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The Affairs of Martha (1942)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 21 June 1942 (USA)
Members of a well-to-do small community become worried when it is revealed that one of their maids is writing a telling exposé.


Jules Dassin


Isobel Lennart (original screenplay "Once Upon a Thursday"), Lee Gold (original screenplay "Once Upon a Thursday")


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marsha Hunt ... Martha Lindstrom
Richard Carlson ... Jeff Sommerfield
Marjorie Main ... Mrs. McKissick
Virginia Weidler ... Miranda Sommerfield
Spring Byington ... Sophia Sommerfield
Allyn Joslyn ... Joel Archer
Frances Drake ... Sylvia Norwood
Barry Nelson ... Danny O'Brien
Melville Cooper ... Dr. Clarence Sommerfield
Inez Cooper ... Mrs. Jacell
Sara Haden ... Mrs. Justin I. Peacock
Margaret Hamilton ... Guinevere
Ernest Truex ... Llewellyn Castle
Cecil Cunningham ... Mrs. Llewellyn Castle
William B. Davidson ... Homer Jacell


The town gossips are reporting that a household servant in exclusive Rocky Point is writing an expose of the colony. Mrs. Sophia Sommerfield is convinced it can't be either one of her maids, Martha Lindstrom or Mrs. McKessic, although, unknown to Sophia, she is totally unaware that her son, Jeff, is married to Martha. At the moment, Jeff wants a divorce so he can marry another woman. The book comes out and Sophia is relieved to find that Martha's book does not reveal Sophia's fondness for reading "true-confession" magazines, nor mention that Sophia's young daughter, Mirand, writers her club reports for Sophia. Other items are cleaned up, also. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 June 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Once Upon a Thursday See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film's initial USA telecast took place in Minneapolis Monday 21 January 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9); it first aired in New Haven CT 11 February 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), in Altoona PA 19 February 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Chicago 5 March 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Seattle 12 March 1957 on KING (Channel 7), in Philadelphia 19 March 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Portland OR 3 April 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), and in Hartford CT 14 April 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18); it was first telecast in Los Angeles 15 January 1958 on KTTV (Channel 11) and in San Francisco 1 April 1959 on KGO (Channel 7); in New York City its earliest documented airing took place 15 May 1963 on WCBS (Channel 2). . See more »


When Martha is drawing a face on the soaped window, in the long shot of her doing so it is quite simple, but in the next closeup shot the figure is much more complicated and complete as she's looking through it. See more »


Mrs. McKessic: Well, bust my britches!
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User Reviews

delightful surprise
3 April 2001 | by michael.e.barrettSee all my reviews

I've been tracking down films written by Isobel Lennart, so although I wasn't completely surprised by how charming this film is, most viewers will be since it's so obscure. This brief B-comedy opens with many splendid characters and zany complications, reminiscent of a Preston Sturges film without quite hitting that height. (There's even a "hep" kid sister that reminds me of Diana Lynn in Sturges' masterpiece "Miracle of Morgan's Creek," although I think that came out a couple of years later. In fact, "Martha" even has a drunken overnight marriage!) The comic actors--Spring Byington, Margaret Hamilton, Marjorie Main, etc.--give full-throttle readings in even brief roles, down to glances and gestures. What I perceive as typically Lennart touches: the opening "union" meetings of the maids and the matrons, who each vow to "stick together" ("One for one and all for all!" says the Swedish maid); and the appearance of the lonely, oddly touching and philosophical beach worker (shades of the character Pop in "Skirts Ahoy"). And Martha's motives in writing her book, also typically, are not selfish; she's not writing a scandalous expose as they fear but an expression of how much she likes them. Interesting that it's about a misunderstood woman writer! It's an early script for her and she co-wrote it, which may explain why there are easy stock characters and selfish negative ones (like the fiancee) who are shut out of the community instead of being recuperated.

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