18 user 9 critic

Government Girl (1943)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance, War | 5 November 1943 (USA)
The secretary of a newly appointed government official strives to make him a success in spite of his shortcomings.


Dudley Nichols


Dudley Nichols (screen play), Budd Schulberg (adaptation) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Olivia de Havilland ... Smokey Allard
Sonny Tufts ... Ed Browne
Anne Shirley ... May Harness Blake
Jess Barker ... Dana McGuire
James Dunn ... Sergeant Joe Blake
Paul Stewart ... Branch Owens
Agnes Moorehead ... Adele Wright
Harry Davenport ... Senator MacVickers
Una O'Connor ... Mrs. Harris
Sig Ruman ... Ambassador


Washington DC during World War II. The machinery of government is a hive of endless, if not seamless, activity. Armament production is the name of the game, by fair means or foul. Ed Browne, more used to making cars in Detroit, is having to try and get planes made in this maelstrom. Luckily or unluckily, he finds he has a secretary who knows the political ropes - and her own mind. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


MANHUNT...IN WAR-TIME WASHINGTON! (print ad - Lubbock Avalanche Journal - Tower Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - May 7, 1944 - all caps) See more »


Comedy | Romance | War


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Warner Bros. studio boss Jack L. Warner loaned Olivia de Havilland to David O. Selznick in exchange for Ingrid Bergman whom Warner cast opposite Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942). See more »


When Ed and Smokey are on the motorcycle, Ed cuts across the park on the lawn saying that it is a shortcut. A few seconds later, he asks Smokey for directions. So he couldn't have taken a shortcut if he didn't know where he was going. See more »


Branch Owens: [after Smokey has covered up for Dana McGuire standing her up, and Branch has pointed out that McGuire is with a senator's daughter] Aww, Smokey, I'm a cad. I'd sell my soul to make you lie for me like that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over the Capitol building. See more »


Featured in Red Hollywood (1996) See more »


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

User Reviews

Comedy about cutting through Washington's red tap during War II
25 November 2016 | by kijiiSee all my reviews

For those who could never imagine Olivia de Havilland in a totally madcap comedy but would like to, I would highly recommend this movie to you!!

The story is set in Washington, D.C. in the middle of WW II, when all the hotels in town are full of important people doing business, mostly to help support the war effort. In this way, this movie is highly similar to The More the Merrier (1943) which was made in the same time period with a similar theme.

However, this movie is more about getting things done quickly rather than taking shortcuts through the housing shortage. Here, de Havilland serves as sort of an activity coordinator, trying to guide people to the right place and keep the herd of visitors moving with the least possible disruption. However, she is not ready for the likes of Ed Brown (Sonny Tufts) who is knowledgeable about manufacturing the huge number of aircraft needed quickly for the war.

Ed will do anything to make airplanes and put them into service quickly. To do this, he takes shortcuts to get through the red tape of Washington, and Elizabeth Allard (Olivia de Havilland) can do nothing but go along with him on his wild ride through the bureaucracy, always about five steps in front of any roadblock that may get in his way.

De Havilland often plays the clown to Tufts character, but is soon brought on board his madhouse tactics when she sees hundreds of new warplanes being launched and deployed, thanks to him.

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Release Date:

5 November 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Government Girl See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(copyright length) | (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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