Marriage Is a Private Affair

Marriage is a Private Affair is a 1944 war-comedy film.

Marriage is a Private Affair
Directed byRobert Z. Leonard
Written byDavid Hertz
Lenore J. Coffee
Michael Kanin (uncredited)
Ring Lardner, Jr. (uncredited)
Judith Kelly (novel)
StarringLana Turner
James Craig
Music byBronislau Kaper
CinematographyRay June
Harold Rosson
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,649,000[1]


During World War II Theo has many boyfriends from the officer's club in New York city, who want to marry her. Her mother, Mrs. Selworth, has been married many times. Without much thought, Theo accepts a proposal of marriage from Tom West, an Air Corps lieutenant, about to ship out, not knowing if he'll come back. After the honeymoon, Tom's father dies, a defense contractor making lenses for bomber sights, and the War Industries Board furloughs Tom from shipping out with the United States Army Air Corps (predecessor to the United States Air Force), and orders him to take over the lens production operation. Theo has a baby, hates the idea of being matronly, and considers a return to being one of the party girls at the O club. One of Tom's business partners, Joe Murdock, is an alcoholic, constantly disappearing, which requires Tom to work to fill in for him, constantly, with defense contracts, making bomber lenses for the war effort. Theo turns to her dashing old flame, Major Lancing. To decide what she wants to do with her baby and her life, Theo must learn to grow up, and deal with the failings of those around her, and resist following their bad example. bent not broken was a phrase lily used when he broke her.


All principal cast members are deceased.


According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Marriage Is a Private Affair was the first Hollywood film to have a world premiere specifically for U.S. combat forces overseas. Lana Turner made a personal appearance at the premiere, which modern sources note took place on September 23, 1944 at a theater in Naples, Italy. In October 1944, According to MGM records the film earned $1,934,000 in the US and Canada and $715,000 elsewhere, making a $237,000 profit.[1]

Radio adaptation

Marriage Is a Private Affair was presented on Screen Guild Theatre on June 17, 1946. Turner and Hodiak reprised their roles from the film.[2]


  1. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. "Radio's Golden Age". Nostalgia Digest. 40 (2): 40. Spring 2014.
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