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Joy in the Morning is a 1965 American romance film starring Richard Chamberlain and Yvette Mimieux and directed by Alex Segal. Adapted from the 1963 novel of the same name by Betty Smith, the film tells the story of a young newlywed couple, Carl and Annie Brown, who marry against their parents' wishes while Carl is still in law school and struggle to maintain their relationship.

Joy in the Morning
Joy in the Morning original release poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlex Segal
Produced byHenry T. Weinstein
Written bySally Benson
Alfred Hayes
Norman Lessing
Based onnovel by Betty Smith
StarringRichard Chamberlain
Yvette Mimieux
Arthur Kennedy
Oscar Homolka
Joan Tetzel
Music bySammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster (title song)
Bernard Herrmann
CinematographyEllsworth Fredericks
Edited byThomas J. McCarthy
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • May 7, 1965 (1965-05-07)
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,700,000 (US/Canada rentals)[1]



In the late 1920s, eighteen-year-old Brooklynite Annie McGairy moves to a college town in the Midwest to marry her law-student love, Carl Brown, at the local courthouse. The newlyweds must overcome many obstacles, including disapproval from their parents (who knew each other before emigrating to America from Ireland), financial problems, and Annie's sexual insecurities. Due to the marriage, Carl's law school cuts off his loans, and his father cuts off support from home, forcing Carl to work multiple jobs on top of studying. Annie causes gossip in the town by befriending a lonely gay florist and babysitting for the mistress of a married businessman.

Annie discovers she is pregnant, but before she can tell Carl, the couple have a heated argument caused by the stress of his night job interfering with the couple's marital intimacy. Annie leaves Carl and returns to her mother in Brooklyn, without telling Carl she is pregnant, not wanting to burden him further while he finishes his education. Devastated by the loss of Annie, Carl's schoolwork suffers, putting him in danger of failing all his classes. When Carl's father discovers the situation, including Annie's now-obvious pregnancy, his attitude towards Annie softens and he convinces the couple to reconcile. Annie helps Carl to catch up in his studies and pass his exams on the same day Annie gives birth. Carl graduates, and he and Annie celebrate a church wedding with family and friends before happily riding away with their new baby son.



The film was based on a 1963 novel by Betty Smith, who had written A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Her fourth novel, it was based on her own life - she married during the Depression and lived near campus while her husband studied law. "I had to return to that background," she said. "That's where I was born."[2] (The marriage later ended in divorce.[3]) Film rights were bought by MGM in June 1963 for a minimum of $100,000.[4]

In January 1964 the lead role was given to Richard Chamberlain, who was at that time a teen idol and the star of the MGM TV series Dr. Kildare.[5] His co-star was Yvette Mimieux, who was also under contract to MGM, and had played Chamberlain's love interest in a two-part Kildare episode. Filming started in May 1964.[6]

Producer Henry Weinstein said he wanted to make a romance in the James Stewart-Margaret Sullavan tradition.[7] Mimieux called the film "light and charming".[8]

The film's score was composed by Bernard Herrmann. Chamberlain sang the title song, "Joy in the Morning", which was released as a single and included on his 1964 album Richard Chamberlain.

Chris Noel, who played a college student in the film, later authored a book with editor and designer Kirk Kimball about the making of the film, entitled Filming Joy in the Morning: Behind the Scenes with Richard Chamberlain.[9]


According to one report, at preview of the film the audience "laughed in all the wrong places."[10]

The film made $1,700,000 in North America.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Anticipated rentals accruing distributors in North America. See "Top Grossers of 1965", Variety, 5 January 1966 p 36
  2. ^ Betty Smith Recalls How 'Tree' Grew to Success 20 Years Ago By PAUL GARDNER. New York Times 17 Aug 1963: 17.
  3. ^ Best-Selling Novelist Betty Smith Dies at 75: Author of 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn' Earned Estimated $1 Million on 1943 Book Los Angeles Times 18 Jan 1972: c4.
  4. ^ BY WAY OF REPORT: Metro Buys Betty Smith Novel--Other Matters By A.H. WEILER. New York Times 23 June 1963: 95.
  5. ^ Looking at Hollywood: Briton Richard Harris Has a Ball at Home Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Tribune 30 Jan 1964: c4.
  6. ^ Mary Tyler Moore Has Many Talents: Actress Helps Danny Kaye; Loretta Likes Busy Retirement Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]21 Apr 1964: C8.
  7. ^ Looking at Hollywood: Roz Eyes Role of Colorful Gabrielle Chanel Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Tribune 8 May 1964: b11.
  8. ^ Yvette Mimieux's Got a Secret Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times 11 Apr 1965: m4.
  9. ^ Noel, Chris (2014-09-02). Kimball, Kirk (ed.). Filming Joy in the Morning: Behind the Scenes with Richard Chamberlain. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1501050305.
  10. ^ Bette Sees Olivier as Her Lincoln Dorothy Kilgallen:. The Washington Post, Times Herald 18 Mar 1965: C20.

External linksEdit