The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 1947 parents guide

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 1947 Parent Guide

Overall B+

Walter Mitty (Danny Kaye) often escapes his mundane life by seeking adventure in a secret world of daydreams. Then one day a beautiful, real life woman (Virginia Mayo) awakens him to her world and a nightmarish mystery.

Release date September 1, 1947

Violence B-
Sexual Content B-
Profanity A-
Substance Use B

Why is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 1947 rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 1947 Not Rated

Run Time: 110 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Walter Mitty (Danny Kaye) may be a dutiful son, but his mother’s (Fay Bainter) constant nagging has driven him into a secret world of daydreams. Here his usually drab existence transforms into endless opportunities for dare-doing as he bravely faces dangers at sea, gunslingers in the Wild West and heroically pilots a plane through war-torn skies. (These little forays into his imagination also allow the movie to showcase the incomparable talents of Danny Kaye, as he sings, dances and clowns his way through these scenes.)

Along with running errands for his mom, Walter works at a publishing company that produces racy detective novels with ghoulish illustrations on the covers (some of these are seen as posters decorating the office walls). The job ought to be perfect for someone with his penchant for creative thought. Yet instead, his boss berates him for his absent-mindedness while at the same time stealing Walter’s best ideas and calling them his own.

Then one day some real intrigue stirs in his mundane world. A beautiful woman (Virginia Mayo)—who bares a striking resemblance to the damsel-in-distress that stars in all his fantasies—waltzes into his life and somehow makes him a partner in crime. Before he is even sure he can distinguish fact from fiction, the befuddled man finds himself deeply involved in a murder and the disappearance of a little black book full of valuable information.

Although this actual adventure includes a killing (a man is stabbed and bloodstains are seen on his clothes), moments of peril and some comical entanglements in women’s lingerie, it also helps the true Walter Mitty discover his unique talents. He learns he can play an important part in the real world—not just in his illusions.

Some of the threats in the script are serious, however the story’s humorous feel and the slapstick antics keep the plot light. The action should be silly enough for older children to find funny. As well, the film may give parents a chance to share an old Hollywood icon with a new generation of movie viewers.

Directed by Norman Z. McLeod. Starring Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Boris Karloff, Konstantin Shayne. Running time: 110 minutes. Theatrical release September 1, 1947. Updated

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 1947
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 1947 rated Not Rated? The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 1947 is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: Daydreaming sequences include gunslingers at a Wild West showdown, threats of drowning at sea, and discussions of WWII enemy planes being shot down. A man is pushed from a window and nearly falls from a high ledge. A character is stabbed (not shown) and bloodstains are seen. Characters are in peril, punched, shoved, threatened with knives and shocked by electricity. A man is caught in a trap and dangled upside-down. A dog snaps at a man. A woman is bound and held against her will. A sleeping potion is put in a character’s drink. Ghoulish pictures are shown. Characters try to convince another man that he is crazy.

Sexual Content: Women are seen in underwear, bathing suits and provocative costumes. Females model corsets. A character suspects his wife is having an affair. Illustrations on book covers and posters feature busty women.

Language: Name-calling and infrequent racial slurs are heard.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Cigar smoking is seen through the film. Characters drink alcohol at a gambling table and in a bar.

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 1947 Parents' Guide

Why does Walter Mitty daydream? What problems does he face because of it? Does anything good come from his wandering imagination?

When is creativity a blessing? When is it a curse? How can someone like Walter Mitty find a balance between the two?

This movie was made in 1947—just a couple of years after World War 2. How does that recent history enter into the plot of this film? What derogatory things about the enemy are included in the script? Would such comments be considered politically correct today?

This movie is based on a short story by James Thurber.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 1947 movie is December 10, 2013. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)

Release Date: 10 December 2013

The 1947 version of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty releases on DVD with the following extras:

- Interview with Virginia Mayo

- Theatrical trailer

Related home video titles:

Danny Kaye can also be seen in The Court Jester (both scripts feature a character named Griswold). The 2013 remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty stars Ben Stiller.

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