The Perfect Specimen

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The Perfect Specimen
The-perfect-specimen-1937.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Written by Norman Reilly Raine
Lawrence Riley
Brewster Morse
Fritz Falkenstein
Story:
Samuel Hopkins Adams
Starring Errol Flynn
Joan Blondell
Cinematography Charles Rosher
Edited by Terry O. Morse
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s)
  • October 23, 1937 (1937-10-23) (U.S.)
Running time 97 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Perfect Specimen is a 1937 film directed by Michael Curtiz. The film is based on a novel by Samuel Hopkins Adams.

Plot[edit]

Gerald Wicks, the heir to a large fortune, has never been outside the gates of his childhood estate. He goes on an adventure with newspaper reporter Mona Carter and they fall in love.

Cast[edit]

Original Novel[edit]

The Perfect Specimen
Author Samuel Hopkins
Language English
Genre comedy
Publisher New York Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date
1936
Pages 224

The book was based on a novel. The New York Times called it "a trifling little number. It reads like one of those old fashioned farce comedies... hammock reading for a hot afternoon."[1]

Production[edit]

The film was Flynn's first comedy starring role and the movie always seems to have been considered a vehicle for him.[2] He made it after holidaying in Europe.[3]

Warners originally sought Carole Lombard or Miriam Hopkins to play against Errol Flynn[4] and for a while it seemed Hopkins was set to co-star. However she turned down the role and Warners decided to look at players assigned to their contract roster. The two leading contenders were Olivia de Havilland and Joan Blondell;[5] it was thought the former was ideal if the role was played in a "romantic" way but the latter should be preferred it they wanted someone "pepful and sparkling".[6] Blondell was cast and filming started in May 1937.

Marie Wilson was meant to play a small role but was assigned to The Great Garrick instead.[7] Dennie Moore replaced Jane Wyman.[8]

Joan Blondell fell ill during filming but recovered.[9]

Reception[edit]

The New York Times called it a "light and unaffecting romantic comedy."[10]

May Robon's performance was highly praised in particular.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ PERFECT SPECIMEN By Samuel Hopkins 224 pp. New York Liveright Publishing Corporation. $2. F.T.M.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 17 May 1936: BR20.
  2. ^ Tony Thomas, Rudy Behlmer * Clifford McCarty, The Films of Errol Flynn, Citadel Press, 1969 p 58-59
  3. ^ NEWS OF THE SCREEN: ' Seventh Heaven' and 'Silent Barriers' Open Today-Dolly Haas to Bow in 'Absent Without Leave' News from Hollywood New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 25 Mar 1937: 29.
  4. ^ HUSTQN IS SLATED FOR NEW FILM ROLE: May Appear With Miss Rogers for R.-K.-O.--FirstScreenTest Passed by Mrs. Moody ZUKOR DINNER TONIGHT 1,000 to Help Mark Producer's 25th Year in PicturesFrohman to Attend Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 29 Mar 1937: 14.
  5. ^ NEW "TORCHY BLANE" AWAITING GLENDA FARRELL UPON RETURN: Gene Raymond to Act Again With Ann Sothern Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 12 May 1937: A10.
  6. ^ WILD TRIO JOIN "MAKE A WISH" AS BOBBY BREEN OPUS POSTPONED: Girls Debated for "Perfect Specimen" Role Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 07 May 1937: 19.
  7. ^ WARNERS TO STAGE PLAYS IN LONDON: Complete Plans to Produce in the Fall--Shows Later to Be Converted Into Films A PURCHASE BY GOLDWYN He Gets Screen Rights to 'The Duchess of Broadway'--Other Picture News News From Hollywood New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 12 June 1937: 8.
  8. ^ NEWS OF THE SCREEN: ' Slave Ship' Tonight at the Rivoli--Warner Standard May Fly Over Broadway in Autumn News From Hollywood New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 16 June 1937: 27.
  9. ^ DOUG FAIRBANKS, JR., WILL STAY IN HOLLYWOOD FOR HEPBURN COMEDY: Marla Shelton to Play "Star" in "Stand-In" Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 29 June 1937: 13.
  10. ^ THE SCREEN: With Errol Flynn as Exhibit A, the Warners Present 'The Perfect Specimen' at the Strand Theatre By FRANK S. NUGENT. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 28 Oct 1937: 29.
  11. ^ BEST PERFORMANCES IN CURRENT PICTURES Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 07 Nov 1937: C1.

External links[edit]