6.9/10
952
28 user 6 critic

H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941)

A man who lived his life as he was was told he should, not as he would have chosen to, is brought out of his shell by a beautiful young woman.

Director:

King Vidor

Writers:

John P. Marquand (novel), Elizabeth Hill (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Hedy Lamarr ... Marvin Myles
Robert Young ... Harry Pulham
Ruth Hussey ... Kay Motford
Charles Coburn ... Mr. Pulham Sr.
Van Heflin ... Bill King
Fay Holden ... Mrs. John Pulham
Bonita Granville ... Mary Pulham
Douglas Wood Douglas Wood ... Mr. Bullard
Charles Halton ... Walter Kaufman
Leif Erickson ... Rodney 'Bo-Jo' Brown (as Leif Erikson)
Phil Brown ... Joe Bingham
David Clyde ... Hugh the Butler
Sara Haden ... Miss Rollo
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Storyline

Fortysomething, blue blooded Boston born and bred, Harvard educated businessman Harry Pulham leads a regimented, routinized life with his wife, the former Kay Motford, who he's known since childhood. Harry outwardly believes he is all the more happy because of the way his life is, which was somewhat predetermined as part of his upbringing. This day, he receives two telephone calls which make him examine his life. The first is from Bo-Jo Brown, a Harvard colleague who is heading a twenty-five year reunion committee, with Harry foisted into the job of writing attendee biographies, which is to include his own. The second is from Marvin Myles, a former work colleague from his time over twenty years ago at the J.T. Bullard Advertising Agency in New York City, that job which Harry got from his more liberally minded Harvard friend Bill King. The result of these two telephone calls makes Harry wonder if he is happy, if he is or ever was in love with Kay, and if he never was if he would have ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

MILLIONS HAVE READ IT!..A Book-Of-The-Month selection...as a Readers' Digest story...as a McCall Magazine serial. (original 6x7.5 newspaper ad) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

13 August 1942 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Sol de Outono See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to contemporary pre-production articles in The Hollywood Reporter, Herbert Marshall was slated for the title role. See more »

Goofs

The flashback scenes in a taxi take place in 1919, however, the footage through rear-projection through the back window of the cab clearly show late 1930s automobiles. See more »

Quotes

Kay Motford Pulham: What were you and Ruth Quila talking about.
Harry Moulton Pulham: About sex! I don't see why she has to talk about it at the dinner table.
Kay Motford Pulham: Well, her husband's a psychologist.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in We Must Have Music (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Where Do We Go From Here
(1917) (uncredited)
Music by Percy Wenrich
Lyrics by Howard Johnson
Whistled by Robert Young
Sung a cappella by Van Heflin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good Performance By Hedy!
17 November 2005 | by wndlzSee all my reviews

Hedy Lamarr gave a good performance here. No over-acting, but subtle and with a contemporary feel. This was a difficult role. Marvin Myles, without having the bitch on wheels histrionics of Bette Davis or Joan Crawford, was a beautiful and independent woman, who not only survived but actually thrived in a 'man's world'. This was a performance was balanced and sensitive. I think if George Cukor or William Wyler had handles the directorial reigns here, the results would could have made this a memorable films. As it is, it good. One has to remember that in 1941, this is still a period piece, and if one looks deep enough, there's a lot here that's worthwhile. Too bad that modern audiences seem to rely on non-stop action, and don't seem to have the attention span that this kind of movie requires. It's a pity than at least half a Valium is required to enjoy the warmth that is presented here.


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