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"Every Girl Should Be Married"

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Character's Name: Dr. Madison Brown
Release Date:  December 25, 1948
Director: Don Hartman
Studio:  RKO Radio
Running Time: 85 minutes

Cast: Cary Grant (Dr. Madison Brown), Franchot Tone (Roger Sanford), Diana Lynn (Julie Hudson), Betsy Drake (Anabel Sims), Alan Mowbray (Mr. Spitzer), Elisabeth Risdon (Mary Nolan), Richard Gaines (Sam McNutt), Harry Hayden (Gogarty), Chick Chandler (Soda Clerk), Leon Belasco (Violinist), Fred Essler (Pierre), Anna Q. Nilsson (Saleslady)

- by ZoŽ Shaw
Anabel, a saleswoman, sees Dr. Brown and decides he is for her. She investigates thoroughly until she knows every detail about him. Dr. Brown knows all about it and resists until it is too late.

- by Emily Dunlap
Where is it written that a man always has to ask the woman out to dinner? Wouldn't it be nice if the women of this world asked the men out for a drive only to "accidentally" run out of gas?

Miss Anabel Sims has always wondered these things, and when she meets Dr. Madison W. Brown she decides to take action.

Their first meeting takes place when they both reach for a copy of BETTER BABIES. From then on Madison Brown can't go anywhere without Anabel Sims close behind, whether it be in the store, Sanford's, where she works, or a completely accidental ( ;0 ) meeting at the restaurant,
Pierre's, where he has a routine of going to once every week.

Of course, no movie plot can be this simple. To complicate the story line we find Anabel with a notion that Madison won't get marriage on the mind until he's convinced someone else will marry this young woman that keeps following him around.

So she makes up a story about a suave, debonair boyfriend that is madly in love with her. Happily, Madison believes Anabel has this wonderful beau. Unfortunately, he thinks this man is her boss, Roger Sanford. Who, we might add, loves marriage.  Why else do you think he's had three? (Supposedly, it was because his wives didn't like marriage. Uh-huh sure!)

Now evolves the story line of entrapment and love.

Every Girl Should Be Married ends with Anabel finally deciding upon.... watch the movie to find out!!!

VARIETY Film Review - November 10, 1948
- by "Herm"
- submitted by Barry Martin
"Every Girl Should Be Married" is one of those rare comic delicacies that are always in good season at the boxoffice. Out of that venerable theme of the war between the sexes in which the femmes are the guileful aggressors, Don Hartman has fashioned a sparklingly witty comedy of modern manners which will set off a chain reaction of chuckles. With Cary Grant topping a superlative cast including Franchot Tone and a standout newcomer, Betsy Drake, this film will have a terrific payoff.  

Script and direction, both handled by Hartman, are finely balanced in a clever pace and style cued for universal appeal. Although toned in smart dialog and subtle touches within a broad comedy situation, the pic nevertheless dodges the twin pitfalls of ultra-sophistication and corny slapstick. Starting off in a breezy flippancy, it rolls smoothly along in the same key throughout.  

Miss Drake, a fresh personality with looks and talent who will generate plenty of word-of-mouth commendation, is the young gal set upon hooking an eligible bachelor. Accidentally bumping into Grant in a drugstore, she maps an elaborate pincer strategy after studiously gathering data on his habits and habitat. When this fails in a series of tactical reversals, she switches to piquing Grant with jealousy, using Tone, the boss of the department store in which she works, as the foil. But Grant still refuses to bite, maintaining an amused indifference that occasionally boils into irritation at the gal's persistence.  

Her inventiveness, however, finally surmounts Grant's intransigence. But before she can haul up the marriage license, Miss Drake is forced to sharpen the hook and pretty the bait. She enlists the whole town in her campaign to pressure her man to the altar. At the windup, she plays the winning trick by hiring a radio actor to pose as her home town flame coming to take her home. Grant relents, they clinch and with perfect timing, a preacher announces himself to work out the wedding details.

In a long part that keeps her within camera range for the full length of the film, Miss Drake's performance is a tour de force in the romantic comedy vein. She displays a remarkable range of expressiveness, going from pathos to frothiness with firm control. Grant, handling his lines with appropriate acidity, plays with skill and wit. Tone, in a brief role, and Diana Lynn, as Miss Drake's sidekick, both contribute strong support.

Matching the script's roguish air, this production is buffed down to a high polish although no lavish settings are evident. Topnotch camera work, expert editing and a gay background score integrate all aspects of this film for maximum impact. 

- by Jeff Lang
If you're looking for a little more unconventional Cary movie, Every Girl Should Be Married just may be the choice for you. Cary Grant is Dr. Madison W. Brown, a pediatrician who happens to show up at the right place, at the right time. He happens to bump into Anabel Sims, played excellently by Betsy Drake, while looking at some magazines. Anabel becomes completely infatuated with Madison (Is it that unimaginable?!) and begins to devise a plan to make him her own, even getting her boss involved!

This movie is really almost Betsy's. She does such a great job at playing a woman totally obsessed with Cary (possibly from real life?) that you just want so bad for her to get what she wants. Cary is delightfully charming as always, yet can be quite a cad at times. Even if you strongly believe that marriage shouldn't be a woman's only prerogative, this movie will still charm your socks off.

NEW YORK TIMES Film Review - December 24, 1948
- by Bosley Crowther
- submitted by Barry Martin
Something nice in the way of a Christmas present is being delivered via the Capitol Theatre's screen.  It's a brand new and promising young actress by the name of Betsy Drake.  And the picture in which she is appearing - opposite Cary Grant, no less! - is a pleasant trifle called "Every Girl Should Be Married," which is a happy thought for Christmas, too.

Miss Drake's phenomenal ascendance from obscurity to a leading role is itself a sort of Christmas story.  It seems that she met Mr. Grant while the two were over in London a couple of years ago.  She was playing in the London company of the American play, "Deep Are the Roots," and Mr. Grant was reportedly intrigued by her evident talent and charm.

Anyhow, when she came home to this country, she went to Hollywood, called Mr. Grant, who arranged a screen test for her, and - P.S. She got this job.

And it's easy to see why she earned it.  For not only does she display a refreshingly natural comic spirit in this fanciful girl-gets-boy lark, but she shows a surprisingly perseverance in pursuing the dictates of the plot.  As a highly resourceful young store-clerk who diligently and systematically goes about trapping a marriageable doctor on whom she has settled her choice, Miss Drake is disarmingly forthright yet frighteningly predatory, too.  Anyone with so much resolution couldn't help but get her man - or a role.

Withal, she is foxily amusing - and just a bit poignant, as well - in the clearly contrived manipulations which the script has arranged for her.  Frank in the manner of moderns, not pretty but glowing with health, and gaily adroit in her handling of the animal known as man, Miss Drake gives considerable promise of more formidable triumphs on the screen.

That wouldn't be too difficult, if the script which she has in this case were the measure of her limitations.  It's a notably small-scale job in which the delicate voice of the turtle is heard in more ways than one.  (Perhaps that is why Miss Drake is vaguely reminiscent of Margaret Sullivan.)  One long and generally ingenious pursuit of Mr. Grant is the substance of the picture which Don Hartman has written, directed and produced.

As the mere prey in the story, Mr. Grant is the substance of the picture which Don Hartman has written, directed and produced.

As the mere prey in the story, Mr. Grant does his usual polished job of holding himself at arm's length until the order comes to give in.  Diana Lynn, Eddie Albert and Franchot Tone are very minor in minor roles.  It is three-quarters Miss Drake's picture.  And she makes a tidy little thing of it. 

- by Kathy Fox

Cary Grant met Betsy Drake, a fledgling actress, aboard the Queen Mary on his return trip from England in 1947.   Drake stayed in New York with no luck trying to get into the theatre there, and so Cary invited her to California and took her under his wing and got her a screen test with Dore Schary.  Grant gave Betsy EVERY GIRL SHOULD BE MARRIED and made it her film, even though she was far down in the credits.  They began to fall in love, and a year later after its debut in 1948 on Christmas Day, probably at Radio City Music Hall in New York, Cary and Betsy were married on December 25, 1949.  She had taken good care of him when he became ill while making I WAS A MALE WAR BRIDE and this brought them closer.  This would be Cary's longest marriage, lasting almost thirteen years, but they separated in 1958, and were not divorced until August 14, 1962.  They, however, remained very good friends.  EVERY GIRL SHOULD BE MARRIED, is what every woman would hope to have happen to her.  And no doubt by all accounts, there should be millions of Cary Grant's walking around for us gals to marry!  Cary plays Dr. Madison Brown who is a pediatrician and a confirmed bachelor.  Betsy plays Julie Hudson, a employee at Roger Sanford's Department Store.  She meets Dr. Brown at the magazine section of a drugstore and decides that he is the man for her.  She delves into his past, his former lovers, everything that he does on a day-by-day basis and sets out to trap him.  She plays Dr. Brown against Roger Sanford, making each believe she is interested in the other man, each of them supplying the necessary competition of course.  Betsy and Cary were dating during this film and their attraction to each other comes across on the screen.  The movie is cute with Cary at his finest.  He had some of the lines rewritten to fit her quirky personality.  Girl gets boy in the end, after bringing a third party, Old Joe, into the picture to make Madison Brown jealous a second time.  Julie pulls out all the stoppers to get her man.  I am pretty sure that when Betsy points to Mary Nell's picture hanging on the wall, that this is a picture of Betsy Drake when she was a child.  We should all be so lucky to be able to land Cary Grant, only in our dreams, obviously, though.  Naturally, this is a neat film for the entire family. 

- by Mary Matthews
At the beginning of Every Girl Should Be Married, Annabel Simsí friend tells her, "You canít change the world."

"Why not? Why canít we ask them out? Why canít we take them for drives in the country?" Anabel asks.

"And run out of gas?" Her friend asks.

"Maybe". Annabel smiles.

Played by Betsy Drake, who in real life costarred in Cary Grantís longest running marriage, Annabel may lack Grace Kellyís flawless beauty or Katherine Hepburnís aristocratic carriage but sheís like the "Seabiscuit" of Cary Grant costars. Sheís a girl

whose quality is mostly in her heart. And her heart wants Dr. Madison Brown, who is of course played by Cary Grant.

"Why I think thatís the most wonderful thing a man can be!" Annabel practically shouts when she learns Dr. Madison Brown is a pediatrician. She assembles data about Dr. Madison Brown with the zeal of a Goldman Sachs' analyst researching multinational companies. For Annabel, marriage to Dr. Madison Brown is the Holy Grail.

She concocts a plan. If she can convince Dr. Brown, he has a formidable competitor, he will propose. The best formidable competitor is her wealthy boss, played by Franchot Tone, who believes that she must really want wonderful him and that sheís just using Madison as a ruse to marry her boss.

Itís easy to characterize Annabel as a stalker but I think the movie is a fantasy that should be considered in the context of its time. Every Girl Should Be Married came out in 1948. Only a few years earlier, WWII ended and women pilots, who had flown proudly for the WASPs, were reduced to flight attendants. Women executives were told to clean out their desks and fetch coffee for the men who took their jobs. Even though professional doors shut, the seeds of feminism had been sown. Annabel wants to know: Why canít women just pursue who they want? Just like men do.

Cary Grantís eyes spark when he looks at Betsy Drake. This movie captures that

how did I get so lucky adoration of two people falling in love.

And when there are problems along the way, Annabel tells her friend: "You know something about being a girl? You just never give up. You take every little defeat and twist it around and around, until it becomes one great big victory."

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