Seven Days' Leave (1942 film)

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Seven Days' Leave
Directed byTim Whelan
Written byWilliam Bowers
Ralph Spence
Curtis Kenyon
Kenneth Earl
Produced byTim Whelan
StarringLucille Ball
Victor Mature
CinematographyRobert De Grasse
Edited byRobert Wise
Music byRoy Webb
Distributed byRKO
Release date
  • November 13, 1942 (1942-11-13) (U.S.)[1]
Running time
82 min
Box office$1.2 million (US rentals)[3]

Seven Days' Leave is a 1942 musical comedy about a soldier (Victor Mature) who has seven days to marry an heiress (Lucille Ball) in order to inherit $100,000.[4]


Army privates Johnny Grey, Speak Jackson and Buddy "Clarky" Clark were members of the Les Brown band before they joined the army. When they are granted seven days' leave before shipping out, they attend an old Les Brown concert, where Johnny renews his romance with band performer Mapy Cortés.

Johnny then discovers that he is heir to his great-grandfather's $100,000 fortune. Overwhelmed with excitement, Johnny promises to buy Mapy a diamond engagement ring. Johnny goes to New York to claim his inheritance, accompanied by Clarky, Jackson, and their friend Bitsy. Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, the representative of the estate, tells Johnny that he must marry a descendant of the Havelock-Allen family in order to collect his inheritance.

Johnny is reluctant to do so until he meets Terry Havelock-Allen, the wealthy and glamorous elder daughter of the family. However Terry is engaged to financial advisor Ralph Bell.

Johnny pursues Terry. He has Jackson, an amateur impressionist, lure Ralph out of town by impersonating Ronald Colman and Lionel Barrymore on the telephone requesting his financial advice. Johnny takes Terry on a date to a radio broadcast of Truth or Consequences, and the next day takes her on a picnic. Terry and Johnny kiss but she then orders her butler to throw Johnny out of the house. Terry's younger sister Mickey thinks Terry should marry Johnny and not Ralph.

Mapy breaks off her relationship with Johnny, realising he is in love with someone else. Mickey tells Johnny that Terry is in love with him.

Terry is contemplating eloping with Ralph when Johnny arrives and they kiss. The two decide to get married. But before Johnny has the chance to tell Terry about the terms of his great-grandfather's will, Gildersleeve blurts out the details of their business arrangement, causing Terry to break it off with Johnny.

Ralph discovers that Jackson has been impersonating film stars. Ralph slugs Jackson and Johnny, a fight ensues and the military police arrive and arrest Jackson, Bitsy, Clark and Johnny.

The next day, the four soldiers watch from their jail cell as their company ships out to Japan. However Mapy explains the situation to Terry, who then forgives Johnny.

Johnny and Terry get married, the four privates rejoin their company aboard ship and say goodbye to their women.



The film was the idea of RKO executives.[5] It was originally known as Sweet or Hot.[6] Filming took place in June 1942.[7] According to Hedda Hopper, Victor Mature, Lucille Ball and Tim Whelan had a massive fight on set which held up filming for an hour.[8]

The film features the casts of several popular NBC Golden Age of Radio shows of the time. Tim Whelan discovered Marcy McGuire singing in a nightclub in Chicago. He arranged for a screen test and cast her in the film.[9]


Music by Jimmy McHugh

Lyrics by Frank Loesser


Box office[edit]

The film was a hit at the box office and earned RKO a profit of $673,000.[10]


Seven Days' Leave led to a follow-up film about the navy, Seven Days Ashore (1944).[11]


  1. ^ "Seven Days' Leave: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  2. ^ McDonagh, Fintan (7 July 2021). Edward Dmytryk: Reassessing His Films and Life. McFarland. p. 45. ISBN 9781476680927.
  3. ^ "101 Pix Gross in Millions" Variety 6 Jan 1943 p 58
  4. ^ "Movie Review". The New York Times. 11 December 1942.
  5. ^ Schallert, Edwin (July 7, 1942). "DRAMA: British Producer Will Glorify Women Here". Los Angeles Times. p. 8.
  6. ^ Schallert, Edwin (July 17, 1942). "DRAMA: Tracy, Beery to Costar; Lang 'Hangman' Guide". Los Angeles Times. p. A11.
  7. ^ "Of Local Origin". New York Times. June 5, 1942. p. 23.
  8. ^ Hopper, Hedda (July 18, 1942). "Looking at Hollywood". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 13.
  9. ^ Melrose Gower. (Sep 17, 1942). "Screen Tests All or Nothing, According to Circumstances". The Washington Post. p. B11.
  10. ^ Richard B. Jewell, Slow Fade to Black: The Decline of RKO Radio Pictures, Uni of California, 2016
  11. ^ Schallert, Edwin (May 8, 1943). "DRAMA AND FILM: Marcy McGuire Lead in 'Seven Days Ashore' Sonny Tufts Wins Role in 'Dr. Wassell;' Albert Dekker to Play Bat Masterson". Los Angeles Times. p. 7.

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