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Please Believe Me

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Please Believe Me
Theatrical poster
Directed byNorman Taurog
Written byNathaniel Curtis
Produced byVal Lewton
StarringDeborah Kerr
Robert Walker
Mark Stevens
Peter Lawford
CinematographyRobert H. Planck
Edited byFerris Webster
Music byHans J. Salter
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • May 12, 1950 (1950-05-12)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$769,000[1]

Please Believe Me is a 1949 American romantic comedy film directed by Norman Taurog, and starring Deborah Kerr, Robert Walker, Mark Stevens and Peter Lawford.

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Alison Kirbe is a young London girl who has just found out she has inherited a Texas ranch from an old soldier she had befriended during World War II. Mistakenly assuming she is now the owner of a small empire, she crosses the Atlantic Ocean by ship. On her way, she meets Terence Keath, a fellow passenger heavily in debt to casino owner Lucky Reilly. To pay off his debts, he attempts to marry rich and starts to seduce Alison, as he thinks she is a wealthy heiress. Another person who is attracted to Alison is Jeremy Taylor, a millionaire bachelor who is accompanied by his attorney Matthew Kinston.

The following days she enjoys the attention she is receiving from Terence, Jeremy and Matthew, but rejects them all. She feels most attracted to Matthew, but he mistakenly confronts her for being part of a scheme. Trying to hurt Matthew, she borrows money from Terence and buys an expensive present for Jeremy, while posing as a wealthy heiress. After arriving in America, Alison decides to stay in New York for a week before traveling to Texas. Matthew, meanwhile, tries to find more information on the ranch she has inherited, which makes him suspect her of scheming Jeremy all the more.

Matthew confronts Alison at a casino, where she is gambling with Terence and Jeremy. He soon apologizes, however, and they kiss not much later. Terence and Jeremy, who are witnesses of the kiss, are shocked that she prefers a penniless attorney over them. The next day, Matthew finds out Alison's ranch is not worth anything and accuses her again of swindling Jeremy. Alison bursts out in tears, angry at Matthew for turning an honest and good-hearted inheritance into a supposed scheme. That night, Alison finds out about Terence's financial situation and tries to help him out by offering Reilly to pay off Terence's debts.

It proves unnecessary, though, as Jeremy is prepared to pay for the entire debt. Afterwards, the three men rush to the hotel, where they propose to Alison all at the same time. Alison enthusiastically accepts Matthew's proposal and the other men soon move on, hitting on other women only moments later.



The film was Val Lewton's first and only film for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.[2] He joined the studio in 1948, hired by Louis B. Mayer after an unhappy period of working at Paramount. Lewton developed a film called Wild Oranges which was never made. He was then assigned to this film by Dore Schary, who had become head of production; the film was based on an original story by Schary.

The movie was a devised as a vehicle for Deborah Kerr. MGM was so satisfied with the script, that they offered to raise the budget and replace Kerr with June Allyson, who was more famous by that time.[2] Lewton insisted on keeping Kerr, however.[2]

On May 29, 1949, it was announced Norman Taurog was set to direct the film.[3] By that time, Kerr , Robert Walker and Peter Lawford were already cast.[3] On June 14, 1949, Van Johnson was assigned in the remaining male lead, with shooting beginning a month later.[4]

Filming started with Johnson, but he was replaced by Mark Stevens in August 1949, as Johnson was reportedly needed for the lead in The Big Hangover. Stevens was borrowed from 20th Century Fox.[2]

Lewton left MGM in 1949.



Variety called it a "wacky, slightly diverting comedy".[5]

Box Office

According to MGM records, the film only earned $577,000 in the US and Canada and $192,000 overseas, resulting in a loss of $609,000.[1]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. ^ a b c d "Notes for Please Believe Me (1950)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2024-04-04.
  3. ^ a b Brady, Thomas F. (May 25, 1949). "TAUROG TO DIRECT COMEDY AT METRO; Will Handle Reins on 'Please Believe Me' for Studio -- 'Borderline' to Start". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
  4. ^ "VAN JOHNSON GETS METRO FILM LEAD; Named for Role in Taurog's 'Please Believe Me' -- Color Firm Splits Its Stock". The New York Times. June 15, 1949. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
  5. ^ "Please Believe Me". Variety. 15 March 1950. p. 12.

External links

This page was last edited on 4 April 2024, at 18:34
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