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directed by Sam Wood
USA 19


It's spring in Rossmore, Illinois, and Professor Casanova Q. Brown returns to his hometown anxious to tie the knot with his sweetheart Madge Ferris. But Cass is in a "strange situation" and seems much more nervous than a first-time groom ought to be.

Then, on the eve of their wedding, Cass receives a letter from a nearby maternity hospital he first suspects is an advertisement, but upon investigation, proves to be much more.

Gary Cooper brings the comic sensibilities he displayed in such films as Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and Ball of Fire to Casanova Brown, a wacky romantic comedy that reunites him with his The Pride of the Yankees leading lady, Teresa Wright. It's old home week for Teresa as well; Patricia Collinge, who played her mother in Shadow of a Doubt, repeats that function here along with a splendid supporting cast that includes a scene-stealing Frank Morgan (as Coop's would-be father-in-law), Anita Louise, Edmund Breon, Mary Treen and Emory Parnell.

Directed by Sam Wood (who made four films with star Cooper, including Yankees and For Whom the Bell Tolls), Casanova Brown boasts a hilarious script co-authored by Nunnally Johnson and by none other than character actor Thomas Mitchell! It's truly an old-fashioned kind of comedy irresistible fun that will make you laugh and cry.


A forgotten comedy from the war era, Casanova Brown (1944) represents a noteworthy juncture in the career of Gary Cooper. The middle-aged Cooper had just completed The Story of Dr. Wassell (1944), the last film under his contract to Paramount. After appearing in Paramount films for 18 years, which had turned him into a major movie star, the tall, lanky actor had an itch to do something more than just act. Also, The Story of Dr. Wassell was the last in a string of heavy biopics and tragic dramas for Cooper, and he felt the need to star in something lighter. Casanova Brown afforded him an opportunity to satisfy both urges.

In this slight comedy with a charming cast, Cooper plays the title character, an unassuming young man who is about to marry Madge Ferris (Anita Louise). On the day of his wedding rehearsal, he receives a letter from a maternity hospital in Chicago informing him that he is the father of a baby daughter. Months earlier, Casanova (called Cass) had enjoyed a whirlwind romance with Isabel Drury (Teresa Wright), and the young couple married in haste. But, the Drurys turned out to be an eccentric family, and Cass didn't fit in. The relationship between Cass and his in-laws deteriorated further when he accidentally burned down the Drury mansion, resulting in the annulment of his marriage. But, given the birth of a daughter, there was much more to the marriage than a piece of paper.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE


Theatrical Release: August 23rd, 1944

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Review: ClassicFlix - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover






'A' Blu-ray




Disc Size: 23,887,415,716 bytes

Feature Size: 23,764,260,864 bytes

Average Bitrate: 30.98 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video



ClassicFlix Blu-ray



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1842 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1842 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio: ClassicFlix


Disc Size: 23,887,415,716 bytes

Feature Size: 23,764,260,864 bytes

Average Bitrate: 30.98 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video


Edition Details:

Blu-ray  Release Date: February 6th, 2018
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters: 12



NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.


ADDITION: ClassicFlix - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (March 2018): ClassicFlix's HD 1080p image provides pleasing contrast. Certain darker scenes maintain a level of detail that might have otherwise been lost in a SD renderings (see the cap of Gary Cooper in the chair, below.) It can have a waxy quality but I didn't find it invasive on the presentation.

ClassicFlix use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 Channel mono track (24-bit) that supports the film's various sounds with fidelity. The score is by
Arthur Lange (99 River Street, Cry Danger), Howard Jackson (Damn Yankees) and Charles Maxwell (Grand Hotel), though Jackson and Maxwell are uncredited. Due to the film's age, the resulting audio is probably the best it is ever going to sound. There are optional English subtitles on the Region 'A' Blu-ray disc.

ClassicFlix continue to build their collection with vintage films starring classic stars. Though this is a bare-bones disc, it is nice to have this film available for Gary Cooper and Teresa Wright fans. The film was based on a play by Floyd Dell and Thomas Mitchell. Brown is somewhat dated in its portrayal of marriage and gender roles, but this lighthearted comedy is still enjoyable.

 Colin Zavitz

ClassicFlix - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
















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