Dear Ruth

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Dear Ruth
Movie poster
Directed by William D. Russell
Produced by Paul Jones
Written by Norman Krasna (play)
Arthur Sheekman
Starring Joan Caulfield
William Holden
Mona Freeman
Edward Arnold
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • June 10, 1947 (1947-06-10)
Running time
95 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $3.8 million

Dear Ruth is a 1947 romantic comedy film starring Joan Caulfield, William Holden, Mona Freeman, and Edward Arnold. It was based on the Broadway play of the same name by Norman Krasna. A teenage girl has a soldier for a pen pal, but uses her older sister's name and photograph. Then the man shows up while on a two-day leave.



Dear Ruth
Written by Norman Krasna
Date premiered 13 December 1944
Place premiered Henry Millers Theatre, Broadway
Original language English
Genre Comedy
Setting The living-room of the Wilkins home, Kew Gardens, Long Island. Late Summer, 1944.

Norman Krasna had written a serious play, The Man with Blond Hair, which received a tepid response. He says Moss Hart suggested he write a commercial comedy instead along the lines of Junior Miss. Krasna based the family in the play on that of Groucho Marx, who was a good friend and occasional collaborator.[1] The play was named in honour of Krasna's first wife, Ruth.[2]

The original production of the play was directed by Moss Hart and starred John Dall. It was a large success, running for 680 performances.[3]

Film rights were sold for a reported $450,000 with the proviso that it any movie not be made until the play finished a two year run.[4][5]

In 2011 there was a well-received revival in New York City by the off-off-Broadway company Retro Productions which was nominated for a New York Innovative Theatre Awards in Scenic Design.


As part of the purchase price for the play, Paramount had the rights to use the characters for a sequel.[6]


  1. ^ *McGilligan, Patrick, "Norman Krasna: The Woolworth's Touch", Backstory: Interviews with Screenwriters of Hollywood's Golden Age, University of California Press,1986 p218, 226
  2. ^ Norman Krasna's Wife Is Awarded Divorce, The Washington Post (1923–1954) [Washington, D.C] 28 Apr 1950: 3.
  3. ^ Dear Ruth at Playbill
  4. ^ SCREEN NEWS: 'DEAR RUTH' IS BOUGHT FOR REPORTED $450,000 Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923–Current file) [New York, N.Y] 08 Feb 1945: 14.
  5. ^ Biggest Film Firm: Paramount's Puzzler: Will Attendance Slide Be Brief or Prolonged? Takes Precautions: Markets Borderline Movies, Keeps Best in 9-Month Backlog Televised Newsreels Tried Paramount Pictures' Puzzler: Will Drop In Attendance Be Brief Or Prolonged? Company Is Taking Precautions Markets Borderline Movies, Keeps Best in 9-Months Backlog; Pre-Tests Films BY JOSEPH W. TAYLOR Staff Correspondent of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Wall Street Journal (1923 - Current file) [New York, N.Y] 21 July 1947: 1.
  6. ^ PARAMOUNT PLANS 'DEAR RUTH' SEQUEL: Studio's Production 'Dear Wife' Will Use Available Members of Original Film's Cast By THOMAS F. BRADYSpecial to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 06 Dec 1947: 11.

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