American Film


TEACHER’S PET (1958), starring Clark Gable as James Gannon, a self-taught newspaper editor and Doris Day as Erica R. Stone, a journalism teacher, is the subject of our back-to-school Screen Test. Paramount’s romantic comedy garnered Academy Award nominations for its writers, Fay Kanin and husband Michael Kanin, and actor Gig Young in the supporting role of Dr. Hugo Pine, Gannon’s romantic rival. Here, Gannon states his case to his casual date, Miss Peggy DeFore. See if you can correctly identify the next lines of dialog heard in the movie.


So he’s got more degrees than a thermometer, so he speaks seven languages, so he’s read every book. So what? The important thing is he’s had no experience. He didn’t start at the bottom and work up. That’s the only way you can learn.

CUT! Okay, what did the character of Peggy DeFore say?


Please choose an answer!

You answered correctly!

The correct answer is #2

It helps to know that Peggy DeFore was a nightclub entertainer played by the curvaceous Mamie Van Doren, whose bombshell image contrasted neatly with the brains-and-beauty appeal of Doris Day.

Fay Kanin went on to write numerous television movies after her husband’s retirement, including RASHOMON (1961), HEAT OF ANGER (1972) and FRIENDLY FIRE (1979). She was an AFI Trustee from 1975 until 2009 and is currently an AFI Trustee Emerita. In 1984, AFI and the National Endowment for the Arts announced the creation of the National Center for Film and Video Preservation to establish, coordinate and implement national priorities in those areas. Kanin was appointed co-chair along with Eddie Albert and Elton Rule. More recently, she joined AFI Catalog staff and representatives of numerous public and studio archives at Arnie Morton's of Chicago to celebrate the publication of the American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films 1941-1950. 

For more about TEACHER'S PET, visit the AFI Catalog of Feature Films.