Department store salesclerk Anabel Sims (Betsy Drake) is very enamoured with the idea of getting married. So when handsome pediatrician Dr. Madison Brown (Cary Grant) asks for her help in making a purchase, she decides that he is the one for her.
He is quite happy as a bachelor, but Anabel proves to be a very determined schemer. She learns all she can about him, everything from where he went to school to his favourite foods. Madison soon realises her intentions and does his best to fend off the young woman.
Anabel makes a reservation at a restaurant on a day when she knows that Madison habitually dines there. In an attempt to make him jealous, she pretends to be waiting for wealthy, thrice-married playboy Roger Sanford (Franchot Tone), who happens to be her employer and Madison's university classmate. By chance, Roger shows up. Fortunately for her, Roger believes that she is using Madison as a ruse to get acquainted with him. However, the manoeuvre fails; Madison's feelings remain unchanged.
Anabel comes up with more ingenious schemes, but they are all unsuccessful. However, Roger falls in love with her. He eventually asks her to marry him, but she only invites him to dinner at her home. When Anabel's best friend Julie (Diana Lynn) warns Madison, he begins to worry, knowing something of Roger's success with women. The doctor invites himself to the little soirée. While waiting for Anabel, they are unexpectedly joined by "Old Joe" (Eddie Albert), Anabel's longtime hometown beau, who announces that he and Anabel are finally going to get married. At first, Madison congratulates them, but after thinking about it, makes his own bid for her hand. Anabel leaves the decision up to Joe, who bows out, saying that he only wants her to be happy. After Joe leaves, Madison informs Anabel that her research on him was incomplete; he recognised "Joe's" voice as that of a radio performer he listens to frequently.Cary Grant as Dr. Madison W. Brown
Franchot Tone as Roger Sanford
Diana Lynn as Julie Hudson
Betsy Drake as Anabel Sims
Alan Mowbray as Mr. Spitzer
Elisabeth Risdon as Nurse Mary Nolan
Richard Gaines as Sam McNutt
Harry Hayden as Gogarty
Chick Chandler as Harry, the Soda Clerk
Leon Belasco as Violinist
Fred Essler as Pierre, the Restaurant Owner
Anna Q. Nilsson as Saleslady
Eddie Albert as Harry Proctor aka "Joe"
Every Girl Should Be Married was based on a short story written by Eleanor Harris in an October 1947 edition of the Ladies' Home Journal. The film's lead actors, Cary Grant and Betsy Drake were married in real life one year after the film's release. Drake was Grant's third wife. Grant spotted Drake performing in a stage play in London two years before the film's release called Deep are the Roots. Grant was reportedly "intrigued by her talent and charm." The couple met a year before the film's release aboard the luxury liner RMS Queen Mary traveling from England back to the United States, where they were formally introduced to each other on the liner by actress and fellow passenger Merle Oberon. Grant and Drake became friends and soon were romantically involved.
Drake was a stage actress from America with no film credits to her name at that time, but Cary Grant discovered her acting potential and convinced Dore Schary, head of production at RKO Pictures, to sign Drake to a contract with the company. Barbara Bel Geddes was initially intended to play Anabel Sims but Grant and industrialist Howard Hughes wished for Drake to play the role. Grant made sure he had a say in anything that concerned Drake's performance from lighting to dialogue and used his influence on everyone involved with the film. Actress Lois Hall made her motion picture debut in this film.
According to Cary Grant's biographer Marc Eliot, Grant knew that acting on screen with Drake was a risky proposition and that the general public would be rightly speculating that she had gotten the part only because she was his girlfriend. According to an interview with gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, Drake believed if everyone thought she had gotten her breakthrough because of Grant, then they were very wrong about him and her. She further suggested that Grant had simply made it possible for them to share a creative experience with their real-life chemistry. The film turned out to be a positive experience for both Grant and Drake with the only downside was that Hughes insisted on becoming actively involved in every aspect of its production, with the result that Schary abruptly resigned from RKO. Hughes then allowed Grant to rewrite much of the script, and even to instruct director Don Hartman in how to shoot several scenes, so as to shift much of the film's visual emphasis from his character to Drake's character.
An instrumental version of Charles Trenet's La Mer is played several times in the film.
Bosley Crowther of The New York Times praised Betsy Drake's performance, saying that she displays "a refreshingly natural comic spirit". Likewise, the weekly American entertainment trade magazine Variety described Drake's performance in the film as "a tour de force in the romantic comedy vein." while calling the film "one of those rare comic delicacies that are always in good season." Dennis Schwartz was more critical of the film and said, "Writer-director Don Hartman fails to get much comedy out of the comedy".
The film was RKO's most lucrative production of 1948, making $775,000 in profits. Grant and Drake reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast held on 27 June 1949.