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A hard-working, white-collar girl from a middle-class family meets and falls in love with a young socialite, but she soon clashes with his family.
A white-collar worker from a blue-collar family, Kitty Foyle has spent her so far short adult life in her hometown of Philadelphia or New York City. She has had two serious relationships, one associated with each city and each man with who she falls in love but in vastly different ways. "Philadelphia" is blue blooded Wyn Strafford VI. Wyn hires Kitty to be his secretary, he the editor for his pet project, a magazine, which is funded by family money.
Kitty's now deceased father, despite liking Wyn as a person, warned Kitty against falling in love with him, regardless of his outward intentions, as his type always returned to his own kind.
If she believes her father, Kitty may come to the realization that if a union with Wyn were to ever happen, it would not only be to him but to his family and their traditions, they who may have some say in the matter. After the magazine folds, it not making any money, Kitty is forced to look for another job, she feeling she would have more opportunities in New York City.
Working as a sales associate at upscale Delphine Detaille parfumerie and cosmetics, Kitty meets "New York City" Mark Eisen.
Mark is a public-health doctor who makes little money and thus who is cognizant about how he spends that money, most specifically when he will splurge on the luxuries in life, including on women.
Simultaneous, each of the men proposes a future together with her, those futures which would take divergent paths and have different outlooks.
Mark, specifically, is aware of there being a "Philadelphia" when he asks her to marry him. Kitty has to decide what kind of future she wants for herself in choosing which of the two proposals she will accept. Working-class Philadelphia teen Kitty Foyle dreams of life in the city's fashionable society circles, but when she impulsively weds her former boss, wealthy Wyn Strafford, his family disapproval is too severe for the young couple to overcome.
Working in New York as a salesgirl in a fancy department store, Kitty meets and falls for kindhearted doctor Mark Eisen, but when the remarried Wyn asks her to run away with him, she faces a difficult choice.
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Kitty is a 1945 film, a costume drama set in London during the 1780s, directed by Mitchell Leisen, based on the novel of the same name by Rosamond Marshall (published in 1943), with a screenplay by Karl Tunberg.
It stars Paulette Goddard, Ray Milland, Constance Collier, Patric Knowles, Reginald Owen, and Cecil Kellaway as the English painter Thomas Gainsborough.
In a broad interpretation of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, the film tells the rags-to-riches story of a beautiful young cockneyguttersnipe who is given a complete makeover by an impoverished aristocrat (Milland) and his aunt (Collier) in hopes of arranging her marriage to a peer, thereby repairing their fortunes and their social status.
In 1783 London, a poor thief, Kitty, is caught picking the pocket of painter Thomas Gainsborough.
Amused, he pays her to sit for a portrait. While posing, she attracts the attention of Sir Hugh Marcy, who offers her a job as a scullery maid and (later) his aunt's ward.
Kitty later learns he is impoverished, having lost his post in the Foreign Office.
All the while, Gainsborough's portrait of Kitty, The Anonymous Lady, creates a stir, as people try to guess the subject's identity.
The Duke of Malmunster, who buys the painting, asks Gainsborough about the model.
Sir Hugh interjects that she is his aunt's ward. So in exchange for an introduction to Kitty, the Duke offers to have Hugh reinstated in the Foreign Office.
But the relationship goes no further than the promised introduction.
Meanwhile, Kitty develops an attraction for Hugh -- so much so, that when he is sent to debtors' prison, Kitty charms wealthy industrialist Jonathan Selby into marriage, using her dowry to free Hugh.
But he and his aunt once again go broke. So when Kitty breaks into her husband's strongbox to bail them out of trouble, Selby beats her but then dies at the hands of Kitty's loyal maid.
As a result, Kitty inherits a large fortune. She desires happiness with Hugh, but he is determined instead that she marry the Duke of Malmunster and reclaim his career. Kitty gives in, and after the honeymoon, the duke makes it known that Kitty is pregnant (though the father is actually the late Selby).
After the birth of the boy, the old duke dies, leaving Kitty extremely wealthy.
After a respectable mourning period, Hugh attempts to arrange a third marriage for Kitty, this time to the Prince of Wales.
Kitty, however, confesses to Hugh she married twice out of love for him.
Unimpressed, Hugh replies that he considers their relationship a business arrangement, nothing more. Meanwhile, Kitty becomes engaged to Hugh's close friend, the Earl of Carstairs.
Seeing them together, Hugh realizes he actually is in love with Kitty.
The Earl, ever the gentleman, chooses not to stand in the way of Hugh's happiness.
So in the end, Hugh and Kitty are free to affirm their mutual devotion.
Paulette Goddard as Kitty. To acquire a Cockney accent, Goddard shared a room for a time with the mother of actress Ida Lupino, who had a very pronounced one.
She learned upper-class diction from Constance Collier. Upon seeing this film, the director Jean Renoir decided to cast Goddard in his film The Diary of a Chambermaid.
Ray Milland as Sir Hugh Marcy. Patric Knowles as Brett, Earl of Carstairs.
Reginald Owen as Duke of Malmunster. Cecil Kellaway as Thomas Gainsborough. Constance Collier as Lady Susan Dowitt, Sir Hugh's aunt.
Dennis Hoey as Jonathan Selby. Sara Allgood as Old Meg, the head of the thieving band to which Kitty belongs at the beginning.
Eric Blore as Dobson, Sir Hugh's servant. Gordon Richards as Sir Joshua Reynolds. Michael Dyne as H. The Prince of Wales. Edgar Norton as Earl of Campton. Patricia Cameron as Elaine Carlisle. Percival Vivian as Dr. Mary Gordon as Nanny. Anita Sharp-Bolster as Mullens (credited as Anita Bolster). Heather Wilde as Lil. Charles Coleman as Majordomo. Mae Clarke as Molly. Al Ferguson as Footman (uncredited). Gibson Gowland as Prison Guard (uncredited). Douglas Walton as Philip (uncredited). The film was based on a novel by Rosamund Marshall. Film rights were bought by Paramount prior to the novel's publication for a reported $50,000.. In October 1943, Paramount announced they would make the film with Paulette Goddard and Ray Milland, with Karl Turnberg and Darrell Ware to write and produce. The novel was published that month. The New York Times called it "robust entertainment". By January 1946 it had sold almost 900,000 copies..
In the original novel, Kitty was a prostitute.
The Breen office, who handled censorship at the time, ruled if this was to be kept in the film version, Kitty would have to die at the end for punishment.
The story was changed so Kitty was a pickpocket.. In March 1944 Mitchell Leisen was given the job of directing and Cecil Kellaway was cast as Gainsborough.. Director Leisen worked very hard with the set and costume designers to create a historically correct picture of 18th-century England.
The California portrait painter Theodore Lukits served as technical adviser for the film's artistic scenes and painted the portrait of Kitty that is seen in the film.