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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
Sarah Padden, who is listed as a black woman, supposedly played her role in black-face, since she is not black. She was not seen in the film, but may have been the prisoner executed by hanging. She is seen in long shot and is not recognizable. 'Reginald Barlow' is barely recognizable as the Chaplain following her and reciting a prayer. J. Carrol Naish has a very brief scene lying in bed in an alcoholic stupor. He has no lines. It is a credit to their agents that these three all received on-screen credits. 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 »
To call Ann Vickers a women's picture may technically be accurate--it was, indeed, adapted by Jane Murfin, also responsible for 1939's The Women--but it's much more than that. Quite simply, this is one of the best dramas ever produced in Hollywood. Written with delicacy and tenderness, yet planted firmly in the cruel realities of life, Ann Vickers includes a tour de force performance by Irene Dunne, ably supported by the wonderful Walter Huston as her lover, and Conrad Nagel and Bruce Cabot as would be paramours. There are some incredibly powerful moments here, especially during the prison scenes, and Dunne and Huston are magical whenever they're on screen together. Certainly daring by the standards of the time, Ann Vickers is a refreshingly honest and still topical masterpiece.
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