brien
Melville Cooper ... Dr. Clarence Sommerfield
Inez Cooper ... Mrs. Jacell
Sara Haden ... Mrs. Justin I. Peacock
Margaret Hamilton ... Guinevere
Ernest Truex ... Llewellyn Castle
Cecil Cunningham ... Mrs. Llewellyn Castle
William B. Davidson ... Homer Jacell
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Storyline

The town gossips are reporting that a household servant in exclusive Rocky Point is writing an expose of the colony. Mrs. Sophia Sommerfield is convinced it can't be either one of her maids, Martha Lindstrom or Mrs. McKessic, although, unknown to Sophia, she is totally unaware that her son, Jeff, is married to Martha. At the moment, Jeff wants a divorce so he can marry another woman. The book comes out and Sophia is relieved to find that Martha's book does not reveal Sophia's fondness for reading "true-confession" magazines, nor mention that Sophia's young daughter, Mirand, writers her club reports for Sophia. Other items are cleaned up, also. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 June 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Once Upon a Thursday See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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

This film's initial USA telecast took place in Minneapolis Monday 21 January 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9); it first aired in New Haven CT 11 February 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), in Altoona PA 19 February 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Chicago 5 March 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Seattle 12 March 1957 on KING (Channel 7), in Philadelphia 19 March 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Portland OR 3 April 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), and in Hartford CT 14 April 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18); it was first telecast in Los Angeles 15 January 1958 on KTTV (Channel 11) and in San Francisco 1 April 1959 on KGO (Channel 7); in New York City its earliest documented airing took place 15 May 1963 on WCBS (Channel 2). . See more »

Goofs

When Martha is drawing a face on the soaped window, in the long shot of her doing so it is quite simple, but in the next closeup shot the figure is much more complicated and complete as she's looking through it. See more »

Quotes

Patroling Beach Cleaner: If you folks ain't got nothin' to do, maybe you'd like to fish. I got a lot of tackle.
Jeff Sommerfield: Thanks, but we're just trying to talk.
Patroling Beach Cleaner: Well, all right, but I got a hunch they're bitin'. Sure you won't change your mind? cuz after you get old, you got a lot of time to talk.
Jeff Sommerfield: Let's get out of here.
See more »

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User Reviews

Great Supporting Cast, But Uneven Results
20 December 2014 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

A maid's tell-all book threatens to undo an upper-class neighborhood, even as one of the sons and the maid are secretly wed.

Looks like big-budget MGM was responding to wartime audiences with this little programmer. It's decent enough, but can't sustain its comedic air for the 70-minute runtime. That's perhaps because director Dassin's instincts are really not comedic. Instead, he developed into one of the top noir directors of the period, e.g. Brute Force (1947), Thieves Highway (1949). Here, the comedic mood bounces around too often to sustain the format. Then too, writer Lennart has some serious class issues to work into the proceedings.

Nonetheless, it's a dynamite supporting cast, with a number of skillful comedic actors, including Main, Nelson, Joslyn, Weidler et al. Now, I like Richard Carlson, particularly when he's battling space aliens or communists, but a comedy actor, he ain't. Here, he's too stiff to complement the mood, unlike Hunt, for example. Overall, I can't help thinking a longer screenplay giving more time to support players like Main and Hamilton would have helped. But then, a longer runtime would have moved the movie out of the wartime double-bill status.

All in all, the movie components don't combine well enough to make a memorable whole, despite some genuinely promising moments.


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