HER CARDBOARD LOVER

 

Produced and Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: July 16, 1942

Featured cast: Norma Shearer, Robert Taylor, Frank McHugh, George Sanders

Producer: J. Walter Ruben  
Director: George Cukor
Screenwriters: Jacques Deval, John Collier, Anthony Veiller, William H. Wright
Sources: the 1926 Jacques Deval play Dans sa candeur naïve; and the 1927 play Her Cardboard Lover by Valerie Wyngate and P. G. Wodehouse
Cinematographers: Robert Planck, Harry Stradling

THEME

An infatuated young man pays a debt to a rich woman by pretending to be her beau.

REVIEWS

“It will take the full pulling power of Norma Shearer and Robert Taylor to counteract a dated and generally dull story in this latest transcript of the several-times previously made Her Cardboard Lover. The Jacques Deval play has been a teaser for male and feminine stars, but seems to have worn out its welcome with audiences as a contrived sex comedy. It seems to be headed for spotty grosses, with dwindling returns as it hits the subsequents. Both stars are alert to winnow all possible comedy from the material but barely triumph over the handicaps, while performing brightly in other sections.”
- Variety, May 27, 1942

“This undertaking in the zone of sophisticated com­edy ranges from boudoir frivolity, such as used to be called ‘continental’ to knockabout brawling, such as has always been called ‘slapstick.’ It excels in neither de­partment and serves chiefly as a means of presenting Norma Shearer, Robert Taylor and George Sanders to their fans.”
- Motion Picture Herald, May 30, 1942

“For the screen play by four weary writers is just a lot of witless talk, and the performances, under George Cukor's direction, are often close to ridiculous. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer  filmed this story back in 1932 under the title of The Passionate Plumber. It should have stood on that production and that title. Miss Shearer either overacts deliberately, but without any comic finesse, or she has been looking at the pictures of fancy models in the high-tone fashion magazines.”
- Bosley Crowther in The New York Times, July 17,1942

“If this be Miss Shearer's movie swan song, as has been intimated, she leaves us with a very fine perfor­mance to remember her by. True, at times Miss Shearer spreads on the histrionics a bit too thick, but the role is difficult and why shouldn't a love-frustrated woman be a bit hysterical at times? Anyway, we liked her and think you will too.”
- Photoplay, August 1942

LETTERS FROM REGIONAL THEATER OWNERS

“The women come to see Robert Taylor, and the men, some of them, admit that Norma is easy to look at. The story is just so-so. Funny at times. Will do if you can’t get something better.”
- M.L. DuBose, Majestic Theatre, Cotulla, Texas, Motion Picture Herald, August 15, 1942

“It’s a pity to waste such stars on this trash.”
- Frank A. Orban Jr., Savoy Theatre, Hooversville, Pennsylvania, Motion Picture Herald, September 19, 1942

“Just mark this down as a disappointment. Business very poor on midweek dates.”
- Thomas di Lorenzo, New Paltz Theatre, New Paltz, New York, Motion Picture Herald, October 10, 1942

FIGURES

Her Cardboard Lover cost $979,000 and grossed $973,000.
(These figures have not been adjusted for inflation nor do they include profits from reissues, television syndication, and home entertainment formats.)

Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Portraits