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Life Begins at 40

Life Begins at 40(1935)

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The novel by Walter B. Pitkin was, according to Variety, "a best-selling book of philosophy." Motion Picture Herald notes that "practically the only things retained [from the book] are the title and some of the book's quaint philosophy." According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Pitkin wanted a paragraph in his contract with Fox that would state the company would not satirize the book or its underlying views. The Fox Legal Department, while refusing to include such a paragraph, noted that they had no right to ridicule the book or its author in its screen treatment. The legal records also state that Lamar Trotti had several chats with Robert Quillen, publisher of a South Carolina newspaper, in order to pick up some "local color." Quillen, according to the legal records, had nothing to do with the writing of the screenplay, but he was given a screen credit "merely because he was such a very charming person and rather a celebrity at that." The legal records also note that because the dance sequence in the film ran for only four minutes, dance director Jack Donohue was not given a screen credit.