My Bill

My Bill is a 1938 drama film starring Kay Francis as a poor widow raising four children. It was based on the play Courage by Tom Barry.[1]

My Bill
Kay Francis in the film trailer
Directed byJohn Farrow
Produced byBryan Foy
Written byVincent Sherman
Robertson White
George Bilson
contribution to treatment
Lee Katz
contribution to scr constr
Milton Gropper
Based onplay Courage by Tom Barry
StarringKay Francis
Bonita Granville
Music byHoward Jackson (uncredited)
CinematographySidney Hickox
Edited byFrank Magee
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • July 9, 1938 (1938-07-09)
Running time
60-65 minutes
CountryUnited States


Mary Colbrook is a widowed mother with four children. She struggles to provide for them financially.



The film was based a 1928 play by Tom Barry, called Courage. Warners had previously filmed it in 1930 under that title with Belle Bennett. The number of children in the play was eight; this was reduced to four.

It was the first movie Kay Francis made for Warners' B unit under Byrnie Foy. Francis was being paid a high salary and Warners were keen for her to quit but she refused in order that she could still get her salary. She would make five films for him in all.[2]

Vincent Sherman said he had to rewrite the script in only a few days - he was given the play on Thursday and he handed in a script on Monday.[3]

John Farrow was attached to direct in March 1938.[4] Farrow later said he directed Francis by polite but businesslike suggestions, Louise via picturesque comments that would amuse her and arouse her imagination, Granville needed encouragement and praise, and Bobby Jordan required occasional sarcasm.[5]

The film was popular enough to be adapted for radio in Hollywood Hotel in 1939 and Lux Radio Theatre in 1941.


The Los Angeles Times called it "pure, unadulterated hokum" which "will get to you sure as blazes".[6]


  1. My Bill at Kay Francis Films Archived 2014-04-05 at the Wayback Machine accessed 16 March 2014
  2. "My Bill". Turner Classic Movies.
  3. Davis, Ronald L. (2005). Just Making Movies. University of Mississippi Press. p. 89.
  4. NEWS OF THE SCREEN: Horton Added to 'Holiday' at Columbia--'Courier de Paris' at Metro--Three New Films Here Today The Toy Wife" at Metro Of Local Origin Coast Scripts Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]19 Mar 1938: 10
  5. Director Tells Psychology of Direction Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]13 July 1938: 12.
  6. KAY FRANCIS PLAYS MOTHER OF FAMILY IN "MY BILL" Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]14 June 1938: 8.

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.