But Not for Me (film)

For the 2015 film, see But Not for Me (2015 film).
But Not for Me

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Walter Lang
Produced by William Perlberg
George Seaton
Written by John Michael Hayes
Samson Raphaelson (play)
Starring Clark Gable
Carroll Baker
Lilli Palmer
Lee J. Cobb
Music by Leith Stevens
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • 1959 (1959)
Running time
104 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $2.5 million (est. US/ Canada rentals)[1]

But Not for Me is a 1959 Paramount Pictures comedy film starring Clark Gable and Carroll Baker.[2] It is based on the play Accent on Youth written by Samson Raphaelson.


Russ Ward is a Broadway producer with a 30-year record of success who has been out of town. On returning to New York, everybody wants a piece of him: ex-wife Kathryn Ward, hard-drinking playwright Jeremiah "Mac" MacDonald, magazine reporter Roy Morton, business manager Miles Atwood and lawyer Charles Montgomery, one after another.

The main topic of discussion is Give Me Your Hand, the new play Russ is producing. The reporter hears it's in trouble, but Russ says that's untrue. It will be ready for its Boston tryout right on schedule, he vows.

Kathryn keeps reminding him of his age, which Russ likes to lie about. Russ tells loyal young secretary and student actress Ellie Brown it is likely time to retire because the new show is a mess. He and writer Mac have a story about a middle-aged man romancing a 22-year-old woman and just can't seem to make it work.

Ellie is in love with Russ, so much so she proposes marriage to him. That gives him an idea. What if the play had the young woman pursuing the man? That way he wouldn't seem such a lecher. A delighted Mac rewrites it and everyone involved works on it at the Long Island mansion where the former actress Kathryn lives, partly thanks to her alimony from Russ.

A rich backer named Bacos wants in, but Atwood says his money isn't needed because an anonymous angel is financing the whole show. Ellie reads the woman's part and strikes everybody as perfect for it. Gordon Reynolds, an up-and-coming young actor in Ellie's acting class, gets the male lead and promptly falls for Ellie, but she's being led on by Russ, who doesn't discourage her love for him.

The show's so-so in Boston and a few of them panic, but Russ insists it'll be a hit on Broadway and, sure enough, he's right. Now he needs to let down Ellie gently, and next thing he knows, she and Gordon have gotten married. Ellie returns exasperated because Gordon wants to give up theater and move to Montana. She strips and leaps into Russ's bed so Gordon can catch her there and demand an annulment.

Everybody gets every misunderstanding sorted out. The newlyweds decide to compromise, and Russ, who finally has figured out that Kathryn was the anonymous angel who financed the show, is ready to give their relationship a second act.


Previous versions

The 1935 movie Accent on Youth starred Herbert Marshall and Sylvia Sydney. The 1950 film version was a musical entitled Mr. Music, starring Bing Crosby and Nancy Olson


  1. "1959: Probable Domestic Take", Variety, 6 January 1960 p 34
  2. "NY Times review". New York Times. October 3, 1959. Archived from the original on May 21, 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2008.

External links

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