The Revolt of Mamie Stover (film)

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This article is about the film. For the novel, see The Revolt of Mamie Stover.
The Revolt of Mamie Stover
Revolt of mamie stover.jpeg
Original film poster
Directed by Raoul Walsh
Produced by Buddy Adler
Screenplay by Sydney Boehm
Based on The Revolt of Mamie Stover novel 
by William Bradford Huie
Starring Jane Russell
Richard Egan
Joan Leslie
Agnes Moorehead
Music by Hugo Friedhofer
Cinematography Leo Tover
Edited by Louis R. Loeffler
Distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox
Release date(s)
  • May 11, 1956 (1956-05-11)
Running time 92 min
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2 million[1]
Box office $2 million (US rentals)[2]

The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956) is a romantic drama film made by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation. It was directed by Raoul Walsh and produced by Buddy Adler from a screenplay by Sydney Boehm, based on the novel of the same name by William Bradford Huie.The film stars Jane Russell and Richard Egan, with Joan Leslie, Agnes Moorehead, and Michael Pate. The music was by Hugo Friedhofer and the cinematography by Leo Tover, with costume design by Travilla.

The film adaptation of the novel downplays its critique of Hollywood and the film industry. Elizabeth Cowie in Woman as Sign used this film as the basis for a critique of Claude Lévi-Strauss' analysis of the exchange of women in kinship systems.


Set in 1941, the film focuses on Mamie Stover (Jane Russell), a San Francisco prostitute who is chased away from the city by several policemen. Sent away on a freighter to Honolulu, she meets Jim Blair (Richard Egan), a successful writer who thinks of Mamie as a Cinderella-like beauty. Flattered, Mamie enjoys not being associated with her former occupation and falls in love with the man. A shipboard romance is cut short when Mamie notices Jim being welcomed ashore by his sweetheart Annalee (Joan Leslie).

As they part, Jim lends Mamie $100 to help her build a career. Afterward, she visits an old friend, Jackie Davis (Jorja Curtright), who introduces her to Bertha Parchman (Agnes Moorehead), the mean-spirited owner of a honky-tonk. Even more cold-hearted is Bertha's vicious and sadistic manager Harry Adkins (Michael Pate), who thinks nothing of the hostesses working at the club. Mamie applies for a job, although according to the thirteen rules restricting prostitutes in Honolulu, she is not allowed to have a boyfriend, visit Waikiki Beach, or open a bank account.

Sometime later, Mamie has earned enough money to pay back her debt to Jim, and she invites him to the club. Jim learns that Mamie has become the main attraction of the club, and acquired the nickname "Flaming Mamie". Mamie is disappointed by Jim's disapproval, and rejects an offer to return to the mainland. She convinces him to rekindle their affair. This puts a strain on his relationship with Annalee, who is jealous of the amount of attention that Jim is giving Mamie. In the meantime, she persuades Jim to write a check to her father on her behalf. Seeing a response addressed to "Mrs. Jim Blair" upsets Jim, but he reluctantly agrees to go along. Later he supports Mamie when Harry beats her up for going out with him.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor temporarily fades the personal setbacks that Mamie is enduring. She purchases a piece of land cheaply and rents it out. In his return, Jim responds to Pearl Harbor by enlisting the infantry. Shortly before leaving, he convinces Mamie to marry him after World War II and to leave the honky-tonk. Returning to the club to announce her resignation, Mamie finds out that Harry has been fired for encounters with the military police. Bertha, fearing the loss of the club's biggest attraction, promises to make Mamie a star and offers her half of the profits, as well as a possibility to deceive Jim.

Misleading Jim does not work, though, as someone sends him a promotional poster of Mamie, posing for a club performance. Before he can respond, he is hit and wounded by a bomb. When granted convalescent leave, he returns to Hawaii to confront Mamie. After an argument, Jim concludes that their lives are too different and leaves her for good. Heartbroken, Mamie leaves Hawaii. In San Francisco as a rest stop, she tells a police officer that she has lost a fortune and is returning to her hometown of Leesburg, Mississippi.[3]



In May 1955, it was reported that 20th Century Fox had bought the rights to Huie's novel of the same name.[4]

The role of Mamie Stover was originally intended for Marilyn Monroe, though a script had not been written yet in September 1955 when she was linked to the project. When she turned it down, the role was offered to Jane Russell, whose confirmation was reported in November 1955. Lana Turner was considered for the lead role, but an extended vacation prohibited her from taking the part.[5] Joan Leslie was assigned to co-star in December.[6]

Russell was originally supposed to wear a red wig for the film. Learning that her eyebrows had to match the coloring, she decided to dye both her hair and eyebrows.[7] Filming took place partially on location in Honolulu. The remainder of the scenes were shot on the lot of Fox. The film was Joan Leslie's final film appearance before retiring from the screen.


  1. ^ Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p250
  2. ^ 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1956', Variety Weekly, January 2, 1957
  3. ^ The Revolt of Mamie Stover, Turner Classics
  4. ^ "McCambridge in 'Giant;' Harvey, Conte Deals Set; 'Bride of India' Bought" by Edwin Schallert, Los Angeles Times, May 18, 1955. p. 7
  5. ^ Louella Parsons, "Jane Russell Gets Marilyn's Role," Milwaukee Sentinel, November 5, 1955. p. 14
  6. ^ "SIMENON TO EARN $3,000 DAILY WAGE; Prolific Novelist Is Planning 15-Day Task of Adapting 'Hitch Hikers' for Film", The New York Times, December 2, 1955. p. 32
  7. ^ "Jane Russell To Be Redhead In Next Movie", TimesDaily, December 6, 1955. p. 4 (section two).

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