Release Date: July 23, 1948 | Production Date: April - June 1947 | Color: Black & White Running Time: 85 minutes | Studio: Paramount Pictures
as "Georgina Allerton"
as "Clark Redfield"
as "Jim Lucas"
as "Miriam Allerton Lucas"
as "George Allerton"
as "Lucy Allerton"
as "Claire Bleakley"
as "George Hand"
as "Madame Kimmelhoff"
Screen Play by Arthur Sheekman
Based on the Play by
Director of Photography
Daniel L. Fapp, A.S.C.
Hans Dreier and John Meehan
Special Photographic Effects
Gordon Jennings, A.S.C.
Farciot Edouart, A.S.C.
Sam Comer and Grace Gregory
Music Score by
Musical Numbers staged by
Sound Recording by
Don McKay and Walter Oberst
PUBLICITY IMAGES AND STILLS
POSTERS AND ADVERTISEMENTS
Georgina Allerton (Betty Hutton), a daydreaming twenty-two year-old debutante, is in love with Jim Lucas (Patric Knowles), the man her older sister Miriam (Virginia Field) is about to marry. During the wedding, Georgie daydreams that Jim stops the ceremony so that he and Georgie can wed. One of the wedding guests is newspaper reporter Clark Redfield (Macdonald Carey), who is immediately smitten with Georgie.
Two years later, Georgie has tried singing lessons, has made an amateurish attempt at a first novel, and is losing money running her own bookshop. Jim, meanwhile, has had an unsuccessful stint in the publishing business, and he and Miriam are still living with her parents. When a manuscript that Jim had passed up becomes a best-seller, Miriam flies into a rage in public and only Georgie remains sympathetic to Jim. In a reckless attempt to rid herself of feelings for Jim and Clark, Georgie goes to a nightclub with a "wolf" named George Hand (Lowell Gilmore), who invites her to go to Mexico with him.
Clark arrives at the club in time to warn Georgie about Hand's bad reputation, then tells her she is "as unsophisticated as Alice in Wonderland." Clark's insult prompts Georgie to imagine that, while caught in a lovers' triangle in Mexico, she shoots Hand's wife. She then becomes a fugitive and a singer in a South Sea island honky-tonk, where she kills herself, and dies in front of Jim. When Georgie wakes from her reverie to find herself being propositioned by Hand, she angrily rebuffs him.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Allerton (Peggy Wood) has tired of supporting Jim, and Miriam leaves him. On the night Jim is to fly to Reno for the divorce, he tells Georgie that he wants to marry her, and she imagines having a baby with him on a ranch. Clark, however, has invited Georgie to dinner and the opera, and she has reluctantly agreed to go out with him. At dinner, Clark criticizes Georgie's novel for its "moony" characterizations, and later at the opera, Georgie dreams that she brilliantly performs the role of "Cio Cio San" in Madame Butterfuly and wins Clark's respect as well as an apology.
While Jim waits at the airport for Georgie, she sits in a diner with Clark, falling in love with him. As they dance, Clark cautions Georgie to stop hiding from reality, and urges her to turn her dreams into reality. At three-thirty in the morning, Georgie telephones her parents to tell them that she and Clark have married.
"Dream Girl" is based on the Elmer Rice play of the same name.
Joan Caulfield claims that Paramount originally bought "Dream Girl" as a vehicle for her, but the part was given to Betty at her insistence. She told reporters, "Not only did Betty take the part away from me, she used to drive by my dressing room every day to tell me how the shooting was going."
According to modern sources, Elmer Rice wrote the play for his wife, actress Betty Field, who played the lead in the hit Broadway production. Field was expected to recreate her stage role on the screen, but was passed over for Betty, who had more box office pull.
This film marked Betty's return to the screen after a year's absence, during which she gave birth to daughter Lindsay Diane Briskin.
Betty's voice was dubbed by New York Metropolitan Opera soprano Nadine Connor for the dream sequence of her performing the "One Fine Day (Un Bel Di)" aria from Madame Butterfly.
Director Mitchell Leisen had a long-standing fued with costume designer Edith Head and had heavily lobbied for someone to replace her, as he felt her ideas were unimaginative. Leisen was forced to work with her on 1944's "Lady in the Dark" after other costume plans fell through at the last minute, though she was heavily supervised. Leisen had used Raoul Pene du Bois for most of his films in the 1940s, and likely would have for "Dream Girl", but Betty was adamant about working with Edith.
The spoken foreword to the film states: "We're about to ask you wonderful people out there to do a very dirty trick. We want you to listen in on a young lady who talks to herself about herself whenever she gets a chance. And when she runs out of words, takes right off into a great big daydream. If you have never done any of these things, it wouldn't be fair. Will anyone who hasn't please leave the theater?"
"Dream Girl" was adapted for the Broadway musical stage in 1965 under the title "Skyscraper".