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Top Secret Affair (1957)

Approved | | Comedy | 30 January 1957 (USA)
The head of a large publishing empire is dismayed when a top army general is about to be appointed to an atomic energy committee. She's determined to discredit him prior to the appointment ... See full summary »

Director:

H.C. Potter

Writers:

John P. Marquand (novel), Roland Kibbee | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Susan Hayward ... Dorothy 'Dottie' Peale
Kirk Douglas ... Maj. Gen. Melville A. Goodwin
Paul Stewart ... Phil Bentley
Jim Backus ... Col. Homer W. Gooch
John Cromwell ... General Daniel A. Grimshaw
Roland Winters ... Sen. Burdick
Arthur Gould-Porter Arthur Gould-Porter ... Holmes, Dottie's Butler
Michael Fox ... Reporter Laszlo 'Lotzie' Kovach
Frank Gerstle ... Sgt. Kruger
Charles Lane ... Bill Hadley
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Storyline

The head of a large publishing empire is dismayed when a top army general is about to be appointed to an atomic energy committee. She's determined to discredit him prior to the appointment and invites him to spend the weekend at her country home where she's arranged many traps. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SHE WAS OUT TO GET THE GENERAL...But in the mix-up wound-up getting got herself! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 January 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Melville Goodwin, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Carrollton Inc. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Under the title "Melville Goodwin, USA", the film was to star Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall - both of whom had already filmed costume and makeup tests - but Bogart's terminal illness forced his withdrawal from the project. He was replaced by Kirk Douglas. Bacall withdrew shortly afterward, opting instead to remain at home with her dying husband, and was replaced by Susan Hayward. See more »

Goofs

Douglas gives Susan a pistol and said it was a Luger. It was actually a Walther P-38. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fitfully Funny At Best, and a Scathing Comment on the Press and Post-War America
17 December 2018 | by reprtrSee all my reviews

I first saw this picture on television around 1970, in the middle of the Vietnam War, and found it confusing to my early teen sensibilities. Here were Kirk Douglas and Susan Hayward playing everything straight, yet it was supposed to be a "comedy," and a romantic comedy at that -- instead the plot lurched back and forth, mostly built around the Hayward character's alternating hate-love-hate-love feelings toward ramrod straight two-star general Kirk Douglas (who was specifically depicted as no desk-jockey, but a highly decorated combat officer, now moving on to a prominent administrative post). There are some strained attempts at humor involving the two leads, but what humor there is comes mostly courtesy of Jim Backus as a put-upon colonel in public relations and Paul Stewart as Hayward's one almost co-equal confidante. And if that were all there were to this movie (which started out as a vehicle for Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall), if would be a mildly amusing feature. But woven into the story is an absolutely savage look at the nature of the post-war press corps -- and publishers who think they can influence presidents and Congress -- and a tacit widespread suspicion of (if not outright hatred for) the military, doubly so from the members of the US Senate who are depicted (principally a fatuous, headline-hunting committee chairman played by Roland Winters). It was all difficult for me to understand in 1970, and having seen it again in 2018, I still can't figure out what the writers and producers had in mind for "entertainment," or if they were onto something about our society, or they were just telling a story with no relationship to reality. And if this is an accurate portrayal of where we were in this country in the second half of the 1950s, then perhaps we almost deserved the rot that would set in during the 1960s.


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