6.1/10
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13 user 5 critic

Having Wonderful Time (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 1 July 1938 (USA)
Teddy Shaw, a bored New York office girl, goes to a camp in the Catskill Mountains for rest and finds Chick Kirkland.

Director:

Alfred Santell

Writers:

Arthur Kober (stage play: New York), Arthur Kober (screen play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ginger Rogers ... Teddy Shaw
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Chick Kirkland
Peggy Conklin ... Fay Coleman
Lucille Ball ... Miriam
Lee Bowman ... Buzzy Armbruster
Eve Arden ... Henrietta
Dorothea Kent ... Maxine
Red Skelton ... Itchy (as Richard 'Red' Skelton)
Donald Meek ... P.U. Rogers
Jack Carson ... Emil Beatty
Clarence Wilson ... Mr. G (as Clarence H. Wilson)
Allan Lane ... Maxwell Pingwell aka Mac
Grady Sutton ... Gus
Shimen Ruskin ... Shrimpo
Dorothy Tree ... Frances
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Storyline

Ginger Rogers, an overworked New York office girl, seeks 2 weeks of rest and relaxation at a camp in the Catskills. She is definitely not a happy camper because of the crowded and noisy conditions. She tries her best to fit in and, after an initial dislike, falls for college educated Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., a waiter at the camp. Ginger becomes suspicious of his motives, however, and he becomes alarmed when she spends an innocent night in the cabin of a rival suitor. All ends happily, however, as their love proves true enough and trust triumphs over suspicions. Written by Jim Corrigan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

1 July 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Having a Wonderful Time See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$966,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film flopped at the box office, resulting in a loss to RKO of $267,000 ($4.7M in 2018) according to studio records. See more »

Goofs

In the final dining room scene, Teddy refers to Emil multiple times as EE-mul, but Emil refers to himself as AY-mul. Both are accepted pronunciations of the name (though neither is consistent with its feminine counterpart, Emily), but a single pronunciation should have been agreed on for the film. See more »

Quotes

Teddy Shaw: If you think I'm going to listen to any more propositions, you're crazy.
Chick Kirkland: This isn't a proposition. This is a proposal. The ring. The minister. The works.
Teddy Shaw: Oh, and I suppose you think just because I just lost my reputation, I would be glad to marry the first fellow that comes along.
See more »


Soundtracks

Heigh Ho
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Frank Churchill
Lyrics by Larry Morey
Sung a cappella by the party guests with modified lyrics
Whistled by Lucille Ball
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Jewish Alps Go Goy
25 March 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Arthur Kober's play Having Wonderful Time was fresh from its Broadway run of 372 performances for 1937-38 when RKO bought it to the screen starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Ginger Rogers. The play was a homage to the Catskill resort area so frequented by New York's Jewish population because of restrictions on other vacation areas. The area with its own Jewish owned and operated resorts became popularly known as the Jewish Alps.

On Broadway John Garfield and Katharine Locke starred, but for the screen RKO used two of its best contract players of the time Fairbanks and Rogers. According to Salad Days the memoir of Fairbanks, both he and Rogers did use proper Brooklyn and Bronx accents in their characters, but after the audiences in Red State America had trouble understanding them, both he and Ginger were called back and dubbed a whole lot of their lines in more generic tones.

By the way Fairbanks could and did use a really good New York type accent in Angels On Broadway a few years later.

A whole lot of outstanding character players are in Having Wonderful Time like Eve Arden, Donald Meek, Lee Bowman, Jack Carson, and Lucille Ball. Making his screen debut as the camp social director where we got to see some of his Catskill type shtick was Red Skelton.

Having Wonderful Time is a good screen comedy, showing off Fairbanks and Rogers to their best advantage. But I would probably have liked to have seen the film done as it was presented on Broadway. The days of the great Jewish resorts of the Catskills are gone now so it's highly unlikely we'll see a remake of Having Wonderful Time. An opportunity to have preserved a piece of history is now gone unfortunately.


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