In 1909 Mary Archer, daughter of small-town bluebloods, awaits the return from Germany of sometime beau Jeff. But Jeff brings with him a German friend, Hugo Wilbrandt, who loves and marries Mary. Hugo joins the faculty of a small college and the Wilbrandts prosper...until the advent of World War I brings a storm of anti-German hatred. Resulting troubles so embitter Hugo that he regrets his American citizenship... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Surprising powerful and effective drama from Warner has Otto Kruger playing Hugo Wilbrandt, a German man who comes to live in New England where he's accepted into American society and eventually marries Mary Archer (Barbara Stanwyck), a woman from a proud American family. All is well for the couple and their young son until WWI breaks out and soon they find themselves subject to many who now can't accept their ties to Germany. There's no question that this was made on the budget of a "B" movie but at the same time you can tell that the studio, directors, actors and writers cared so much about the subject and every inch of the film bleeds a certain love that you can't help but get caught up in their story, feel the pain of the family and at times breathe a bit of hatred for those treating the family in such a bad way. It's funny to think that at one time filmmakers were ripped apart for showing any type of sympathy towards the German people but I guess after ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, filmmakers were allowed to show things differently. It's funny that this movie tries to show the evils of what some Americans did while back in the days that this story actually took place Hollywood were turning out all sorts of propaganda, which probably helped fuel the fire of many Americans. With that said, this is an extremely powerful movie at times and this is especially true in a couple scenes that once you see you'll unlikely to ever forget. I'm not going to directly spoil either one of them but one happens with Kruger in bed with his son and the other happens at the end. Both are so true in their emotions that you're rather shocked to see the filmmakers be brave enough to show them. The performances are certainly a major plus with Kruger turning in one of the best performances I've seen from him. He was always a great character actor but he really shines in the leading role here. I always say being able to act with your eyes is a very difficult thing to do but I was constantly watching Kruger's eyes, which said so much during the various important parts of the film. Stanwyck is also extremely good in her role of the wife who finds your life falling apart when just months before it was perfect. The supporting cast includes nice work by the always reliable Ralph Bellamy and Ruth Donnelly is good as the housekeeper. EVER IN MY HEART lasts just under 70- minutes and one would think that wouldn't be enough time to really get deep into the serious subject matter but it actually works out perfectly because the mind frames of people in this country turned on a dime back when the war started and I think the film, running as fast as it does, did a terrific job showing this.
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