The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)

35mm film, Technicolor, 1.37:1
mono, English

An American fantasy film directed by Norman Z. McLeod.

Plot Summary

Walter Mitty escapes his humdrum life as an accountant with an overprotective mother by daydreaming of himself as a heroic adventurer. When he meets a young woman who passes him a little black book which supposedly contains information on the whereabouts of the Dutch crown jewels, Mitty finds himself in a real-life adventure and begins to realise that he just isn't hero material at all.


* = uncredited

Directed by: Norman Z. McLeod
Copyright MCMXLVII [1947] by Samuel Goldwyn Productions, Inc.
Samuel Goldwyn presents
Executive in Charge of Production: Leon Fromkess *
Produced by: Samuel Goldwyn
Screen Play by: Ken Englund and Everett Freeman
From a Story by: James Thurber
Dialogue Director: Joan Hathaway
Assistant Director: Rollie Asher *
Director of Photography: Lee Garmes
Film Editor: Monica Collingwood
Technicolor Colour Director: Natalie Kalmus
Associate: Mitchell Kovaleski
Music: David Raksin
Musical Direction: Emil Newman
The words and music for “Symphony for Unstrung Tongue”, “Anatole of Paris” by Sylvia Fine
Sound Recorder: Fred Lau
Western Electric Recording
Talking Sound by Sonovox
Costume Designer: Sharaff [real name: Irene Sharaff]
Anatole Hats: John Frederics
Makeup: Robert Stephanoff
Hair Stylist: Marie Clark
Special Effects: John Fulton
Art Direction: George Jenkins, Perry Ferguson
Set Decorations: Casey Roberts

Danny Kaye (Walter Mitty)
Virginia Mayo (Rosalind van Hoorn)
Boris Karloff (Dr [Hugo] Hollingshead)
Fay Bainter (Mrs [Eunice] Mitty)
Ann Rutherford (Gertrude Griswold)
The Goldwyn Girls [Mary Brewer, Betty Cargyle, Sue Casey, Lorraine DeRome, Karen X. Gaylord, Mary Ellen Gleason, Jackie Jordan, Georgia Lange, Martha Montgomery, Patricia Patrick, Irene Vernon, Lynn Walker]
Thurston Hall (Bruce Pierce)
Florence Bates (Mrs [Irma] Griswold)
Gordon Jones (Tubby Wadsworth)
Konstantin Shayne (Peter van Hoorn)
Reginald Denny (colonel)
Henry Corden (Hendrick)
Doris Lloyd (Mrs Follinsbee)
Fritz Feld (Anatole)
Frank Reicher ([Karl] Maasdam)
Milton Parsons (butler [Tyler])

Alternative Titles

Alle tiders helt – Denmark
Das Doppelleben des Herrn Mitty – Austria, Germany
Här kommer en annan – Sweden
O Homem das Sete Vidas – Portugal
Hurjimus – Finland
Sogni proibiti – Italy
La vida secreta de Walter Mitty – Spain

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

Extracts included in
Danny Kaye: A Legacy of Laughter (1996)

See also
Fantasex (1976)
Last Action Hero (1993)
UHF (1989)



  • Boris Karloff: A Critical Account of His Screen, Stage, Radio, Television, and Recording Work by Scott Allen Nollen pp.279; 387
  • Feature Films, 1940-1949: A United States Filmography by Alan G. Fetrow p.433
  • by Walt Lee p.425 – credits
  • The RKO Features by James L. Neibaur p.217 – credits, synopsis
  • RKO Radio Pictures Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films, 1929-1956 by Michael R. Pitts p.264-267