While out riding in the country, wealthy New Yorker Alec Walker meets young widow Julie Eden, and a relationship quickly develops. However, Alec has not told her that he is already locked ... See full summary »
Working-class Stella Martin marries high-end Stephen Dallas and soon they have a daughter named Laurel. But Stephen's incessant demands of Stella to become what she isn't leads to their ... See full summary »
A struggling young actress with a six-year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black widow and her light-skinned eight-year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white.
As Julie prepares to leave her husband Roger, she begins to play through a stack of recordings, each of which reminds her of events in their lives together. One of them is the song that was playing when she and Roger first met in a music store. Other songs remind her of their courtship, their marriage, their desire for a child, and the joys and sorrows that they have shared. A flood of memories comes back to her as she ponders their present problems and how they arose. Written by
With sympathetic main characters and an approach that is usually understated enough to avoid over-sentimentality, this bittersweet story works reasonably well most of the time. Irene Dunne plays this kind of role well, handling a wide range of material while keeping her emotions and reactions restrained enough to be believable. Cary Grant is better than one might expect him to be in this kind of role. It's possible that Edgar Buchanan's performance might be the most important of all in holding it together, since he is ideal in providing some down-to-earth balance, whether his character is repairing printing presses or giving the young couple some tips on taking care of their baby.
Director George Stevens does a good job with the pacing, and the story-framing technique with the various songs works pretty well. While there may be a few moments when the sentimentality gets dangerously high, most of the time it remains balanced, and certainly more so than is the case with present-day movies of this kind. It's far from flawless, but it is generally effective in telling the kind of story that takes a combination of sensitivity and restraint to tell believably.
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