Love Is Better Than Ever (1952): Donen’s Romantic Comedy, Starring Larry Parks and Elizabeth Taylor

Stanley Donen directed Love Is Better Than Ever, a minor romantic comedy, from a screenplay by Ruth Brooks Flippen, starring Larry Parks and Elizabeth Taylor.

Love Is Better Than Ever
Love is better than ever ver2.jpg

Theatrical release poster

Parks plays confirmed bachelor Jud Parker, who likes his life the way it is. A talent agent, he goes to New Haven, Connecticut on a client’s behalf and meets Anastacia “Stacie” Macaboy (Elizabeth Taylor), who owns a dance school.

The small-town girl Stacie then runs into him in New York when she goes to a convention. Jud takes her to a New York Giants baseball game and to dinner and dancing. Stacie falls in love, but Jud is angered by a story in the New Haven paper about their engagement.

Mrs. Levoy and her daughter, who run rival dance school, sully Stacie’s reputation and cause students to drop out. Stacie and Jud disagree on how to explain their relationship until Stacie bets everything on the outcome of the Giants’ next game.

Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen make uncredited cameo appearances as themselves seated at a table at 21 Restaurant.

The movie was not popular at the box-office.

Cast
Larry Parks as Jud Parker
Elizabeth Taylor as Anastacia (Stacie) Macaboy
Josephine Hutchinson as Mrs. Macaboy
Tom Tully as Mr. Charles E. Macaboy
Ann Doran as Mrs. Levoy
Elinor Donahue as Pattie Marie Levoy
Kathleen Freeman as Mrs. Kahrney
Doreen McCann as Albertina Kahrney
Alex Gerry as Hamlet (Smittie’s regular)
Dick Wessel as Smitty, cafe owner

Credits:

Directed by Stanley Donen
Produced by William H. Wright
Written by Ruth Brooks Flippen
Music by Lennie Hayton
Cinematography Harold Rosson
Edited by George Boemler

Production company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Distributed by Loew’s Inc.

Release date: February 23, 1952

Running time: 81 minutes
Budget $941,000
Box office $974,000

Note:

TCM showed the movie on May 17, 2021.