The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Norman Z McLeod (1947)

105min
U Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Producer Samuel Goldwyn turned author James Thurber's short story into a marvellous Technicolored cavalcade for his star signing, Danny Kaye, allowing Kaye to play both the daydreaming Mitty and the amazingly heroic characters of his fantasies. Kaye's on top form here, as a surgeon performing a near-impossible operation, an ace gunslinger (the "Perth Amboy Kid") and a pernickety RAF pilot, among others. The energetic star is not so popular today, perhaps because his modern-set movies have worn less well than his period ones, but this is generally acknowledged to be his finest screen performance and is certainly his most endearing. There's marvellous support from the great Boris Karloff as a homicidal psychiatrist and wonderful songs from Sylvia Fine (Mrs Kaye), notably the classic Anatole of Paris. Trivia nuts should watch out for future director Robert Altman as an extra in the "Symphony for Unstrung Tongues" number. Children seem to relate to this movie more than adults, which is a pity, for there's more than a little of Walter Mitty in all of us.

Summary

A bumbling dreamer is treated with disdain by everyone he knows. He retreats into a fantasy world to escape grim reality, until an encounter with a mysterious woman sweeps him up into a real-life adventure and gives him the courage to change his life for the better. Comedy based on James Thurber's short story, starring Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo and Boris Karloff.

Cast & Crew

Walter Mitty Danny Kaye
Rosalind van Hoorn Virginia Mayo
Dr Hugo Hollingshead Boris Karloff
Mrs Mitty Fay Bainter
Gertrude Griswold Ann Rutherford
Bruce Pierce Thurston Hall
Peter van Hoorn Konstantin Shayne
Mrs Griswold Florence Bates
Tubby Wadsworth Gordon Jones
RAF colonel Reginald Denny
Hendrick Henry Corden
Director Norman Z McLeod
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: R.K.O. Radio Pictures LtdAvailable on: video
Comedy Drama