Miss Susie Slagle's

Miss Susie Slagle's is a 1946 American drama film directed by John Berry. It was based on the popular novel by Augusta Tucker. The film was Berry's directorial debut and first starring role for Joan Caulfield.[1]

Miss Susie Slagle's
Directed byJohn Berry
Produced byJohn Houseman
Written byHugo Butler
Anne Froelick
Adrian Scott
Theodore Strauss
Story byAugusta Tucker (Novel)
StarringVeronica Lake
Sonny Tufts
Lillian Gish
Music byDaniele Amfitheatrof
CinematographyCharles Lang
Edited byArchie Marshek
Distributed byParamount Pictures (original), Universal Pictures (current)
Release date
  • February 6, 1946 (1946-02-06)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States

Plot summary

A nursing student falls in love with a young medical intern in 1910 Baltimore, but their lives start to fall apart when he catches a deadly disease.

Principal cast

Veronica LakeNan Rogers
Sonny TuftsPug Prentiss
Joan CaulfieldMargaretta Howe
Lillian GishMiss Susie Slagle
Lloyd BridgesSilas Holmes
Bill EdwardsElijah Howe, Jr.
Billy De WolfeBen Mead


Original Novel

Augusta Tucker's novel was published in 1939. Paramount paid $20,000 for the film rights.[2] The novel became a best seller.[3] A sequel came out in 1942, The Man Miss Susie Loved.[4]


In 1939 Martin Berkley was assigned to write the script.[5] John Cromwell was assigned to direct under the supervision of Arthur Hornblow.[6]

In January 1941 Paramount announced Jean Arthur would star and Sam Wood would produce and direct with Lorraine Nobel writing a script.[7] Jack Oakie was to play the comic male lead.[8] In May 1941 Irene Dunne was named as lead.[9] In June 1941 filming was postponed so Wood could make For Whom the Bell Tolls.[10]

John Houseman

In August 1943 the project was reactivated when Paramount head of production Buddy De Sylva have it to producer John Houseman, who had just made The Unseen for the studio. [11]

In January 1944 the project was officially put back on Paramount's schedule with a new screenplay done (Hugo Butler was borrowed from MGM to do this[12]) and Betty Field listed as star.[13] The novel was set in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins Hospital but references to that specific city and hospital were removed from the script. [14]


It was thought Houseman might get Orson Welles involved as a star or director. However Welles did not have anything to do with the film.

At one stage Harold Clurman was going to direct - he worked on the script - but left the project and in May 1944 signed a contract with RKO.[15][16].[17]

In June the job of directing was given to theatre director John Berry, who had worked with Houseman and Welles in the theatre. He had never made a movie before but Berry spent a number of months at Paramount observing other directors and filming screen tests to get experience.[18][14]


In April 1944 Sonny Tufts was signed for the male lead. Lilian Gish also joined the cast, making her first film in a number of years.[19] In July Joan Caulfield, who had enjoyed Broadway success in Kiss and Tell, was given the female lead, in her motion picture debut.[20] Veronica Lake joined the cast in August, along with Pat Phelan, who had been discovered doing theatre.[21] (Lake later said her role - along with ones in The Blue Dahlie, Out of this World and Hold That Blonde were "not noteworthy."[22]


Filming took place in November 1944. At one stage the film was going to be called The Golden Years but the title was changed back.[23] "I did 54 takes on my first shot," remembered Berry years later.[24]

Critical reception

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times thought the film was flawed but decent:

Radio adaptation

Miss Susie Slagle's was presented on Lux Radio Theatre October 21, 1946. Caulfield reprised her role from the film, and William Holden co-starred.[26]

TV Adaptation

The story was adapted for Lux Video Theatre in 1955 with Dorothy McGuire.[27]


  1. Erickson, Hal. "Miss Susie Slagle's > Overview". AllMovie. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
  2. Churchill, Douglas (14 August 1939). "News of the Screen: Philippine Official to View Goldwyn's 'Real Glory' That Drew Protests--Five Openings This Week At Paramount Studio Coast Scripts". New York Times. p. 17.
  3. THE BEST-SELLING BOOKS New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]10 Dec 1939: 124.
  4. Miss Susie Slagle: THE MAN MISS SUSIE LOVED. By Augusta Tucker. 510 pp. New York: Harper & Brothers. $2.75. Feld, Rose. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]01 Nov 1942: BR22.
  5. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: 'Quo Vadis' Is Scheduled by Metro for Production During the Winter 'WIZARD OF OZ' AT CAPITOL Premiere of Technicolor Film Today Features Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in Person By DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]17 Aug 1939: 23.
  6. Cromwell Will Direct 'Miss Susie Slagle's': Miss Field in 'Bridge' Lucille Ball Gets Lead Metro Bids Turrou Book Cabot Tests for 'Hawk' Truex 'Russell' Father Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (17 Jan 1940: 13.
  7. Jean Arthur Is Slated to Play Lead in 'Miss Susie Slagle's' -- New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]12 May 1941: 13.
  8. Lupe Velez, 'Big Boy' Teamed by Universal: Oakie May Do 'Slagle' Herbert Signs Contract Marx Bros. Will Split Thriller Pair Sought Eleanor Stewart Cast Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 28 Nov 1940: A10.
  9. Very Trim Allan Jones Now Straight Role 'Bet': Payne to Wallop Them Arthur May Silver Hair Morgan to Do Joan First Bonnell Leading Man Skater Belita Actress Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]12 May 1941: A10.
  10. Sam Wood to Direct 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' -- Four Films to Arrive in City This Week By DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL New York Times 9 June 1941: 24.
  11. SCREEN AND STAGE: Paramount Will Film 'The Griswold Story' Eva Gabor Named for 'Laura,' Unusual Mystery Thriller at 20th Century-Fox Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]03 Aug 1943: 10.
  12. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: William C. Menzies to Direct 'Gibson Girl' at RKO -- 'Spider Woman' at Rialto Today Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]14 Jan 1944: 16.
  13. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Paramount Will Film 'Susie Slagle's' -- Premiere Jan. 26 for 'No Greater Love' Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. New York Times 11 Jan 1944: 23.
  14. ONE OFF THE SHELF: After Six Years, Paramount Gets Around to Filming 'Miss Susie Slagle's' Revisions By IDWAL JONES. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]12 Aug 1945: X3.
  15. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Metro May Co-Star Sinatra in 'Anchors Aweigh' -- 'Curse of Cat People' at Rialto Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]03 Mar 1944: 18.
  16. Donald Cook of Stage 'Claudia' Movie-Lured: Donna Reed Awarded Idealistic Role in 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]03 Mar 1944: 11.
  17. John Berry: Man of principle McGilligan, Patrick. Film Comment; New York Vol. 31, Iss. 3, (May 1995): 46.
  18. 'Susie Slagle's' Role Likely for Lillian Gish: Frankie McGowan, Screen Unknown, Will Play Corbett in 'Great John L.' Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 4 Aug 1944: 10.
  19. Wallis Still Betwixt, Between on Signings: Korda Announces $140,000,000 Cinema Program for Metro's British Ally Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 18 Apr 1944: A10.
  20. Picture Plans The Christian Science Monitor 3 July 1944: 4.
  21. SCREEN NEWS: Dean Harens Gets Lead in Wanger's 'Salome' Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]04 Aug 1944: 10.
  22. Change of Pace in Roles Beckons Veronica Lake: Star to Pause at Career's Crossroads Roles to Shift for Veronica Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 8 July 1945: C1.
  23. 'Susie Slagle' In Production At Paramount By Frank Daugherty Special to The Christian Science Monitor. 10 Nov 1944: 4.
  24. He Ran All the Way To Paris--And Came Back Again: Movies By GUY FLATLEY. New York Times 26 May 1974: 109.
  25. Crowther, Bosley (1946-02-07). "Original ''New York Times'' review". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
  26. "Lux Star". Harrisburg Telegraph. October 19, 1946. p. 17. Retrieved September 29, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  27. FOX ADDING PLANT FOR TV RECORDING: Studio Schedules $500,000 Music-Scoring Building at Coast Video Center Special to The New York Times. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]14 Nov 1955: 53.
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