Room for One More (1952): Norman Taurog’s Family Serio-Comedy, Starring Cary Grant and Betsy Drake (Real-Life Wife)

Vet filmmaker Norman Taurog directed Room for One More, a family serio-comedy, starring Cary Grant and Betsy Drake.

Room for One More
Room for one more poster.jpg

Film poster

Jack Rose and Melville Shavelson’s script was based on the 1950 autobiography of by Anna Perrott Rose.

Premise:

Anna Rose visits an orphanage and decides to foster a child, a very unhappy 13-year-old teenager.

Narrative Structure:

Jimmy-John, who walks with leg braces, initially has trouble getting along with the Roses. He refuses to speak, punches Trot in the face, and smashes Tim’s new bicycle out of frustration for inability to ride.

Jimmy-John, who can barely read, must be tutored by Anna. The Roses consider taking him back to the orphanage due to his behavior, but the children vote to keep him. By the end of the summer, Jane and Jimmy-John become full members of the family.

After joining Tim’s troop, Jimmy-John is eager to improve his reading skills so that he could read the scout handbook. Being a Boy Scout proves to be rewarding for Jimmy-John, as it ends up bettering his self-esteem.

On the night of a grade school New Year’s Eve dance, it is revealed that the mother of Jane’s date, Ben Roberts, has forbidden him from taking her. Jane winds up going with Tim despite the age gap.

Poppy goes to Ben’s house and brings him to the dance with his father’s blessing. However, Jane decides to dance with Poppy instead of Ben.

After a lot of hard work, Jimmy-John earns the coveted Eagle Scout rank at a Court of Honor. During his acceptance speech, Jimmy-John informs the audience that he had a head start by picking his parents.

Recycling:

A decade later, Andrew Duggan and Peggy McCay starred in a TV sitcom series version, also titled Room for One More.

Cast
Cary Grant as George “Poppy” Rose
Betsy Drake as Anna Rose
Lurene Tuttle as Miss Kenyon
Randy Stuart as Mrs. Foreman
John Ridgely as Harry Foreman
Irving Bacon as The Mayor
Mary Treen as Mrs. Roberts
Hayden Rorke as The Doctor
Iris Mann as Jane
George Winslow as Teenie
Clifford Tatum Jr. as Jimmy-John
Gay Gordon as Trot
Malcolm Cassell as Tim
Larry Olsen as Ben Roberts
Dabbs Greer as the Scoutmaster

Credits

Directed by Norman Taurog
Produced by Henry Blanke
Screenplay by Jack Rose Melville Shavelson, based on Room for One More 1950 book by Anna Perrott Rose
Music by Max Steiner
Cinematography Robert Burks
Edited by Alan Crosland Jr.
Distributed by Warner

Release date: January 10, 1952

Running time: 98 minutes