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Between April and October 1942, other writers worked on the project, including the husband-and-wife team of Victor Heerman & Sarah Y.
John Truett began life as John "Bluett," then for legal reasons became Collins, then Truett (Ms. "Bluett" stayed as the reference name of the house on MGM's "St.
Louis Street" even after the backlot was torn down.
Finklehoffe and Brecher wisely decided that the bulk of the story should take place in the Smith family home and it's surrounding area of St. It was Finklehoffe and Brecher who expanded the "Warren Sheffield telephone call from New York" scene by making Mr.
Smith ignorant to the goings on and having him hang up the phone when it first rings.
They also took out scenes at Princeton University and a Smith family visit to their grandparents in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Smith's decision NOT to move the family to New York from immediately after the family's objections to the night before the planned move(Christmas Eve) heightening the tension; Removing a romance between Rose and Colonel Andrews (renamed Darly in the final film) -only a small scene remains that hints of Rose's attraction to him; Removing an announcement by Tootie that she did not want to go to the fair; Changing the hair color of Rose and Esther from blonde and black to both being auburn; Removing a blackmail subplot involving Esther and finally, they divided the film into four segments representing the four seasons of the year (Sally Benson's book had been 12 chapters, one for each month of the year).
Name changes were made too, sometimes for legal reasons.
Finklehoffe had written for several Judy Garland musicals, and Brecher had written for the Marx Brothers, which seemed at first an odd choice to write a delicate family story.MGM purchased the screen rights to Sally Benson's "Kensington Stories" for $25,000.00 on March 1, 1942.Right away, the story went through the screen writing process at MGM.Several screen writers and authors took a stab at it.Sally Benson herself worked on what became a 198 page treatment written with Doris Gilbert between March 30 and May 9, 1942.Sally Benson wanted Lucille Ballard's name to be either Picard or Dorsey.