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Happy Land

Happy Land(1943)

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Screenwriter Julien Josephson's first name was spelled "Julian" in the opening credits. An abridged version of MacKinlay Kantor's novel appeared in the The Saturday Evening Post on November 28, 1942 and in the August 1943 issue of Reader's Digest. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Twentieth Century-Fox originally intended to use Kantor's novel, which was purchased for $25,000, as a vehicle for Thomas Mitchell. Subsequent news items reported that Joseph Cotten and Robert Young were also considered for the film. According to Hollywood Reporter news items and studio publicity, the picture was shot on location in Santa Rosa, CA, with additional scenes being filmed in nearby Healdsburg. The Time review adds that some scenes were shot in Sebastopol. A Hollywood Reporter news item stated that the picture would have its premiere in sixty-one theaters in Iowa on December 2, 1943. The picture marked the screen debuts of stage actress Lillian Bronson and Cara Williams. According to studio publicity, Alfred Hitchcock's daughter Patricia was also to make her debut, although her participation in the finished film has not been confirmed. According to modern sources, five-year-old Natalie Wood, who was a resident of Santa Rosa, appears in a bit part in the picture. Don Ameche starred in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the story on April 10, 1944. A television adaptation of the film was presented on the 20th Century-Fox Hour in February 1956, under the title In Times Like These.