Transplanting a show from Broadway to Hollywood involves something more than railway fare. Somewhere in transit "The Voice of the Turtle" acquired new scenes, more people, and a coy chastity. What was once a one-set, three-character production now boasts Wayne Marris, as many extras as the next epic, and intimate glimpses of New York ranging from a corner grocery store to the Pennsylvania Hotel.
Amazingly enough, the movie manages to retain most of the playful charm of a weekend love affair that earned the stage version a five-year run. For this feat, author John Van Druten, who was on hand in Hollywood, is presumably responsible.
Despite the fact that additional people and places are now visible, "The Voice of the Turtle" is still essentially a three-character show. Eleanor Parker and Ronald Reagan, while not able to reach the level established in New York by Margaret Sullivan and Elliot Nugent, are quite capable. Eve Arden, playing the glossy, irresponsible Olive, is up to any standard.
But Mr. Van Druten, carried by the nearby Johnston office, had to change his tactics. Instead of inexorably propelling Parker and Reagan into bed, he has to keep them out of it. When Reagan, a buck-sergeant on week-end furlough, retires on Miss Parker's living room couch, the camera carefully records the tightly closed bedroom door that separates the lovers. In the play, the curtain fell as the two embraced. But the idea is the same and most people will probably catch on.