Molly and Me
|Molly and Me|
|Directed by||Lewis Seiler|
|Produced by||Robert Bassler|
|Written by||Roger Burford
|Based on||Molly, Bless Her
by Frances Marion]
|Music by||Cyril J. Mockridge|
|Cinematography||Charles G. Clarke|
|Edited by||John W. McCafferty|
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation|
|Release dates||25 May 1945|
|Running time||76 min.|
Molly and Me is a 1945 American comedy film directed by Lewis Seiler and released by 20th Century Fox. The screenplay was based on the novel written by Frances Marion and adapted by Roger Burford. It starred Monty Woolley, Gracie Fields, Reginald Gardiner and Roddy McDowall.
Struggling theatre actress Molly Barry (Gracie Fields) grows tired of the hopeless search for acting roles and instead applies for a job as housekeeper at the upscale Graham mansion. Since she doesn't have any housekeeping references, she convinces a friend and ex exotic dancer, Kitty Burroughs (Natalie Schafer), to act as a fake reference. She informs her friends and fellow actors, Lily (Queenie Leonard) and Julia (Edith Barrett), at the boardinghouse where she lives about her plans.
To Molly's surprise, the Graham household butler, Peabody (Reginald Gardiner), shows up at the boardinghouse without prior notice to interview her. Molly acts convincingly as an experienced housekeeper, but after a while she recognizes the familiar face of the man interviewing her. It turns out to be former actor Harry Phillips, who left the profession because of his drinking problems. Discovering this, Molly is certain that she will get the position, but Peabody doesn't want another former actor in the household.
Desperate to get the job, Molly tricks Peabody into a pub and gets him hammered. She brings the half-unconscious man back to the Graham house, and tells John Graham (Monty Woolley), the head of the household, that Peabody has hired her. When Peabody comes to his senses he sees no other way than to play along.
The normally reserved John takes a liking to Molly and her cheerful personality, whereas the rest of the staff does not, feeling threatened by her presence and effect on their master. John is discussing with an old friend, Jamie McDougall (Gordon Richards), the possibility of him returning to serve in the parliament. John is reluctant to go back, but Jamie tries to convince him otherwise. John's previous career as a politician ended in disgrace when his wife left him for another man.
John is still convinced to go to Suffolk to meet the party members, and he brings Peabody with him on the trip. While they are gone, Molly finds out that the staff are stealing supplies from the household and ordering a surplus to bring home to their own families. When she confeonts them about this, they all quit and leave her to run the household all on her own.
Frem an old newspaper clip found in the chimney while cleaning, Molly learns about John's ex-wife and her lover, who apparently went abroad after they were discovered.
That night John's teenage son Jimmy (Roddy McDowall) unexpectedly returns home from his prep-school. Jimmy suffers from a fever and Molly takes care of him. Jimmy tells Molly all about his father, and how he believes his mother died when he was little. He is convinced John doesn't like him very much because he reminds him of his mother.
The next day a telegram arrives, telling Molly to start preparing for a dinner in the evening, where an important man of influence, Sir Arthur Burroughs (Lewis L. Russell), publisher of a big London newspaper, will be guest. To pull off the preparations, Molly hires her friends from the boardinghouse to help out.
When Peabody recognizes the new staff members upon his arrival, he is shocked, but has no alternative than to continue playing along, since he wants to avoid a scandal. The dinner goes as planned and John is very pleased with their work. Before John goes to bed, however, he overhears Jimmy making a mockery of him in front of Molly, and John becomes very upset. He takes it out on Jimmy, and fires Molly when he hears that she and the rest of thestaff are actors. Before Molly leaves, she raises her voice against John, telling him that he is a bad father.
Everything calms down by the next morning, when Jimmy apologizes for his insolence and John agrees to re-hire Molly and the rest of the staff. But Mrs. Graham suddenly returns from abroad, and intends to blackmail her former husband, using Molly as her pawn. Molly plays along and says she will bring the money to Mrs. Graham at a hotel she is staying at, just to get rid of her.
Molly talks to John and straightens him out when it comes to being a father. When he has repented she agrees to help him get Mrs. Graham off his back. Molly uses her friends to play a trick on Mrs. Graham, letting her believe she has committed a murder. Afraid to get caught, Mrs. Graham flees the country again, while Jimmy and John are out reconciling at a restaurant. When they get back, Molly and John stay up and talk that night in the kitchen.
- Monty Woolley as John Graham
- Gracie Fields as Molly Barry
- Reginald Gardiner as Harry Phillips/Peabody, The Butler
- Roddy McDowall as Jimmy Graham
- Natalie Schafer as Kitty Goode-Burrows
- Edith Barrett as Julia
- Clifford Brooke as Pops
- Aminta Dyne as Musette
- Queenie Leonard as Lily
- Doris Lloyd as Mrs Graham
- Patrick O'Moore as Ronnie
- Lewis L. Russell as Sir Arthur Burroughs
- David Clyde as Angus, the Gardener
- Matthew Boulton as Sergeant
- Molly and Me at the Internet Movie Database
- Molly and Me is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- Molly and Me at AllMovie
- Molly and Me at the TCM Movie Database
- Molly and Me at the American Film Institute Catalog