Release Date: December 28, 1945 | Production Date: April - June 1945 | Color: Black & White Running Time: 98 minutes | Studio: Paramount Pictures
as "Judy Peabody"
as "J.B. 'Pop' Bates"
as "Danny Wilton"
as "Jimmy Jones"
as "Tom Curtis"
as "Sherman Billingsley"
as "Edith Bates"
as "Mr. Coretti"
as "Louella Parsons"
Screen Play by B.G. DeSylva and John McGowan
Robert Emmett Dolan
Joseph J. Lilley
Director of Photography
Charles Lang, Jr., A.S.C.
Hans Dreier and Earl Hedrick
Farciot Edouart, A.S.C.
Music Numbers Staged by
Sam Comer and Jerry B. Welch
Sound Recording by
Hugo Grenzbach and Walter Oberst
PUBLICITY IMAGES AND STILLS
POSTERS AND ADVERTISEMENTS
Wealthy Irishman J. B. Bates (Barry Fitzgerald), whose wife of forty years left him six months previously because of his parsimony, stumbles off a pier and is saved by Judy Peabody (Betty Hutton), a hat check girl at Manhattan's famous Stork Club. Bates's near-drowning causes him to ponder his miserly ways, and he instructs his lawyer, Tom Curtis (Robert Benchley), to send Judy a letter informing her that accounts have been opened for her at a bank, a hotel, and a department store because she has been "most accommodating" to her benefactor, who wishes to remain anonymous.
Wearing shabby clothes, Bates arrives at the Stork Club to see Judy receive the letter, and Judy, believing he is a vagabond, gets him a job as a busboy. Bates quits within minutes, and Judy, who calls him "Pop," takes him in. Judy, meanwhile, suspects that her benefactor is her boss, Sherman Billingsley (Bill Goodwin), a "wolf" with ulterior motives. Judy's bandleader boyfriend, Danny Wilton (Don DeFore), returns unexpectedly from a stint in the Marines and assumes that Judy is a kept woman. When Judy confronts Billingsley, he merely escorts her out of his office, and Danny, who hoped to get an audition with Billingsley, sees him with his arm around Judy.
Determined to help Danny, Judy tells his band to stay with her at her hotel, the Yorke Towers. She then buys them all new clothes in an effort to bankrupt her benefactor for ruining her love affair. To stop Judy from spending any more of his money, Bates confesses that he is the benefactor, but she does not believe him. Judy then calls Curtis, but he refuses to confirm Bates's story. Meanwhile, Judy rehearses with the band and gets them a job with Billingsley by posing as gossip columnist Walter Winchell. When Bates's estranged wife Edith (Mary Young) arrives at the Yorke Towers, Judy assures her that she is not "Pop's" mistress and that "Pop" loves his wife. Edith then informs Judy that "Pop" is rich, and Judy, finally realizing he is her benefactor, schemes with Edith to get their men back during the band's debut at the Stork Club that night.
When the band plays Edith and Bates's song, they are reconciled. Curtis then assures Danny that "Pop" was Judy's benefactor, and Judy sings with the band. Bates and Edith then give Danny and Judy a million dollars for a wedding present.
"The Stork Club" originally began production under the direction of Noel Madison, but he apparently didn't see eye-to-eye with Betty and he was replaced by Hal Walker.
More than 700 photographs of the Stork Club in New York City were taken to help the set designers of the movie.
Betty played her first "fashion plate" role in this film and designer Edith Head created 13 complete outfits using a Far Eastern style theme for Betty's wardrobe.
The wardrobe department had trouble finding a fur coat that was swanky enough, so Betty used her own $11,000 labrador mink.
Danny Kaye was considered for Betty's co-star in the film.
"The Stork Club" is the screen debut for Andy Russell, who duets with Betty on "If I Had A Dozen Hearts".
For the week of March 2, 1946, Betty's jovial, racing rendition of "Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief" sprinted to first place on the Billboard singles chart.
The movie portrays real-life Stork Club owner Sherman Billingsley as a family man, while in actuality, he had a longtime affair with Ethel Merman.
Robert Benchley, who plays Tom Curtis, died a month before "The Stork Club" was released due to a cerebral hemorrhage.
Betty presented "graduating" members of the cast with war bonds wrapped to resemble diplomas when shooting on the picture was finished. They were distributed from a basket decorated with a stork in cap and gown.