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The Male Animal

The Male Animal(1942)

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A 15 June 1941 New York Times news item revealed that Warner Bros. paid playwrights Elliott Nugent and James Thurber $150,000 for the rights to their play. A press release included in the file on the film at the AMPAS Library announced that the film was to have starred Priscilla Lane, but she was cast in another project. everal members of the cast, including Don DeFore, Ivan Simpson, Minna Phillips and Regina Wallace, reprised their Broadway roles for the film. Director and author Nugent played the role of "Tommy Turner" on stage. The world premiere of the film was held in Columbus, OH, where Ohio State University, the alma mater of both Nugent and Thurber, is located. Variety mistakenly lists the film's running time as 126 minutes.
       Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were political radicals accused of murdering a shoe-factory paymaster and guard and stealing the $16,000 payroll. They were convicted in 1921 and electrocuted in 1927. During the appeal of their case, doubt of their guilt led to worldwide protests. Nugent and Thurber's play was also the inspiration for the 1952 Warner Bros. musical She's Working Her Way Through College, starring Ronald Reagan and Virginia Mayo and directed by Bruce Humberstone. In the latter film, the story turns on whether an ex-burlesque queen should be allowed to stay in college.