Seven Days' Leave (1942 film)

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Seven Days' Leave
Directed by Tim Whelan
Produced by Tim Whelan
Written by William Bowers
Ralph Spence
Curtis Kenyon
Kenneth Earl
Starring Lucille Ball
Victor Mature
Cinematography Robert De Grasse
Edited by Robert Wise
Production
company
RKO
Distributed by RKO
Release dates
  • November 13, 1942 (1942-11-13) (U.S.)[1]
Running time
82 min
Language English
Box office $1.2 million (US rentals)[2]

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.[3]

Plot[edit]

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 Cortes.

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 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.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was the idea of RKO executives.[4] It was originally known as Sweet or Hot.[5] Filming took place in June 1942.[6] According to Hedda Hopper, Victor Mature, Lucille Ball and Tim Whelan had a massive fight on set which held up filming for an hour.[7]

The film features the casts of several popular NBC 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.[8]

Reception[edit]

Box Office[edit]

The film was a hit at the box office and earned RKO a profit of $673,000.[9]

Sequel[edit]

It led to a follow up movie about the navy Seven Days Ashore.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Seven Days' Leave: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved April 14, 2014. 
  2. ^ "101 Pix Gross in Millions" Variety 6 Jan 1943 p 58
  3. ^ Seven Days' Leave at New York Times
  4. ^ DRAMA: British Producer Will Glorify Women Here Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 07 July 1942: 8.
  5. ^ DRAMA: Tracy, Beery to Costar; Lang 'Hangman' Guide Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 17 July 1942: A11.
  6. ^ Of Local Origin New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 05 June 1942: 23.
  7. ^ Looking at Hollywood Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 18 July 1942: 13.
  8. ^ Screen Tests All or Nothing, According to Circumstances By Melrose Gower. The Washington Post (1923-1954) [Washington, D.C] 17 Sep 1942: B11.
  9. ^ Richard B. Jewell, Slow Fade to Black: The Decline of RKO Radio Pictures, Uni of California, 2016
  10. ^ DRAMA AND FILM: Marcy McGuire Lead in 'Seven Days Ashore' Sonny Tufts Wins Role in 'Dr. Wassell;' Albert Dekker to Play Bat Masterson Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 08 May 1943: 7.

External links[edit]