45 user 17 critic

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)
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 Panel
Ilka Chase ... Guest Panel
Wendy Barrie ... Guest Panel
Melville Cooper ... Guest Panel


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


That "Born Yesterday" Bombshell Explodes Again! See more »


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:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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 »


The address of Glady's boarding house (262 West 61st Street) is actually between West End Avenue and Amsterdam Ave, too far away for the billboard on Columbus Circle to be visible from her window. See more »


Sour Man in Central Park: Look, girlie. I don't mind a pick up once in a while, only I like to do the pickin' see?
Gladys Glover: Lister, mister. How would you like to watch some of your language?
Sour Man in Central Park: Who are you?
Gladys Glover: Nobody, that's who.
Pete SheppardSour Man in Central Park: So why are you trying to make a big stink?
Gladys Glover: Who, me?
Sour Man in Central Park: Sure you, not who.
[to the others in the park listening]
Sour Man in Central Park: Comes in walkin' in barefooted. Sits down on the top of me...
Gladys Glover: [Incredulous] Top of?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Introducing 'Jack Lemmon' See more »


Referenced in Coach: It Should Happen to You (1994) 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

Charming...a wonderful romantic comedy from start to finish.
30 May 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

It's sad that Judy Holliday made so few movies before dying very prematurely in 1965. She had a marvelous screen presence--earthy but extremely likable. Here, as usual, she is in top form as the sweet but ditsy Gladys Glover. However, unlike several of her other films, this one featured a supporting performance that was so well done that for once, my attention was not just on Holliday. Jack Lemmon is here in his first film and he is marvelous as well. This is NOT in the same way as Holliday, but as a sweet everyman sort of character--one that actually improved the film tremendously. Together, they were better than any of Holliday's other films. Teaming her with talented actors such as William Holden ("Born Yesterday"), Dean Martin ("The Bells Are Ringing") and Aldo Ray ("The Marrying Kind") worked fine--but the Lemmon-Holliday teaming was perfect.

The film begins with Holliday and Lemmon meeting in Central Park. She has just lost her job and he is a struggling documentary film maker getting shots for his next film. They begin to talk and it's obvious that there is some lovely chemistry between the characters. You really, really like the two and want to see them fall in love. And, so it would appear until something weird happened. On a lark, Holliday buys billboard space on which she simply has her name written. At first, nothing comes of it, but soon a lot of unexpected publicity results and Holliday becomes an instant star. While this would seem great, it drives a wedge between her and Lemmon. I liked this, as in some other romantic comedies, the guy is a jerk who just doesn't understand. In this case, your heart breaks for Lemmon, as he is wronged repeatedly as Holliday's attention is taken away from this sweet guy. For example, you can't help but feel for the shmoe when she blows off their date--their date to meet his parents! Can Judy get her head on straight and realize that there is more to life than publicity and notoriety? Or, will she lose the man in her life who is worth having? See this film and find out for yourself.

There is a lot to love about about the film. The acting is first-rate, the writing is perhaps even better (if it's possible) and this little film packs an amazing punch. Sweet, memorable and perhaps Holliday's best--this is a great example of simple and highly effective film making. Not to be missed!

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