A clumsy daydreamer gets caught up in a sinister conspiracy.


Norman Z. McLeod


Ken Englund (screen play), Everett Freeman (screen play) | 1 more credit »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Danny Kaye ... Walter Mitty
Virginia Mayo ... Rosalind van Hoorn
Boris Karloff ... Dr. Hugo Hollingshead
Fay Bainter ... Mrs. Eunice Mitty
Ann Rutherford ... Gertrude Griswold
Thurston Hall ... Bruce Pierce
Gordon Jones ... Tubby Wadsworth
Florence Bates ... Mrs. Irma Griswold
Konstantin Shayne ... Peter van Hoorn
Reginald Denny ... Colonel
Henry Corden ... Hendrick
Doris Lloyd ... Mrs. Leticia Follinsbee
Fritz Feld ... Anatole
Frank Reicher ... Karl Maasdam
Milton Parsons ... Butler Tyler


In New York the clumsy Walter Mitty is the publisher of pulp fiction at the Pierce Publishing house owned by Bruce Pierce. He lives with his overbearing mother and neither his fiancée Gertrude Griswold and her mother nor his best friend Tubby Wadsworth respects him. Walter is an escapist and daydreams into a world of fantasy many times along the day. When Walter is commuting, he stumbles in the train with the gorgeous Rosalind van Hoorn who uses Walter to escape from her pursuer. Walter unintentionally gets involved with a dangerous ring of spies that are seeking a black book with notes about a hidden treasure. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Did You Know?


Author James Thurber acknowledged that the character Walter Mitty was based on his friend, writer Robert Benchley. Thurber said that he got the idea for Mitty from the character created by Benchley in a series of shorts that he made for Fox and MGM, respectively, in the 1920s and 1930s. Thurber is also on record as saying that he hated this film and that Danny Kaye's interpretation of Mitty is nothing at all like he intended the character to be. See more »


When Mitty exits the office having just knocked over the water cooler, the glass in the door breaks. Just prior to it breaking you can see large scratches where the glass had been prepared for breaking. See more »


Mrs. Mitty: The clock didn't strike. I definitely heard it not strike.
See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.55 (2009) See more »


Beautiful Dreamer
(1862) (uncredited)
Music by Stephen Foster
Played often in the score
Played on piano by Virginia Mayo
See more »

User Reviews

They call him the dreamer
26 February 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

James Thurber's whimsical day dreamer Walter Mitty was a perfect character for Danny Kaye to apply his many talents with. Make note however this is not film based on Thurber's short story, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, but the character is used to fashion a plot whereby this day dream believer gets into a real life adventure. And gets the girl one only dreams about.

Poor henpecked Danny Kaye as Mitty works as a proofreader for publisher Thurston Hall who specializes in putting out pulp fiction works of adventure and romance. He's put upon by everyone, from his mother Fay Bainter to his girlfriend Ann Rutherford, her mother Florence Bates, his best 'friend' Gordon Jones and not the least by his boss Hall. His escape is in daydreaming and it's in these imaginary sequences that Kaye's real talents of singing and mimicry are given full range. During one of those sequences while at a fashion show Kaye does one of his most famous routines Anatole Of Paris.

While on a train Kaye meets the beautiful girl of his dreams Virginia Mayo who is carrying some documents vital to her native Dutch government. And she's being pursued by the kind of international criminals that appear in James Bond or Austin Powers. Konstantin Shayne is the master criminal known only as 'the Boot' and he's assisted in his nefarious schemes by Boris Karloff.

After he meets them poor Danny spends the rest of the film trying to help or rescue Virginia Mayo and convince the others in his life that he's in a real situation. The rest of his circle put his ravings down to an overactive imagination and he's even referred to a psychiatrist who turns out to be Boris Karloff. I'm not sure who was playing straight for who in the psychiatrist sequence, but it's funny nonetheless.

It's not James Thurber. Thurber's story would be almost impossible to create accurately for the screen since it's all in his protagonist's mind. But as a character for Danny Kaye, Walter Mitty is a natural.

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English | French | German

Release Date:

1 September 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty See more »


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Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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