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During WWI, Ann Vickers, a humanitarian who is just starting the adult phase of her life, wants to make a difference in the world - using her friend Dr. Malvina Wormser as a role model - but she also wants a fulfilling personal life. She isn't sure if she can accomplish both at the same time. So after a failed relationship with soldier Captain Lafe Resnick which includes a deeper personal tragedy for her, Ann decides instead to focus solely on her career. With a background in nursing and social work, she decides the area of her work will be in prison reform. Her lofty goals do not sit well with many of the male traditionalists in the field, they who may stop her from accomplishing what she wants, at her own personal reputation at risk. Although she has a multitude of wannabe suitors, it isn't until she meets Supreme Court judge Barney Dolphin that she contemplates having that fulfilling personal life at the same time as having a career. But the road to a possible happy ending for Ann ... Written by
John Kelly as Dr. Alstein and Mona Dolphin are in studio records/casting call lists for this movie. Kelly was not seen in the print, and since Mona Dolphin was the character name of Barney's wife, it is likely that no such actress existed. Ferdinand Gottschalk is listed for the role of Dr. Slenk, but that role was played by Murray Kinnell. Kitty Kelly and Robert Benchley were mentioned as cast members in a news item, but they did not appear in the movie. See more »
Although the first part of the picture takes place in 1918, all of Irene Dunne's hairstyles and clothes are strictly in the 1933 mode, and continue as such through the decade of the 1920s which follows. See more »
"Ann Vickers" is an adaptation of Sinclair Lewis' book about an unwed social worker who becomes pregnant during World War I and is subsequently abandoned by her lover. It is a valuable social commentary on the mores and folkways of the time (1933) and explores the double standard then existent that condemned a woman for `loose living' while exonerating a man. The most interesting aspect of the film to me was the fact that it was almost a mirror's image of the sea change that took place in morals during 1920's in the aftermath of World War I.
RKO couldn't have picked a better actress to play the part of Ann Vickers. Irene Dunne was young, sensitive, brave, intelligent everything the `modern woman' of the day was supposed to be. Her early professional career was marked by a series of skillfully done tearjerkers of which "Ann Vickers" is one of the better ones.
I highly recommend this movie. Walter Huston did a fine job as Ann's second love, and the man who restored her faith in a loving relationship. It's well directed and filmed and is a wonderful insight into life in the U.S. from just after World War I up until the middle of the Great Depression.
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