Voice of the Turtle, The (1947): Irving Rapper’s Wholesome Version of Van Druten’s Play, Starring Ronald Reagan and Eleanor Parker

Irving Rapper, better known for his melodramas with Bette Davis, directed Voice of the Turtle, a serio romantic comedy, based on Van Druten’s long-running 1943 splay.

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The Voice of the Turtle FilmPoster.jpeg

Young actress Sally Middleton (Eleanor Parker) goes on a date with soldier Bill Page (Ronald Reagan), on a weekend pass after being stood up by Olive Lashbrooke (Eve Arden), her friend.

When sergeant ill has trouble getting hotel room, he ends up spending the weekend at her apartment.

Olive, having at first set her sights on Bill’s commanding officer, has second thoughts and makes a play for Bill.  But Bill has fallen for Sally, who has sworn off love after breakup with theatrical producer Ken Bartlett (Wayne Smith), and needs to convince her that he is the right man for her.

Since the play ended its Broadway run one week after the film’s release, comparisons were inevitable. The movie, in tune with the time was more naively romantic and wholesome than the source material.

Production values are decent, but ultimately, it’s a B-picture whose performers have or would be better in future parts.

Reagan, despite some easygoing charm, again demonstrates why he had never become a genuine leading man, or a major movie star

Cast
Ronald Reagan as Sgt. Bill Page
Eleanor Parker as Sally Middleton
Eve Arden as Olive Lashbrooke
Kent Smith as Kenneth Bartlett
Wayne Morris as Cmdr. Ned Burling

Credits:

Directed by Irving Rapper
Produced by Charles Hoffman
Written by John Van Druten and Charles Hoffman
Music by Max Steiner
Cinematography: Sol Polito
Edited by Rudi Fehr
Distributed by Warner
Release date: December 25, 1947
Running time: 103 min.

Note:

TCM showed the movie on April 30, 2020.