Practically Yours

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Comedy, USA, 1944, 90 min.

Synopsis During World War II, naval pilot Lt. S.G. Daniel Bellamy prepares to sink a Japanese carrier by crashing his fighter plane into the ship. While gaining altitude before the dive, Dan radios his buddies on a nearby bomber, whose bomb supply is depleted, and wistfully talks of walking in New York's Central Park with "Piggy," and kissing her on the nose. Dan's escorts film his heroic deed, and the footage is sent back to the United States, where the U.S. Senate declares Dan a national hero for sacrificing his life. A recording of Dan's final statement is played over national radio, and Dan's former co-workers at the Prudential Typewriter Company, mishearing the name "Piggy," assume that Dan was in love with accountant Peggy Martin. Peggy is stunned by Dan's unexpected proclamation, and her boss, Marvin P. Meglin, convinces her to make a radio broadcast, during which she is announced as Dan's fiancée. After Peggy makes an impassioned speech to rouse women to support the war effort, newsreel editors notice that Dan's plane did not explode on the carrier as they had thought, but was diverted into the ocean after his bombs exploded an exposed ammunition magazine. When Peggy then hears that Dan is alive and being rescued, she faints. Later, besieged by reporters, Dan returns to New York, and tells his uncle that he had been speaking about his dog, Piggy. To save Peggy from embarrassment, Dan does not admit the truth until after he is invited to Meglin's mansion with Peggy. There Dan attempts to rename his confused dog "Porky," but Piggy does not respond to her new name, and Dan tells Peggy the truth. Feeling pressured by the Meglins' earnest attempts to arrange an elaborate wedding, as well as the expectations of the public, Dan and Peggy agree to appear as a couple until Dan returns to active duty in two weeks. Dan then insists on speaking to Peggy's suitor, accountant Albert Beagell, and arranges for Albert to be included in all their plans, much to Peggy's horror, as she has always tried to put conventional Albert off. After Dan discovers that all his former girl friends have married, he meets Peggy at a movie theater. Dan is embarrassed by the newsreels that declare him a hero and is punched by a theater patron who, not recognizing him, is offended when he verbally insults himself. Before returning to the Meglins', Dan is approached by Ellen Macy, whose pilot husband was stationed with Dan on an aircraft carrier. Ellen is eager for news from her husband, and Dan kindly pretends to remember him, but urges her not to be overly optimistic about his safe return. Peggy sharply criticizes Dan for not being more encouraging until he reveals that the carrier was sunk a month earlier. After Dan helps to ensure that Albert proposes to Peggy, he puts off the Meglins by telling them that Peggy is not yet ready to marry. Dan makes a public appearance for a Red Cross fundraiser, after which he, Peggy, Albert and Piggy, who is hidden in the deflated life raft on which Dan was saved, board the subway. The raft accidentally inflates on the crowded train, however, and Peggy and Dan are forced off. When Dan learns that the Navy is finally going to release information about the sunken carrier, he disappears on a supposed date. Peggy goes to see Ellen and discovers that Dan had preceded her so that he could break the news gently. Peggy realizes that she has genuinely fallen in love with Dan, and in an effort to win his affection, she arranges for press photographer La Crosse, who is shooting war bond posters, to take a photo of them in a long kiss. Dan then becomes jealous when Peggy plans to marry Albert immediately after he leaves. Eager to marry Peggy, Albert rents an apartment without consulting her, and both Peggy and Dan are appalled when Albert confesses that it was paid for by friends at their office, who believe that Peggy and Dan will live there. Dan loses his patience when he learns that, after the raft inflated, Albert left Piggy on the subway train to be picked up by a dog catcher. Dan knocks Albert out and proposes to Peggy that they marry after the war. Peggy insists on marrying immediately, but Dan stubbornly refuses. When Dan and Peggy attend a ship's christening, Peggy publicly announces her readiness for marriage, and has the Meglins' house guest, Judge Oscar Stimson on hand to officiate. Albert tries to stop them, but Peggy accidentally knocks him on the head with the bottle of champagne as she pulls her arm back to christen the ship, and he passes out. Stimson then performs the wedding ceremony and Dan and Peggy are married.

Directed by Mitchell Leisen  

Starring Claudette Colbert, Fred MacMurray, Gil Lamb, Cecil Kellaway, Robert Benchley, more...

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