She Wouldn’t Say Yes (1945): Screwball Comedy Starring Rosalind Russell

This mildly amusing screwball comedy, directed by Alexander Hall, stars Rosalind Russell as a single psychiatrist, seemingly happy and well-adjusted to her marital status.

Russell had previously worked with director Alexander Hall on several films including My Sister Eileen (1942), for which she won her first Best Actress Oscar nomination, and This Thing Called Love (1940).

Dr. Susan Lane is leaving a military hospital after two weeks of work with patients. Before she leaves, she encounters a patient reading a comic strip by Michael Kent (Lee Bowman).

The comic’s character, the Nixie, encourages people to act on their impulses by whistling in their ear. Meanwhile, Colonel Brady, another psychiatrist, tells Dr. Lane that her confidence as a professional comes from a repressed problem.

At Grand Central Station, Dr. Lane picks up her train ticket and gets knocked down by another customer, who turns out to be comic writer Michael Kent.

At the last minute, the clerk—acting on his impulse because of the Nixie—switches Kent’s ticket, and on the train, Kent and Dr. Lane bump into each other again

Production began on May 8, 1945, but the film was released on November 29, which caused anachronism in the plot: the Kent character is en route to Japan, via San Francisco, and mentions that he is “off to war,” though the war ended three months earlier.

Recycling:

The film was adapted as a radio play for Screen Directors Playhouse and broadcast on June 2, 1950.

Cast:

Rosalind Russell as Dr. Susan A. Lane

Lee Bowman as Michael Kent

Adele Jergens as Allura

Charles Winninger as Doctor Lane

Harry Davenport as Albert

Sara Haden as Laura Pitts

Percy Kilbride as Judge Whittaker

Lewis L. Russell as Colonel Brady