You Belong to Me (1941 film)

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You Belong to Me
You Belong to Me.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Wesley Ruggles
Produced by Wesley Ruggles
Screenplay by Claude Binyon
Story by Dalton Trumbo
Music by Friedrich Hollaender
Cinematography Joseph Walker
Edited by Viola Lawrence
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • October 22, 1941 (1941-10-22) (USA)
Running time
94 minutes
Country United States
Language English

You Belong to Me is a 1941 American romantic comedy film produced and directed by Wesley Ruggles and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda. Based on a story by Dalton Trumbo, and written by Claude Binyon, the film is about a wealthy man who meets and falls in love with a beautiful doctor while on a ski trip. After a courtship complicated by his hypochondria, she agrees to marry him on the condition that she continue to practice medicine. His jealousy at the thought of her seeing male patients, however, soon threatens their marriage. The film was released in the United Kingdom as Good Morning, Doctor, and was remade as Emergency Wedding in 1950.


Doctor Helen Hunt (Barbara Stanwyck) meets millionaire playboy Peter Kirk (Henry Fonda) in an unusual way—he crashes practically at her feet at a ski resort. He insists only she can treat his (minor) injuries and soon proposes marriage, which she accepts. On their wedding night, Helen is called away by a medical emergency. When she returns, Peter has fallen asleep. Peter becomes jealous and gets into confrontations with two of her patients, Robert Andrews (Gordon Jones) and Frederick Vandemer (Roger Clark). He is chagrined to learn that Vandemer had also staged a skiing accident to get to know Helen and Vandemer asked her to marry him.

Helen recruits Billings (Edgar Buchanan), Peter's groundskeeper, to try unsuccessfully to interest the idle Peter in gardening. After another very embarrassing altercation with Vandermer Peter gets a job as a tie salesman under the alias "John Jenkins" to try to please his wife. Peter finds he likes working and becomes ambitious. Helen is delighted and decides to retire and become a housewife. However, some of Kirk's co-workers at the department store recognize him and resenting him taking a job away from somebody who actually needs it. The incident results in his firing. Billings gives Peter an idea to create jobs with his money. Peter decides to buy a nearly-bankrupt hospital, which will require most of his income to keep running, and makes Helen the chief of staff.



The film opened on October 22, 1941 to positive reviews.

Bosley Crowther commented that "These tensile marital comedies, strung out on a very thin line, have a way of snapping in the middle unless written and acted to the hilt. This one is fortunate in having a smart script as foundation - bright and easy dialogue and cute situations. It is directed by Wesley Ruggles in a brisk and amiable style, and it is well supported by a cast including Fritz Feld, Edgar Buchanan and Melville Cooper. But the best thing about it is its principals, Mr. Fonda and Miss Stanwyck. He, with his loose-jointed blunderings and charming diffidence, and she with her forthright manner and ability to make a man forget are a right team for this sort of dalliance. You Belong To Me is a bit of well-turned fun."[1]

Variety also praised the performances of Fonda and Stanwyck, which "merit fulsome praise. Their strokes are keen and deft regardless of whether they're playing farce, romance, or the film's more serious moments. Fonda, cast as a rich playboy who suffers a skiing fall and recovers with a medical wife, proves again that he is endowed with a high flair for comedy." [2]


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