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Dreamboat (1952)

Approved | | Comedy | 26 July 1952 (USA)
Thornton Sayre, a respected college professor, is plagued when his old movies are shown on TV and sets out with his daughter to stop it. However, his former co-star is the hostess of the TV show playing his films and she has other plans.


Claude Binyon


Claude Binyon (screenplay), John D. Weaver (story "Love Man")


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Complete credited cast:
Clifton Webb ... Thornton Sayre / Dreamboat / Bruce Blair
Ginger Rogers ... Gloria Marlowe
Anne Francis ... Carol Sayre
Jeffrey Hunter ... Bill Ainslee
Elsa Lanchester ... Dr. Mathilda Coffey
Fred Clark ... Sam Levitt
Paul Harvey ... Lawyer D.W. Harrington
Ray Collins ... Timothy Stone
Helene Stanley ... Mimi
Richard Garrick ... Judge Bowles


Thornton Sayre, a respected college professor, is plagued when his old movies are shown on TV and sets out with his daughter to stop it. However, his former co-star is the hostess of the TV show playing his films and she has other plans.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

26 July 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Casanova wider Willen See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Fans of the Perry Mason series will love the ironic casting Ray Collins, who played Lt. Tragg in that famous show - but in this movie he plays the defense attorney in the courtroom scene. See more »


When Miss Marlow's cab arrives at her "real" hotel after she leaves the flop house the head lights are off; (probably to reduce glare) but when the angle changes the lights are back on. See more »


[Reading aloud]
Denham: Ham. To be or not to be...
Thornton Sayre: Denham, the word "Ham" is not to be read; neither as part of the soliloquy nor as a self-condemnation of your own performance. It is an abbreviation of "Hamlet," the character who is speaking.
See more »


Features Sitting Pretty (1948) See more »


Music by Nat Simon and Buddy Bernier
Played at the nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

5 April 2009 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Clifton Webb is "Dreamboat," in this 1954 film. Webb plays a silent film star named Bruce Blair who is now a college professor under what one assumes is his real name, Thornton Sayre. All is well until his silent films begin to appear on that new popular medium, television, and hosted by his former co-star (Ginger Rogers). The college board calls for his resignation, so Sayre goes to New York with his brainy daughter (Anne Francis) to get an injunction to stop the televising of his old films.

Webb was an underrated actor who could do the acerbic queen beautifully, but one forgets he was also a gifted comedian and a moving dramatic actor - "The Man Who Never Was" and "Titanic" being two prime examples of his capabilities. He also was a trained opera singer, something the New York theater audiences, alas, only got to hear. In "Dreamboat," his silent film character is a cross between John Gilbert, Rudolph Valentino and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Webb does a terrific job overplaying the silent film acting.

Ginger Rogers is wonderful as the glamorous, conniving ex-costar, Gloria Marlowe, but I have to agree with one comment, that the two stars had little chemistry. The role was originally offered to Marlene Dietrich - she and Webb might have been quite funny together.

Anne Francis is the plain Jane daughter in an early role, and Jeffrey Hunter is the gorgeous Bill Ainslee in an early role for him, a man assigned by his agency boss (Sam Levitt) to escort Francis around town. They make a great couple; both appeared in the 1965 programmer 'Brainstorm' to excellent effect. By that time, their studio days were over; Hunter's film career had disintegrated, and Francis would have her most of her career in television. They both still looked fabulous, though.

Very, very entertaining. Highly recommended.

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