The Girl Most Likely

The Girl Most Likely (1958) is a musical and comedy film about a young woman who becomes engaged to three men at the same time. The film, a remake of Tom, Dick and Harry (1941), was directed by Mitchell Leisen, and stars Jane Powell, Cliff Robertson, and Keith Andes. The choreography is by Gower Champion.

The Girl Most Likely
theatrical release poster
Directed byMitchell Leisen
Produced byStanley Rubin
Written byPaul Jarrico
Devery Freeman
StarringJane Powell
Cliff Robertson
Keith Andes
Kaye Ballard
Tommy Noonan
Music byNelson Riddle
Bob Russell
Hugh Martin
Ralph Blane
CinematographyRobert H. Planck
Edited byDoane Harrison
Harry Marker
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Universal Pictures
Release date
  • February 5, 1958 (1958-02-05) (US)[1]
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States

This was the last film produced by RKO Radio Pictures and was distributed by Universal Pictures. It was also the final film directed by Leisen.


Dodie lives with her parents and dreams of marrying a millionaire. At home in California, near the ocean, her boyfriend Buzz is a real-estate agent of modest means. He proposes marriage and she accepts, but tells her pal Marge that she has doubts.

A yacht arrives, owned by wealthy Neil Patterson, which gets Dodie's fantasies going. She leaps into the water and swims to meet him. Asked on a date, Dodie is thrilled until she learns that the man isn't Neal at all but Pete, his poor mechanic.

It isn't long before Pete is smitten and proposes. He also infuriates Buzz by pretending to buy a house and bringing Dodie along as his fiancee.

A drunk Neil has an accidental meeting with Dodie and invites her onto the yacht. At first, she's annoyed by his advances, but in Tijuana, she gets tipsy and has a great time. Neil is the rich suitor of her dreams, one who even buys a taxi rather than just hailing a ride from one.

After being out till 4 a.m., Dodie is brought home by Neil, only to find Buzz and Pete impatiently waiting on her doorstep. Asking time to sleep on a decision, Dodie tells them the next morning that she has made her choice: Neil.

The guys reluctantly accept, and Dodie goes off with her new betrothed. But the minute Pete kisses her goodbye, she promptly changes her mind.



  • "The Girl Most Likely"
  • "I Don't Know What I Want"
  • "We Gotta Keep Up with the Joneses"
    • Written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane
    • Sung by Jane Powell and Tommy Noonan (dubbed by Robert C. Oates)
  • "Travelogue"
    • Written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane
    • Sung by Jane Powell, Cliff Robertson (dubbed by Hal Derwin), Kaye Ballard, Kelly Brown and Ensemble
  • "Balboa
    • Written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane
    • Sung and danced by Jane Powell and Ensemble
  • "Crazy Horse"
    • Written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane
    • Sung and danced by Jane Powell and Children's Chorus
  • "All the Colors of the Rainbow"
    • Written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane
    • Sung and danced by Jane Powell, Keith Andes, Kaye Ballard, Kelly Brown and Ensemble

Production notes

The Girl Most Likely was a remake of the 1941 RKO picture Tom, Dick and Harry. RKO produced the film in 1956, but after the breakup of the studio, Universal bought the release rights.

Jane Powell had been under contract to MGM for 14 years until November 1955. She signed a three-picture deal with MGM. In February 1956, she signed a three-picture deal with RKO, the first film which was to be The Girl Most Likely.[2]

Carol Channing, who was under contract to RKO to make 10 films over five years (she had already made The First Traveling Saleslady), signed to costar along with Ralph Meeker.[3]

In July 1956, Gower Champion signed to do the choreography.[4]

In August, Tom Noonan and Keith Andes signed to costar and Mitchell Leisen to direct. Channing refused to do the film, unhappy with her role. RKO released her from her contract, and she was replaced by Kaye Ballard.[5][6]

Meeker dropped out, and Cliff Robertson was borrowed from Columbia.

Filming took place from early September to early November 1956; additional scenes were shot the week of 8 Jan 1957.


The film was completed by November 1956 but not released until November 1958. Producer Stanley Rubin later said the film "is really an orphan. Her father, RKO, died; her mother, U-I (which is releasing), is in a coma. The little girl is having to fend for itself."[7]

RKO meant to follow it up with Tempo starring Marge and Gower Champion,[8] but it never was made.

See also


  1. "The Girl Most Likely: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  2. M'DONALD NOVEL WILL BE FILMED: 'Cry Hard, Cry Fast,' Story of a Highway Accident, Is Scheduled by Universal Jane Powell in R.K.O. Pact By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times. ]29 Feb 1956: 37.
  3. CAROL CHANNING IN MOVIE COMEDY: To Co-Star in 'The Girl Most Likely' for R.K.O.--Sinatra Sought for 'Mr. Lucky' Anderson to Do Screen Play By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times 13 June 1956: 44.
  4. Drama: Cinemiracle Director Elected; Guard of Honor' Okayed; Big West Buy Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 17 July 1956: 21.
  5. Gene Barry Gets Top '27th Day' Billing; Lunt, Fontanne Deal Hinted Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 29 Aug 1956: A11.
  6. CAROL CHANNING QUITS HOLLYWOOD: Comedienne Leaves R.K.O. Movie Cast--To Search for a Broadway Role By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times 29 Aug 1956: 25.
  7. Video Claims Rubin's Staff: 'Girl' is Orphan to Producer of Entertaining Musical Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 4 Feb 1958: A7.
  8. Comedy Lawyer Rote Sighted for Cotten; Champions in 'Tempo' Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 26 Dec 1956: C7.

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