Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Philip Dunne|
|Produced by||Herbert B. Swope, Jr.|
|Written by||Philip Dunne|
|Based on||Hilda Crane
by Samson Raphaelson
|Music by||David Raksin|
|Edited by||David Bretherton|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$1 million (US rentals)|
Hilda Crane (also known as The Many Loves of Hilda Crane) is a 1956 American drama film made by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Philip Dunne and produced by Herbert B. Swope, Jr. from a screenplay adapted by Dunne from the play by Samson Raphaelson. The music score was by David Raksin and the cinematography by Joseph MacDonald. The film was made in Technicolor and Cinemascope.
In the five years since she left Winona, her hometown, Hilda Crane has been divorced twice and acquired quite a dubious reputation. She returns from New York to a scolding mother, who hopes Hilda will have the good sense to marry successful builder Russell Burns and finally settle down.
A former professor and lover, Jacques DeLisle, is still holding a grudge because Hilda left him for an athlete. Although she doesn't love Russell, she resists and resents Jacques' aggressive romantic advances. She accepts a proposal of marriage from Russell, who intends to build her a new house.
Warned by a friend about Russell's possessive mother, including her way of feigning a heart condition, Hilda declines a $50,000 bribe from Mrs. Burns to leave town. She leaves the old woman slumped in a chair and proceeds to the church for the wedding. Mrs. Burns was not pretending this time, however, and has died.
Months later, still living in her mother-in-law's house, Hilda has begun to drink while Russell becomes indifferent to her and morose. A day comes when Hilda's mother castigates her again and she can take no more. Hilda swallows a bottle of sleeping pills, intent on committing suicide. But she survives, and is cheered by Russell's promise to restore their love and start building their new house.
The original play by Samson Raphaelson, Hilda Crane, on which the film is based had its first performance on Broadway on November 1, 1950 at the Coronet Theatre, in a production directed by Hume Cronyn and designed by Howard Bay. Jessica Tandy starred as Hilda Crane. Also in the cast were John Alexander, Beulah Bondi, Frank Sundstrom, Evelyn Varden, and Eileen Heckart. Of the stage cast, only Evelyn Varden appears in the film.
- Jean Simmons - Hilda Crane
- Guy Madison - Russell Burns
- Judith Evelyn - Mrs. Crane
- Evelyn Varden - Mrs. Burns
- Gregg Palmer - Dink
- Richard Garrick - Dr. Francis
- Jim Hayward - Mr. Small
- Don Shelton - Caterer
- Helen Mayon - Maid
- Jay Jostyn - Minister
- Peggy Knudsen - Nell Bromley
- Jean-Pierre Aumont - Jacques De Lisle
- Marie Blake - Clara
- 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
- 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1956', Variety Weekly, January 2, 1957