B.F.'s Daughter

B.F.'s Daughter is a 1948 drama film directed by Robert Z. Leonard and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Van Heflin. It is adapted from John P. Marquand's 1946 novel of the same name, about a prominent couple whose marital tensions come to a boiling point during World War II. The book was controversial for its treatment of social conflicts and adultery, but the movie is a sanitized and fairly conventional love story.

B.F.'s Daughter
Directed byRobert Z. Leonard
Produced byEdwin H. Knopf
Written byLuther Davis
Based onthe novel B.F.'s Daughter
by John P. Marquand
StarringBarbara Stanwyck
Van Heflin
Music byBronislau Kaper
Clifford Vaughan
CinematographyJoseph Ruttenberg
Edited byGeorge White
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • April 2, 1948 (1948-04-02) (United States)
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,910,000[1]

The movie was released in the UK as Polly Fulton, because "B.F." is a euphemism for "bloody fool."[2]


Polly Fulton is the only daughter of rich industrialist B.F. Fulton. She is involved in a long engagement to lawyer Bob Tasmin, a pleasant, dependable gentleman who has the full approval of her family. Then she meets brash intellectual Tom Brett, who blames many of the world's problems on the rich. Tom and Polly heartily dislike each other at first, but she finds him exciting compared to the likable "stuffed shirt" Bob. Soon Tom and Polly fall passionately in love and get married.

Tom has a tense relationship with Polly's family from the start. And when he gradually realizes that his in-laws are using their connections to advance his career, he is not grateful but bitter. Polly is painfully torn between her strong-willed husband and her devoted father, whom everyone calls "B.F."

When World War II arrives, Tom takes a high-level civilian position in Washington, doing work that he cannot talk about. He and Polly rarely see each other and begin to lead separate lives. Two wartime developments eventually bring the relationship to a crisis point. Polly hears a rumor that Tom is having an affair. And she is stunned by a news report that Bob Tasmin, now a dashing military officer happily married to Polly's best friend, has apparently been killed on a mission behind enemy lines. As the truth about both situations is revealed, Polly and Tom will finally confront their own problems face to face and learn what they really mean to each other.



The film earned $1,449,000 in the US and Canada and $461,000 elsewhere, recording a loss of $565,000.[1][3]

Radio adaptation

On December 11, 1950, Lux Radio Theater broadcast a radio adaptation of B. F.'s Daughter with Barbara Stanwyck reprising her role in the film.[4]


  1. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. Roger Fristoe. "B. F.'s Daughter (1948)". Turner Classic Movies.
  3. "Top Grossers of 1948", Variety 5 January 1949 p 46
  4. IMDB entry
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