World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

It's a Wonderful World (1939 film)

Article Id: WHEBN0002003300
Reproduction Date:

Title: It's a Wonderful World (1939 film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Comedy film, Screwball comedy film, Claudette Colbert, Ben Hecht, 1993 in film, 1939 in film, Sonic the Comic, Hans Conried, Nat Pendleton, Leonard Kibrick
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

It's a Wonderful World (1939 film)

It's a Wonderful World
File:It's a Wonderful World 1939.jpg
1939 original movie poster
Directed by W. S. Van Dyke
Produced by Frank Davis
Written by Ben Hecht
Herman J. Mankiewicz
Starring Claudette Colbert
James Stewart
Music by Edward Ward
Cinematography Oliver T. Marsh
Editing by Harold F. Kress
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) 19 May 1939
Running time 86 minutes
Country United States
Language English

It's a Wonderful World (1939) is a romantic screwball comedy-mystery, starring Claudette Colbert and James Stewart and directed by W. S. Van Dyke.


Private detective Guy Johnson (Stewart) is well paid to watch over Willie Heywood (Ernest Truex), a wealthy man who likes to drink a bit too much and gets into trouble as a result. However, when Heywood's recent ex-girlfriend Dolores Gonzalez (Cecilia Callejo) makes a public nuisance of herself over their relationship, a drunk Heywood goes to see her. It is a setup. Dolores is being held at gunpoint by a man, and when Heywood enters her apartment, the mystery man kills Dolores and frames Heywood for the murder. The only clue is a half of a dime incorporated into a piece of jewelry that the victim managed to snatch from her assailant. Guy hurries to the scene soon after and hides his client so he can catch the real killer, but both of them are nabbed by the police, tried, convicted and sentenced: Guy to prison for a year, Heywood to be executed.

It is revealed to the audience that Heywood's new wife Vivian (Frances Drake) and her lover, Al Mallon (Sidney Blackmer), are behind the whole thing. She stands to inherit Heywood's millions. In addition to her lover, the unfaithful woman also turns out to have a husband already. Her actor spouse unexpectedly arrives from Australia and starts blackmailing her.

On the way to jail, Guy comes across a clue, a newspaper advertisement placed by the actor mentioning the other half of the dime and where to contact him. Guy jumps from the moving train into a river, taking along the bumbling policeman handcuffed to him, Sergeant Fred Koretz (Nat Pendleton).

His struggle with Koretz is witnessed by noted poetess Edwina Corday (Claudette Colbert). After knocking Koretz out and freeing himself from the handcuffs, he has no choice but to kidnap her to prevent her from sounding the alarm. At first, she believes him to be a dangerous criminal, but she soon discovers he is telling the truth about his mission, and insists on sticking with him, much to his annoyance, as he has a low opinion of the intelligence of women.

The trail leads to a small professional theater group run by Madame Chambers (Cecil Cunningham). Guy gets himself hired as an actor to better figure out who knows about the half dime. Guy brings in his associate, "Cap" Streeter (Guy Kibbee), to help with the investigation, only to have Edwina mistake him for a policeman and knock him out. Meanwhile, Vivian and Mallon decide it is better to silence her husband rather than submit to his demands. However, they kill the wrong man, a last-minute substitute, during the performance of a play. Guy is captured by the police, but Edwina manages to convince them that there is written evidence implicating Guy and Cap in the first murder. When they drive to the address she gives, they catch Vivian and Mallon in the process of taking away her bound and gagged husband.


Filming locations

San Diego, California


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • AllRovi
  • TCM Movie Database

Template:Ben Hecht

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from School eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.