You Came Along

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You Came Along
You Came Along FilmPoster.jpeg
Film poster
Directed by John Farrow
Produced by Hal B. Wallis
Screenplay by Robert Smith (original)
Ayn Rand (rewrite)
Based on "Don't Ever Grieve Me" by Robert Smith
Starring Robert Cummings
Lizabeth Scott
Don DeFore
Music by Victor Young
Cinematography Daniel L. Fapp
Edited by Eda Warren
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • August 2, 1945 (1945-08-02) (Los Angeles)
  • September 14, 1945 (1945-09-14) (U.S.)
Running time
102–103 minutes
Country United States
Language English

You Came Along is a 1945 romantic comedy-drama set in World War II. The original Robert Smith screenplay was rewritten by Ayn Rand. Directed by John Farrow, the film stars Robert Cummings and in her film debut, Lizabeth Scott.

An Army Air Force officer, Robert Collins, tries to hide his terminal medical condition from his handler, Ivy Hotchkiss, a US Treasury public relations flack, whom he just met before a war bond drive. They become romantically involved, agreeing it's "just fun up in the air." Then she finds out the truth and makes a fateful decision to make the most of the little time they have together.


I. V. Hotchkiss[edit]

The film opens with a stanza from the poem "The Sermon of St. Francis" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

"He giveth you your wings to fly
And breathe a purer air on high,
And careth for you everywhere,
Who for yourselves so little care!"[1]

During World War II, three highly decorated US Army Air Force officers return to Washington, D.C. after a tour of duty in Europe—Major Robert "Bob" Collins[2] (Robert Cummings), Captain W. "Shakespeare" Anders (Don DeFore) and Lieutenant R. "Handsome" Janoschek (Charles Drake). Shakespeare and Handsome are assigned to fly cross-country on a Beechcraft 18, doing a war bond tour[3] for the Seventh War Loan of U.S. Treasury Department,[4] but without Bob, who protests. Despite misgivings of Collins' medical officer, he allows Bob to accompany Shakespeare and Handsome.

Ivy's truce with Handsome, Bob and Shakespeare

In a running gag, the three officers are expecting to meet "I. V. Hotchkiss," their chaperone from the Treasury Department.[5] During a press conference at the airport, Bob slips away from the reporters to find Mr. Hotchkiss. Bob and Hotchkiss "meet cute" in a manner typical of "screwball comedies' of the 1930s,[6] Hotchkiss turning out to be a beautiful young woman named Ivy (Lizabeth Scott), whose name was misspelled in Bob's orders. Ivy explains that her boss was injured in a car accident on the way to the airport, so she is his replacement. Bob is incredulous at the idea of an ingénue being the chaperone of three older men, but Ivy stands her ground. Despite being miffed at Bob's patronizing attitude, she complies with his request for a "briefing room." The airport manager tries to warn Ivy that her charges have the appearance of being "wolves," but Ivy replies "But I don't happen to be Little Red Riding Hood." When she returns to the room, she breaks up the kissing session between the officers and their girlfriends and drags the unwilling men to the plane. Although Ivy is at first stern and commanding, her demeanor defrosts somewhat on the flight to Boston. During the temporary truce, Bob nicknames Ivy "Hotcha."[7]

Moment of truth[edit]

In Boston, the three officers slip away from the bond drive committee, forcing Ivy to retrieve the officers from a local nightclub, where she finds them partying with showgirls in a dressing-room. Kristine Miller made her film debut as the showgirl wearing Bob's cap and mistakes Ivy as "Mrs. Collins."[8] Despite warming up to Ivy, Bob still regards her as a killjoy, but the bond drive must go on. Back at the hotel, due to a mixup, Bob ends up undressing for bed in Ivy's room, unaware that she is already asleep in bed. After Ivy's shock of waking up to the sight of Bob in his underwear, Shakespeare and Handsome rush into Ivy's room, adding to the chaos.

During the flight to Chicago, Ivy discovers that Shakespeare has an injured shoulder and Handsome has a prosthetic leg. But when she inquires about Bob's state of health, the two men become sullen and evasive. In Chicago, Shakespeare and Handsome attend a fashion show, where they pay for an expensive dress 50/50 and send it to Ivy—with a card signed "Anonymous" twice, due to Handsome's insistence that he is entitled to an "Anonymous" too. Later she and the three officers go to a nightclub, where Ivy and Bob dance to the film's theme song, Out of Nowhere (1931)—retitled You Came Along for the film—sung by Helen Forrest. During the dance, the pair fall in love.

Moment of truth

In Seattle, while in a café with Shakespeare, Ivy sings Out of Nowhere as she plays the piano. By happenstance, a flight surgeon, Colonel Stubbs (Rhys Williams), passes by and recognize Shakespeare. During the ensuing conversation, Stubbs mentions treating an unnamed Air Force officer for a mysterious malady, which turned out to be leukemia. Although Shakespeare tries to pretend that Stubbs' patient died two weeks previously, Ivy guesses the patient is really Bob and that he does not have long to live.[9] She now realizes why Shakespeare and Handsome never leave Bob alone—they do not want Bob to think about his impending death.

No good-byes[edit]

In Riverside, California, at the Fliers' Chapel at the Mission Inn,[10] Bob attends the wedding of Ivy's sister Frances (Kim Hunter), who marries a naval aviator named Bill Allen (Robert Sully), despite having to leave overseas for combat duty. Frances "tells Ivy that she would marry her navy husband even if she knew he would not return."[11] Inspired by her sister's example, Ivy marries Bob and the couple vow to live life to the fullest, as long as they can. They buy a house in Long Island, New York, near the airbase where Shakespeare, Handsome and Bob will be assigned. Shortly Bob is ordered to report to duty overseas. He tells Ivy that he is flying to London.

At the airfield, Bob and Ivy see each other off. While embracing Bob, Ivy spots Colonel Stubbs boarding Bob's flight. Then the truth of the situation hits her. But Bob and Ivy agree to "No good-byes" in an unsentimental parting uncharacteristic of "weepies" of the 1940s. After Bob's plane takes off, Ivy asks a ground crew member the direction of London—he points in the opposite direction of the flying plane. At home, Ivy calls Stubbs' office and finds out that he is traveling to Walter Reed Hospital, in Washington D.C. Stoically, Ivy goes along with the charade and receives letters bearing a British address, which "are cleared through a friend of (Bob's) in England..."[12] One afternoon, when Shakespeare and Handsome visit Ivy's house to take her out, she receives a telegram reporting Bob's death at the hospital.

"To the four of us"

After the funeral, Shakespeare and Handsome again stop by Ivy's house and the trio toast Bob. When an airplane buzzes the neighborhood, Ivy "hears” Bob's voice as if speaking from heaven.[13]




Smith and Rand[edit]

The first version of the screenplay was written by Robert Smith, based on his short story, Don't Ever Grieve Me, which became the working title for the film. But the producer, Hal Wallis, hired Ayn Rand to rewrite the script. Originally conceived by Rand as a Barbara Stanwyck vehicle,[14] Rand wrote "As to You Came Along, it was originally a very cute story—not profound—but clever and appealing."[15] However, Rand felt Smith's screenplay was badly written. "I kept whatever was good in the original script and wrote the rest; I got second credit which was fine even though I saved it."[16] The Bob Collins character was originally called "Ace" in the Smith–Rand screenplays.[17] Lizabeth Scott's own encounter with Rand would begin a lifelong friendship. Scott would later claim that Rand "was one of the few in Hollywood whom (Scott) felt understood her ability."[18]

Breen Office[edit]

The Production Code Administration subjected the screenplay to censorship from the start. Much concern was shown for the "immoral" heterosexual behavior of the three Air Force officers, as well as the alleged homosexuality of the Franklin Pangborn character. As Britain was a close ally of the US during the war, the American censors were concerned by the anglophobia displayed in the film and warned Paramount that the film would be censored by the British Board of Film Censors.[19]


"To remind audiences that You Came Along heralded an actress's debut, (Hal Wallis) added a separate credit to the main title: Introducing Lizabeth Scott."[20] At the age of 22 in her film debut, Lizabeth Scott was already an experienced stage actress, but was met with skepticism by the production crew. Despite Scott's initial difficulties with Cummings,[21] she soon gained his respect with her performance and force of personality. After shooting, Cummings even went out of his way to quench rumors that he would never work with Scott again.[22] Cummings and Scott would again costar in Paid in Full (1950). However, Scott never made any headway with the director, John Farrow. Farrow lobbied for Teresa Wright and when he did not get her, he made his displeasure known to Scott throughout the shoot.[23] You Came Along, remains, however, Scott's favorite of all the films she made.[24]

Production ran February 6–April 6, 1945.[25]

A Beechcraft Model 18-S airplane was reproduced by the Beech Aircraft Corporation for the air scenes, which were shot at the Metropolitan Airport in Van Nuys, California. Julie Bishop was the wife of the film's technical advisor, Colonel Clarence A. Shoop. "Robert Cummings was on leave from the Army Air Corps as a civilian flight instructor to make the film. Director John Farrow, who was sent home wounded in 1941 with the rank of commander in the Canadian Navy, was recalled to service after the completion of this film."[26] Edith Head designed Lizabeth Scott's wardrobe.[27] Head would continue as Scott's principal dress designer to the end of Scott's film career in the late 1950s.

The film premiered in Los Angeles on August 2, 1945.[28]


The theme song of the film, Out of Nowhere (1931), was composed by Johnny Green, with lyrics by Edward Heyman. The song previously appeared in Paramount's western comedy Dude Ranch (1931). The first line of the original lyrics was changed from "You came to me out of nowhere" to "You came along out of nowhere," which provided the title of the 1945 film.[29] A recording sung by Helen Forrest and sheet music were released by Paramount in 1945, both renamed in movie tie-ins, You Came Along (Out of Nowhere). Though Forrest sung the original lyrics in the film and on the record, the changed lyrics appeared in the sheet music and is "sung by an offscreen chorus over the final scene and end title."[30] In the café scene with Don DeFore, Lizabeth Scott herself sings Out of Nowhere as she plays the piano. This would be the first and last time Scott would be permitted in Hollywood to be heard singing with her real voice, despite voice training beginning in childhood.[31] Her singing would be dubbed in all her succeeding films, invariably being dubbed by Trudy Stevens.[32]


To promote the film, Lizabeth Scott and Don DeFore reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on January 7, 1946, starring Van Johnson in the Cummings role. George N. Neise played Janoschek.[33]


Crowther and Thomas[edit]

The most prominent critic of the era, Bosley Crowther of The New York Times, was negative on You Came Along: "To a new and quite clearly inexperienced little actress named Lizabeth Scott is given the job of making the girl in the story seem real. Except that Miss Scott has a fragile and appealingly candid face, she had little else, including script and direction, to help her toward that end. Robert Cummings is glibly mechanical as the hero who is tragically doomed, and Don DeFore and Charles Drake are average cut-ups as his Rover Boyish wolfing-drinking pals."[34] When Crowther's review appeared, Scott recalled, "Being very young and naïve at the time, I didn't know you weren't suppose to do such things, so I called him up and complained. I told him how hard everyone worked to make such a beautiful movie, and I couldn't understand how he could be so cruel. I must say he took it awfully well, and was very kind to me."[35]

During the shooting of You Came Along, Hal Wallis showed Scott's screen test to Hollywood columnist Bob Thomas. Almost four months before the release of Scott's first film, Thomas' March 16, 1945 column was the first to make an unfavorable comparison between Lauren Bacall and Scott, thus beginning a critical trend to marginalize Scott in favor of Bacall: "Her throaty voice may well make Lauren Bacall sound like a mezzo soprano."[36][37][38] The Thomas meme would continue to haunt Scott's reputation decades later.[39][40][41]

Other critics[edit]

Despite the attacks of Crowther and Thomas, most critics of the period were positive, praising the film, Robert Cummings' performance and welcoming Hal Wallis' new discovery, Lizabeth Scott.[42][43][44][45] Time described Cummings' performance as "almost flawless."[46]


  1. ^ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Nabu Press, March 4, 2010), The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "The Sermon of St. Francis," p. 328
  2. ^ Leonard Maltin (Plume; revised edition, September 30, 2003), Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide 2004 (Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide), p. 1588. The name of the character played by Robert Cummings, "Bob Collins," was also the name of the character he would portray in his popular television series, The Bob Cummings Show, which ran from 1955-59. In the series, his character was a former World War II pilot.
  3. ^ James R. Greenwood (March 1960), "Meet Bob Cummings...Actor, Pilot, Businessman," p. 56. In real life Robert Cummings toured the US during the war selling bonds.
  4. ^ Anonymous (Sunday, September 16, 1945), "Fast Moving Comedy At Calhoun, Ritz," The Anniston Star (Alabama), p. 11
  5. ^ Bernard F. Dick (The University Press of Kentucky, May 21, 2004), Hal Wallis: Producer to the Stars, p. 101
  6. ^ Tamar Jeffers McDonald (Stacey Abbott, Deborah Jermyn, editors; Falling in Love Again: Romantic Comedy in Contemporary Cinema; I. B. Tauris, March 17, 2009), "Engendering Change in Contemporary Romantic Comedy," p. 149
  7. ^ [1] AFI (accessed March 9, 2015), You Came Along, Catalog of Feature Films
  8. ^ Bernard F. Dick (The University Press of Kentucky, May 21, 2004), Hal Wallis: Producer to the Stars, p. 111. Kristine Miller had only one line. "Since (Miller) made her screen debut in the same film as Lizabeth Scott, their careers intersected at various points..." Miller and Scott would be cast together in four more films.
  9. ^ [2] AFI (accessed March 9, 2015), You Came Along, Catalog of Feature Films
  10. ^ James R. Greenwood (March 1960), "Meet Bob Cummings...Actor, Pilot, Businessman," p. 56. Cummings married actress Mary Elliott at the real Fliers' Chapel on March 3, 1945. The chapel depicted in the film was a replica.
  11. ^ Christine Dietrich (Fordham University Press, April 15, 2005), Army GI, Pacifist CO: The World War II Letters of Frank Dietrich and Albert Dietrich (World War II: the Global, Human, and Ethical Dimension), p. 258
  12. ^ Gita Bumpass (Sunday, September 16, 1945), "You Came Along "Nice, Tearful,'" The Ailene Reporter–News (Abilene Texas), p. 6
  13. ^ [3] AFI (accessed March 9, 2015), You Came Along, Catalog of Feature Films
  14. ^ Karen Burroughs Hannsberry (McFarland & Company, 1998), Femme Noir: Bad Girls of Film, p. 446
  15. ^ Ayn Rand; Michael S. Berliner, editor, (Plume; reprint edition, February 1, 1997), Letters of Ayn Rand, p. 232
  16. ^ Barbara Branden (Anchor; new edition; August 18, 1987), The Passion of Ayn Rand, p. 192
  17. ^ [4] David P. Hayes (accessed March 9, 2015), "Sustaining One’s Fervor: You Came Along," The Motion Picture Production Code
  18. ^ [5] Scott Holleran (February 6, 2015; accessed March 9, 2015), "Thoughts on Lizabeth Scott," Scott Holleran. Writer
  19. ^ [6] David P. Hayes (accessed March 9, 2015), "Sustaining One’s Fervor: You Came Along," The Motion Picture Production Code
  20. ^ Bernard F. Dick (The University Press of Kentucky, May 21, 2004), Hal Wallis: Producer to the Stars, p. 101
  21. ^ Jimmie Fidler (Sunday, January 13, 1946), Jimmie Fidler In Hollywood, Monroe Morning World (Monroe, Louisiana), p. 4. Fidler and other Hollywood columnists reported feuding between Cummings and Scott on the set.
  22. ^ Erskine Johnson (Friday, November 23, 1945), Hollywood, Rhinelander Daily News (Rhinelander, Wisconsin), p. 4
  23. ^ Bernard F. Dick (The University Press of Kentucky, May 21, 2004), Hal Wallis: Producer to the Stars, p. 100
  24. ^ [7] Carole Langer (Soapbox & Praeses Productions, 1996; accessed May 23, 2014), Lizabeth Scott 1996 Interview Part 4 of 8. Scott as late as her 1996 interview remembered John Farrow's hostility toward her on the set.
  25. ^ [8] AFI (accessed March 9, 2015), You Came Along, Catalog of Feature Films
  26. ^ [9] AFI (accessed March 9, 2015), You Came Along, Catalog of Feature Films
  27. ^ Edith Head, Paddy Calistro (Dutton Adult; 1st edition; October 25, 1983), Edith Head's Hollywood, p. 199
  28. ^ [10] AFI (accessed March 9, 2015), You Came Along, Catalog of Feature Films
  29. ^ Alan Warner (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, February 1986), Who Sang What on the Screen, p. 32
  30. ^ [11] David P. Hayes (accessed March 9, 2015), "Sustaining One’s Fervor: You Came Along," The Motion Picture Production Code
  31. ^ James Robert Parish (Arlington House, 1972), The Paramount Pretties, p. 519
  32. ^ Robert Miklitsch (Rutgers University Press, February 1, 2011), Siren City: Sound and Source Music in Classic American Noir, p. 219
  33. ^ Connie J. Billips, Arthur Pierce (McFarland; reprint edition; October 19, 2011), Lux Presents Hollywood: A Show-by-Show History of the Lux Radio Theatre and the Lux Video Theatre, 1934-1957, p. 343
  34. ^ [12] Bosley Crowther (July 5, 1945; accessed May 23, 2014) "You Came Along (1945) THE SCREEN; A Story Imitative," The New York Times (New York City, New York)
  35. ^ Burt Prelutsky (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, November 3, 2012), Sixty Seven Conservatives You Should Meet Before You Die, p. 470
  36. ^ Bob Thomas (Friday, March 16, 1945), "Hollywood—It Takes A Spark To Make A Star," Big Spring Weekly Herald (Big Spring, Texas), p. 14. Wallis told Thomas: "Notice how her eyes are alive and sparkling ... Once in a while she reads a line too fast, but direction will cure that. That voice makes her intriguing."
  37. ^ Gita Bumpass (Sunday, November 25, 1945), "Three First-Run Pictures Offered on Abilene Screen," Abilene Reporter-News (Abilene, Texas), p. 12
  38. ^ Rebel Hope (Sunday, May 11, 1947), On Film Fare, Abilene Reporter-News (Abilene, Texas), p. 88
  39. ^ Barry Monush (Applause, April 1, 2003), Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors, Vol. 1: From the Silent Era to 1965, pp. 669–670
  40. ^ Tom Milne, John Pym (Penguin Books, 2007), Time Out Film Guide, Volume 15, p. 275
  41. ^ Pauline Kael (Henry Holt and Company, May 15, 1991), 5001 Nights at the Movies, p. 179.
  42. ^ Betty Gose (Friday, September 21, 1945), "Pathos and Gaiety Artfully Combined To Make 'You Came Along' Showing Now At the Paramount," Amarillo Daily News (Amarillo, Texas), p. 23
  43. ^ Dick McCrone (Saturday, September 22, 1945), HomeTown Fan Fare, The Evening News (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), p. 7
  44. ^ Anonymous (Saturday, November 24, 1945), "'You Came Along' Tender Love Story Stars Cummings–Scott–DeFore," The Index-Journal (Greenwood, South Carolina), p. 4
  45. ^ Scott Rafferty (Sunday, February 3, 1946), "Bob Cummings Returns to Screen In Hal Wallis' 'You Came Along," Pampa Daily News (Pampa, Texas), p. 11
  46. ^ Anonymous (Time, Inc., v. 46, 1945), "Cinema," Time (New York City, New York), p. 86

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