Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Laraine Day

Laraine Day, a popular actress who performed in almost two dozen MGM movies during Hollywood’s Golden Age. One of my favorite moves that she did was, A Bride by Mistake(1944). Director: Richard Wallace. Cast: Laraine Day, Marsha Hunt, Phil Vernon and Edgar Buchanan.

At the La Playa Hotel in Santa Barbara, soldiers from the U. S. Air Force wait for their new reassignments. Officer Tony Travis, notices heiress Nora Hunter and wonders what it would be like to be rich. Nora's secretary, Sylvia Lockwood, who often impersonates her, informs Nora that she plans to leave for Washington with her new husband. Nora asks Sylvia to stay until she marries her fiancee Donald, who has just returned from the war. Sylvia agrees but when she meets up with Donald, he tells her that he has fallen in love with someone else. He tells Nora to marry a man who does not care about money. Sylvia suggests inviting the servicemen to a party and Nora agrees only if Sylvia pretends to be her. At the party, Nora, posing as Sylvia, is charmed by Tony, but he seems to be more interested in Sylvia. After Nora and Tony catch a cold after being trapped in the sprinklers, Tony gives them a alcoholic drink. Tony tells Nora that he would never marry without love. Nora decides to continue to test him and invites him for a weekend at her beach house with Sylvia...

I just finished watching A Bride By Mistake, for the first time, mostly to see Laraine Day. There certainly are not any surprises in thisfilm and you could guess the plot all the way through. Laraine Day, brings some wonderful energy to the story. I have not watched many of her movies, but in this film, I can see why she was so popular.

Laraine Day, began her acting career with the Long Beach Players. In 1937 her first onscreen performance was in a bit part in the classic film, Stella Dallas. Soon she landed lead roles in several George O'Brien westerns, in which she was billed as "Laraine Hays" and then Laraine Johnson.

In 1939 she signed with MGM, where she changed her name to, Laraine Day where she played the character, "Nurse Mary Lamont", the title character's fiancee in seven "Dr. Kildare" movies beginning with, Calling Dr. Kildare (1939).

Laraine Day roles, for other studios were sometimes better roles than those MGM gave her, including: My Son, My Son!

She also performed in the Alfred Hitchcock, Foreign Correspondent (1940) with Joel McCrea. A thriller film which tells the story of an American reporter who tries to expose enemy spies in Britain, a series of events involving a conspiracy that eventually leads to the events of a fictionalized Second World War.

She also performed in the suspense film, The Locket(1946), with Robert Mitchum, Brian Aherne, and Gene Raymond. It is told in a number of flashbacks from different points of view, this psychological drama tells the story of a bride-to-be who, as a child, was falsely accused of theft and grows up to become a kleptomaniac and eventually a murderess.

She performed in the drama/adventure film, The High and the Mighty(1954). Which starred and was co-produced by John Wayne. Director: William A. Wellman. Written by: Ernest K. Gann who was also the author of the novel on which the film was based. Composer: Dimitri Tiomkin won an Academy Award for his original score and his title song in the film was also nominated for an Oscar.

The film tells the story about the lives of the passengers and crew on board a Douglas DC-4 airliner while making a the flight between Hawaii and California. During which a prop failure and engine fire leads all to what could be a disaster. The High and the Mighty was one of the first "disaster" themed films: Airport series (1970-79), The Towering Inferno (1974), The Hindenburg (1975) and Titanic (1997).

Laraine Day, also hosted a TV show called, Daydreaming with Laraine or The Laraine Day Show (1951).

Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Laraine Day.


  1. Great post about Laraine Day, Dawn. One of my favorite's of hers is Mr. Lucky with Cary Grant (go figure). Her and Cary were great in that film.

  2. Dawn, this is my favorite of your articles so far. Very well done, informative and fun to read. I always liked Loraine Day very much. Thanks for this interesting write-up!

  3. Well, I did a type on her name, but my intentions are good!

  4. Oh for cripe's sake, I can't even spell typo!

  5. Monty and Bec, thank you... I'm really interested in watching more Laraine Day films, after reading up on her..


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