Please Believe Me (1950): Taurog’s Romantic Comedy, Starring Deborah Kerr, Robert Walker, Mark Stevens, Peter Lawford

Val Lewton’s first and only MGM film, Please Believe Me is a romantic comedy, directed by Norman Taurog, and starring Deborah Kerr, Robert Walker, Mark Stevens and Peter Lawford.

MGM was so satisfied with the script, that they offered to raise the budget and replace Kerr with June Allyson, who was then more famous, but Lewton insisted on keeping Kerr.

Our Grade: C (** out of  *****)

Please Believe Me
Please Believe Me poster.jpg

Theatrical poster

Alison Kirbe, a London girl who has inherited a Texas ranch from an old soldier she had befriended during World War II, mistakenly assumes she is now the owner of an empire, and decides to cross the Atlantic Ocean by ship. On her way, she meets Terence Keath, a fellow passenger in debt to casino owner Lucky Reilly. To pay off his debts, he attempts to marry rich and starts to seduce Alison, thinks she is wealthy heiress. Meanwhile, Jeremy Taylor, a millionaire bachelor accompanied by his attorney Matthew Kinston, is also attracted to her.

Alison enjoys the attention from Terence, Jeremy and Matthew, but rejects them all. She feels most attracted to Matthew, but he mistakenly confronts her for being part of a scheme. Trying to hurt Matthew, she borrows money from Terence and buys an expensive present for Jeremy, while posing as a wealthy heiress.

After arriving in America, Alison decides to stay in New York before traveling to Texas. Matthew, meanwhile, tries to find more information on the ranch she has inherited, which makes him suspect her of scheming Jeremy.

In the end, the three men rush to the hotel, where they propose to Alison at the same time. Alison accepts Matthew’s proposal and the other men move on, hitting on other women.

The movie was a commercial failure, but the career of Deborah Kerr, who had just been nominated for the first of her six Best Actress Oscar nominations (for George Cukor’s Edward, My Son, in 1949), was not damaged, and she went on to become one of Hollywood’s most respected and popular actresses.

Cast
Deborah Kerr as Alison Kirbe
Robert Walker as Terence Keath
Mark Stevens as Matthew Kinston
Peter Lawford as Jeremy Taylor
James Whitmore as Vincent Maran
J. Carrol Naish as ‘Lucky’ Reilly
Spring Byington as Mrs. Milwright
Drue Mallory as Beryl Robinson
Carol Savage as Sylvia Rumley

Credits:

Directed by Norman Taurog
Produced by Val Lewton
Written by Nathaniel Curtis
Music by Hans J. Salter
Cinematography Robert H. Planck
Edited by Ferris Webster
Distributed by MGM

Release date: May 12, 1950

Running time: 87 minutes