Strictly Dishonorable (1951 film)

Strictly Dishonorable is a 1951 romantic comedy film written, produced and directed by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama, and starring Ezio Pinza and Janet Leigh. It is the second film to be based on Preston Sturges' 1929 hit Broadway play of the same name after a pre-Code film released by Universal Pictures in 1931 with the same title.

In New York in the 1920s, amorous opera star Augustino "Gus" Caraffa (Ezio Pinza) crosses paths with Isabelle Perry (Janet Leigh), a naive music student from Mississippi who is his biggest fan. When a news photographer catches them in a kiss, it is proposed that they get married in name only to avoid a scandal. Isabelle, who is in love with Gus, agrees to the charade, hoping that he will eventually fall in love with her.[2][3]

Preston Sturges approached Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with the idea of doing a remake of Strictly Dishonorable with Ezio Pinza, and received $60,000 for the rights, but was disappointed when he was not hired to write the screenplay.[4]

Strictly Dishonorable was in production from mid-January to mid-March 1951,[10] and was released on 3 July of that year.[11]

According to MGM records the film earned $660,000 in the US and Canada and $221,000 elsewhere, resulting in a loss of $664,000.[1]

Lux Radio Theatre broadcast a radio adaptation of the film on December 8, 1952, with Janet Leigh reprising her role and Fernando Lamas replacing Pinza.[4][12]