Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

Director: Norman Z. McLeod

Cast: Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Boris Karloff

     
 

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James Thurber wasn't too happy with the Sam Goldwyn film adaptation of his 1939 short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but the Technicolor musical comedy proved to be a cash cow at the box office. Danny Kaye stars as Walter, a milquetoast proofreader for a magazine publishing firm. Walter is constitutionally incapable of standing up for himself, which isSee more details below

Overview

James Thurber wasn't too happy with the Sam Goldwyn film adaptation of his 1939 short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but the Technicolor musical comedy proved to be a cash cow at the box office. Danny Kaye stars as Walter, a milquetoast proofreader for a magazine publishing firm. Walter is constitutionally incapable of standing up for himself, which is why his mother (Fay Bainter) has been able to arrange a frightful marriage between her son and the beautiful but overbearing Gertrude Griswold (Ann Rutherford). As he muses over the lurid covers of the magazines put out by his firm, Walter retreats into his fantasy world, where he is heroic, poised, self-assured, and the master of his fate. Glancing at the cover of a western periodical, Walter fancies himself the two-gun "Perth Amboy Kid"; a war magazine prompts Walter to envision himself as a fearless RAF pilot; and so on. Throughout all his imaginary adventures, a gorgeous mystery woman weaves in an out of the proceedings. Imagine Walter's surprise when his dream girl shows up in the flesh in the person of Rosalind van Horn (Virginia Mayo). The girl is being pursued by a gang of jewel thieves headed by Dr. Hugo Hollingshead (Boris Karloff), a clever psychiatrist who manages to convince Walter that he's simply imagining things again, and that Rosalind never existed. At long last, Walter vows to live his life in the "now" rather than in the recesses of his mind: he rescues Rosalind from the gang's clutches, tells his mother and Gertrude where to get off, and fast-talks his way into a better position with the publishing firm. Substituting the usual Danny Kaye zaniness for James Thurber's whimsy, Secret Life of Walter Mitty works best during the production numbers, especially Kaye's signature tune "Anatole of Paris."

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
American humorist James Thurber penned whimsical, telling fables about ordinary life in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. His most famous story was The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, about a mousy man, suffering under emotional persecution from his wife, who has elaborate heroic dreams. The character of Walter Mitty made such an impact on popular culture that the name came to stand for a daydreamer. Although Thurber didn't much care for this 1947 feature based on the story (the film added an overbearing mother), it was a memorable star vehicle for comedian Danny Kaye, launching him into a new level of popularity. Kaye was adept at playing the kind of dual roles required by this film, in which he is a milquetoast in real life and a he-man in his fantasies. The musical comedy, shot in Technicolor, was a hit, but it was scorned by Thurber, who believed it to be a vulgar bastardization of his work.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/10/2013
UPC:
0883929326389
Original Release:
1947
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:50:00
Sales rank:
941

Special Features

Interview with Virginia Mayo; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Danny Kaye Walter Mitty
Virginia Mayo Rosalind Van Hoorn
Boris Karloff Dr. Hugo Hollingshead
Fay Bainter Mrs. Mitty
Ann Rutherford Gertrude Griswold
Florence Bates Mrs. Griswold
Thurston Hall Bruce Pierce
Gordon Jones Tubby Wadsworth
Konstantin Shayne Peter Van Hoom
Reginald Denny R.A.F. Colonel
Henry Corden Hendrick
Doris Lloyd Mrs. Follinsbee
Fritz Feld Anatole
Frank Reicher Maasdam
Milton Parsons Butler/Tyler
Eddie Acuff Actor
Ernie S. Adams Actor
Sam Ash Art Editor
Billy Bletcher Actor
Betty Blythe Actor
Mary Brewer Goidwyn Girl
Betty Cargyle Actor
Sue Casey Actor
George Chandler Mate
Jack Cheatham Actor
Dorothy Christy Actor
Wade Crosby Actor
Vernon Dent Bartender
Harry Depp Actor
Lorraine de Rome Actor
Ralph Dunn Actor
Maude Eburne Fitter
Bess Flowers Illustrator
Mary Forbes Actor
Joel Friedkin Grimsby
Jack Gargan Actor
Karen X. Gaylord Actor
Dorothy Granger Actor
William Haade Actor
John Hamilton Dr. Remington
Lumsden Hare Dr. Pritchard-Mitford
Harry Harvey Office Boy
Henry Kolker Dr. Benbow
Ethan Laidlaw Actor
Frank LaRue Conductor
George Lloyd Actor
Wilbur Mack Actor
George Magrill Wolf Man
Chris-Pin Martin Actor
Sam McDaniel Actor
Moy Ming Actor
William Newell Actor
Paul Newlan Actor
Broderick O'Farrell Actor
Dick Rush Actor
Sid Saylor Actor
Brick Sullivan Cop
Charles Trowbridge Dr. Renshaw
John Tyrrell Actor
Minerva Urecal Woman with Hat
Irene Vernon Actor
Lynn Walker Goldwyn Girl
Pierre Watkin Actor
Beal Wong Actor
Harry Woods Wrong Mr. and Mrs. Follinsbee
Hank Worden Western Character
Martha Montgomery Actor
Patricia Patrick Actor
Mary Ellen Gleason Actor
Donna Dax Stenographer
Raoul Freeman Department Head
Dick Earle Actor
Robert Altman Man Drinking
Mary Gordon Actor

Technical Credits
Norman Z. McLeod Director
Monica Collingwood Editor
Ken Englund Screenwriter
Perry Ferguson Art Director
Sylvia Fine Songwriter
Everett Freeman Screenwriter
John P. Fulton Special Effects
Lee Garmes Cinematographer
Samuel Goldwyn Producer
George Jenkins Art Director
Emil Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
David Raksin Score Composer
Philip Rapp Screenwriter
Casey Roberts Set Decoration/Design
Irene Sharaff Costumes/Costume Designer
Monica Underwood Editor

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
1. Chapter 1 [9:51]
2. Chapter 2 [9:43]
3. Chapter 3 [12:17]
4. Chapter 4 [7:16]
5. Chapter 5 [12:05]
6. Chapter 6 [12:17]
7. Chapter 7 [8:17]
8. Chapter 8 [11:54]
9. Chapter 9 [11:29]
10. Chapter 10 [11:20]
11. Chapter 11 [3:50]

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