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It Should Happen to You (1954)

Approved | | Comedy , Romance | March 1954 (USA)
When a young woman with dreams of fame rents a billboard to advertise herself, her life changes overnight.


George Cukor


Garson Kanin (story and screen play)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Judy Holliday ... Gladys Glover
Peter Lawford ... Evan Adams III
Jack Lemmon ... Pete Sheppard
Michael O'Shea ... Brod Clinton
Vaughn Taylor ... Entrikin
Connie Gilchrist ... Mrs. Riker
Walter Klavun Walter Klavun ... Bert Piazza
Whit Bissell ... Robert Grau
Constance Bennett ... Guest Panelist
Ilka Chase ... Guest Panelist
Wendy Barrie ... Guest Panelist
Melville Cooper ... Guest Panelist


Gladys Glover has just lost her modelling job when she meets filmmaker Pete Sheppard shooting a documentary in Central Park. For Pete it's love at first sight, but Gladys has her mind on other things -- like making a name for herself. Through a fluke of advertising she winds up with her name plastered over 10 billboards throughout city. Suddenly all of New York is clamoring for Gladys Glover without knowing why and playboy Evan Adams III is making a play for Gladys that even Pete knows will be hard to beat. Written by A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In 'Born Yesterday' I got two mink coats - this time I get everything!


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

March 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Name for Herself See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


By some accounts, Judy Holliday and Peter Lawford struck up an intimate relationship on the set, further damaging Holliday's already strained marriage. See more »


When Gladys is posing with the plane named after her, the positions of the service personnel standing around her change between shots. See more »


Pete Sheppard: Hey, look, Gladys, any other kind of date, you want to break it, okay, but this has been set up for a week. And when I go to the trouble of callin' my mother and she goes to the trouble of fixin' a whole dinner and, well, my father - he probably even went and shaved.
Gladys Glover: Well, maybe tomorrow night?
Pete Sheppard: Dinner'll be cold by then.
Gladys Glover: Gee, I feel just terrible.
Pete Sheppard: You *should*!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Introducing 'Jack Lemmon' See more »


Featured in Stella Days (2011) See more »


Let's Fall in Love
(1933) (uncredited)
Words by Ted Koehler
Music by Harold Arlen
Performed by Judy Holliday and Jack Lemmon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Immortalization of Gladys Glover...and introducing Jack Lemmon
12 January 2006 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

Judy Holliday was very lucky that she and Garson Kanin worked together so frequently. He had written the Broadway play BORN YESTERDAY that made her a stage star. He wrote the screenplay for her first major film, ADAM'S RIB, with his wife Ruth Gordon. Aided immeasurably by the directing of George Cukor, their success record continued in 1954 with IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU. While BORN YESTERDAY dealt with political corruption, and ADAM'S RIB with the equality of the sexes in the law (in the extreme case of the use of the so-called "unwritten law"), IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU is about the nature of fame and notoriety in modern society.

Gladys Glover (Judy) gets the idea of renting a large billboard near New York City's Columbus Circle, and having her photograph put on it. She's not afraid of doing such a nutty idea - she is a professional model. But her billboard would be advertising just her - not a product or company. The billboard has traditionally been used as the central ad-board for a soap corporation, owned by aristocratic and handsome Peter Lawford. He proceeds to try to romance Judy to get her to give up her lease of the board (which will end in a few months). But the huge degree of notice the board brings to Judy turns her life around. Although she has no message for the public, the public embraces her.

The one active critic she meets is a good looking young documentary maker, who can't see what she is gaining by this. It is not that Judy needs fame - she seems quite level headed. Moreover, the young man is growing jealous at the attentions showed by Lawford to her. He's a really nice young fellow (who would appear in another film with Judy shortly afterward). His name was Jack Lemmon. Usually people thinking of Lemmon's long career recall MR. ROBERTS as his first role. His performance as Ensign Pulver did win an Oscar, but he had made about three movies before that film, and his first role is here.

Michael Shea is also in the film, as a critic who first dismisses Judy as a fiction, like "Kilroy", but subsequently becomes an evil genius to her - becoming her overly forceful agent. And Judy does have to go through some real soul searching here as she determines whether notoriety and fame is worth the trouble it brings.

The film is funnier than this description may suggest. It ranks behind THE SOLID GOLD CADILLAC and BORN YESTERDAY as her best comic performance, completing an interesting trilogy commentary on society in the U.S. at mid-century.

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