The Doughgirls is a 1944 American comedy film, revolving around the newlywed Halstead couple, played by Jane Wyman and Jack Carson, and their misadventures trying to find some privacy and living space in the housing shortage of wartime Washington D.C. "It's zany plot moves easily with a cast of characters propelled about the screen like shuttlecocks."[1] Eve Arden as a Russian sniper and Joe DeRita as a sleepy hotel guest, both looking for space in the overcrowded hotel are stand outs in a great cast.[1]

The Doughgirls
Ann Sheridan in 'The Doughgirls', 1944.jpg
Directed byJames V. Kern
Produced byMark Hellinger
Written byJames V. Kern
Sam Hellman
Based onThe Doughgirls
by Joseph Fields
StarringAnn Sheridan
Alexis Smith
Jack Carson
Jane Wyman
Music byAdolph Deutsch
CinematographyErnest Haller
Edited byFolmar Blangsted
Distributed byWarner Brothers
Release date
  • November 25, 1944 (1944-11-25)
Running time
102 minutes
CountryUnited States


This black and white comedy about three couples joins the freshly wed Halsteads shortly upon arrival in their overcrowded D.C. hotel where they set out for the honeymoon suite, only to find it usurped by the previous newlywed couple, Ann Sheridan and John Ridgley as the Cadmens.[2] Finally a third newlywed couple the Dillons, Alexis Smith and Craig Stevens, arrive to claim the suite as well.[3] Add to this: a military contractor with a no nonsense attitude; a lecherous boss; an F.B.I. investigator; a priest (to make one couple's marriage "legal"); a group of orphan babies; a Russian who likes to shoot pigeons[3]; and a wandering man trying to find somewhere, anywhere to get some sleep.[2] The Doughgirls is a raucous farce where the humor comes from the unconsummated marriage of Wyman and Carson, with a great performance by Eve Arden as a visiting Russian.[3]

The New York Times reviewed it saying it is "distilled from the play" and "at times the dialog twirls into nonsense being saved only by the performance of the players."[1]

The Doughgirls is based on a stage play of the same name,[4] written in 1942 by Joseph Fields.[5][6]


Warner Bros. bought the rights for The Doughgirls stage play[4] for $250,000 but still needed a script and a way to get the story of three unmarried couples in the same hotel suite around the censors, known as the Breen office.[7] The studio employed James V. Kern and Sam Hellman.[2] The duo adapted Fields' play; marrying the couples off and toning down the language. They had jokes to address overcrowding in Washington D.C., adding wartime references such as rationing and meatless Tuesdays while even adding a White House visit for the Dillons to meet the Roosevelts off camera. Jane Wyman, though not pleased with fourth billing nor the "ditsy" role, was happy with the cast and to be working.[2] Ann Sheridan was nearly suspended over The Doughgirls when Warner Bros. refused to let her out of filming, but she used her star status and negotiated a USO tour following completion, something she had wanted for sometime.[3]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c P.p.k (August 31, 1944). "' The Doughgirls' Careens Along Its Dizzy Way at Hollywood -- 'Wing and a Prayer' at the Globe and the Gotham". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Dick, Bernard F. (March 14, 2014). The President’s Ladies: Jane Wyman and Nancy Davis. Univ. Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781617039805.
  3. ^ a b c d Bubbeo, Daniel (June 21, 2010). The Women of Warner Brothers: The Lives and Careers of 15 Leading Ladies, with Filmographies for Each. McFarland. ISBN 9780786462360.
  4. ^ a b Wertheim, Albert (March 16, 2004). Staging the War: American Drama and World War II. Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253110855.
  5. ^ Inc, Time (February 1, 1943). LIFE. Time Inc.
  6. ^ Fields, Joseph (1943). The Doughgirls: a wartime comedy. New York City, New York: Random House.
  7. ^ Tucker, David C. (January 10, 2014). Eve Arden: A Chronicle of All Film, Television, Radio and Stage Performances. McFarland. ISBN 9780786488100.

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