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Fired Wife

Fired Wife(1943)

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The film begins with the following written foreword: "There is an old French proverb which says: 'As the ownership of a violin does not make a man a musician, neither does the possession of a husband make a woman a wife, and a woman is not a wife until she learns the art of being married.'" Hollywood Reporter news items add the following information about the production: In November 1941, Universal announced that it was preparing a film entitled Fired Wife, to star actress Rosalind Russell. The film was planned as a sequel to the 1940 Universal film Hired Wife, which starred Russell and Brian Aherne (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.1922), and was originally scheduled to begin shooting on November 28, 1941. Russell, however, who was a freelance artist, had already agreed to star in the Columbia film Take a Letter, Darling , so the production was rescheduled for January 1942. In late November 1941, Russell agreed to star in another Columbia film, My Sister Eileen (see entry above), so William A. Seiter, who had directed Hired Wife and had been assigned to this production as well, announced that he would recast the female lead, rather than wait for Russell's availability. The production was eventually shelved and Seiter went on to direct the 1942 Universal film Broadway (see entry above). It has not been determined if any elements of this planned production were used in the subsequent version of Fired Wife.
       In March 1943, Universal announced that Fired Wife was going into production at the studio, starring Diana Barrymore and Robert Cummings. Cummings, however, refused to do the role, and in March 1944, New York Times reported that the actor received a $10,700 judgment against the studio, claiming that Universal had voided his contract when it suspended him without pay upon his refusal to appear in this film. While Hollywood Reporter production charts include Bobby Brooks in the cast, it has not been determined if he appeared in the released film. Actor Walter Abel was borrowed from Paramount for the production, which was producer Alex Gottlieb's last Universal film.