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It Happens Every Thursday

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It Happens Every Thursday
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoseph Pevney
Written byLeonard Praskins
Barney Slater
Screenplay byDane Lussier
Based onJane S. McIlvaine
(Based upon the novel by)
Produced byLeonard Goldstein
StarringLoretta Young
John Forsythe
CinematographyRussell Metty
Edited byFrank Gross
Color processBlack and white
Universal International Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • April 22, 1953 (1953-04-22)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States

It Happens Every Thursday is a 1953 American comedy film directed by Joseph Pevney and starring Loretta Young, John Forsythe, and Frank McHugh, loosely based on the 1951 autobiographical book of the same title by Jane S. McIlvaine. It was Loretta Young's final theater-released film, as she switched to television work after this movie. The film cost $617,085 to make, with Young receiving $75,000 for her appearance.[1] After It Happens Every Thursday, Young took a 33-year hiatus from film work of any kind until 1986 when she starred in the TV movie Christmas Eve directed by Stuart Cooper.[2]

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A married couple, Bob and Jane MacAvoy (Loretta Young and John Forsythe), and their son, Stevie (Harvey Grant), sell everything and move out to California to buy and start up a newspaper company, the Eden Archive. To the surprise of the MacAvoys, the Eden Archive is a bit worse for wear. A pregnant Jane MacAvoy begins to go into labor and gives birth in the upstairs of the Eden Archive to the couple’s second child: a daughter. To kickstart their paper, Jane has the idea of putting baby pictures of townspeople in the paper and let people take a shot at who the babies are as a guessing game, making the paper exponentially more popular. This turns into a location guessing game in which a picture of a mansion was shown on the front page. The mansion, unbeknownst to the MacAvoys, is now a prostitution house run by an old lady, Mrs. Holmes (Gladys George), whom the townspeople are not too keen on. This edition of the paper is flamed by the town, leading to the loss of a large number of subscriptions.

Jane, while canvassing the town's businesses to persuade them to purchase ads in the paper, runs into Myron Trout (Willard Waterman), the owner of a clothing store and presumed villain of the story, whom makes flirtatious advances toward her. Jane quickly rejects the advances and moves on, much to Trout's chagrin.

The MacAvoys decide to socialize within the clubs of the town to gain more supporters. The couple also does a drawing for a new car to anyone who subscribes, leading to even more subscriptions. A drought has been going on for months in Eden, so Bob MacAvoy, after promising in the newspaper to bring rain, intends to employ his Air Force flying experience to use dry ice and cumulous clouds induce rain in Eden. In fact, it starts raining before Bob can conduct his experiment, but Jane, seeing the rain outside, reports in the newspaper that Bob made the rain appear. The rain stays for several days after, flooding the streets, and the town blames Bob for the disaster.

Myron Trout, still upset about Jane's rejection, attempts to get the mayor to kick the MacAvoys out of town. The town holds a meeting asking Bob to reimburse them for rain damage. Bob decides to take his old job back in NYC and the MacAvoys are about to leave when the town has a change of heart and a meteorologist that Jane phoned came and explained that Bob did not in fact cause the rain. The MacAvoys decide to stay in town and buy a new press, continuing the Eden Archive.

The title "It Happens Every Thursday" comes from a line and trope within the film in which their printing press breaks down every Thursday on printing day.



The film was met with generally positive reception as a feel-good story that was fine for the whole family. In the film review journal Harrison's Reports, P.S. Harrison states: "A pleasing and amusing comedy-drama that should give good satisfaction to the general run of audiences, particularly the family trade."[3]

In the Motion Picture Herald, it's mentioned that It Happens Every Thursday was "An excellent small town picture. Not particularly strong box office, but all those who saw it enjoyed it."[4]


  1. ^ Dick p.168
  2. ^ Cooper, Stuart (1986-12-22), Christmas Eve (Drama), Michael Filerman Productions, Republic Television, retrieved 2021-12-13
  3. ^ Harrison, P.S. (April 18, 1953). "It Happens Every Thursday" with Loretta Young and John Forsythe". Harrison's Reports: 1 – via Lantern.
  4. ^ Quigley Publishing Co. (1953). "What the Picture did for me". Motion Picture Herald.


  • Dick, Bernard F. Hollywood Madonna: Loretta Young. University of Mississippi Press, 2011.

External links

This page was last edited on 12 June 2023, at 21:39
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