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Between Us Girls

Between Us Girls(1942)

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The working titles of this film were Boy Meets Girl, Boy Meets Baby, What Happened, Caroline? and Love and Kisses, Caroline. In mid-September 1941, director Henry Koster signed an agreement with Universal which would allow him to produce his own films, with his former assistant director, Phil Karlstein, promoted to associate producer. Between Us Girls was the first production Koster worked on under this agreement. According to Hollywood Reporter, this agreement also stated that top Universal directors of photography Joseph Valentine and Rudolph Mate would be assigned to the new Koster unit. According to Hollywood Reporter, Universal originally envisioned this project as a vehicle for its popular teenage star, Deanna Durbin. In early February 1942, actress Diana Barrymore was tested for the role of "Caroline," but a late February 1942 Hollywood Reporter news item states that the producers did not believe that she was convincing as a teenager. The item went on to state that the producers were trying to borrow actress Olivia de Havilland from Warner Bros. for the part, but if they were unsuccessful in that venture, they were considering canceling the project and instead filming a previously planned adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera, with Deanna Durbin in the female lead. (Universal would later produce that project in 1943, with Susanna Foster as the female lead. See entry below.) In mid-March 1942, Barrymore was finally given the part and the production began a month later.
       Hollywood Reporter later reported that in early April 1942 Karlstein and Valentine took a second unit to New York City to shoot background footage for the film. According to Universal publicity materials, Koster wanted the same production crew on this film that he had on his first American film, Three Smart Girls (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.4623), including director of photography Joseph Valentine, sound technician Joe Lapis, head gaffer Warren Monroe and property boss Bob Laszlo. Press materials state that this was the first film in which the child team of "Butch and Buddy" were separated, as Billy Lenhart appeared in the film without Kenneth Brown. The original play was previously filmed in Germany in 1934 as Frchtchen, starring Frankziska Gaal and Hermann Thimig, and directed by Richard Eichberg.