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Arthur B. Woods,
After many years, MacKenzie Scott is pardoned from prison, but his wife is already involved with another man. Nevertheless, he travels incognito to his family's town. There he befriends his daughter Victoria, who doesn't recognize him, and encourages her musical abilities. Written by
Diana Hamilton <email@example.com>
Although Walter Huston had sung in his theater roles earlier, this was the first time he sang in a movie. See more »
Mac sits down to work on the sticking keys on Mudge's piano and quickly proclaims it fixed. A moment later, Mudge sits down to try it out and there are clearly two keys that are stuck down.
The keys are not stuck down, they are missing the ivory and are dark wood color. They only look like they are stuck down. See more »
Always In My Heart was taken from the play Fly Away Home which ran for 204 performances in 1935. In the original Broadway cast, Thomas Mitchell was the star in the role that Walter Huston played on screen. And a 15 year old Montgomery Clift made his stage debut in the role of the son.
During the interim before it reached the screen the film that became known as Always In My Heart was adapted for the wartime present. It also became a musical of sorts with one original song written for it, You're Always In My Heart and some classical and standard pop songs filling out the score. Because it was a musical the emphasis went away from the son and father to the daughter and father with Gloria Warren who Jack Warner was obviously building up to be his answer to Universal's Deanna Durbin. Warren sang pretty, but never quite made it as a second Durbin.
Walter Huston is the father of Frankie Thomas and Gloria Warren who was in jail for about 15 years and was pardoned. During that time he divorced their mother Kay Francis at his insistence. He figured he was going to be in jail for life as that was the sentence meted out to him for a homicide of a business partner who doubledealed him. The kids were told he died and Francis is now ready to marry the stuffy, but rich Sidney Blackmer.
Stopping by the house and not meeting Francis, Huston ingratiates himself with Warren when he tunes her piano and in that displays the musical knowledge and gift he's passed on to Warren. They develop a relationship of sorts as Huston decides to hang around see his kids for a few days before exiting their lives.
Thomas is getting his hormones in an uproar over the sexy Amida on this California coast town, but she's only using him to make her boy friend Anthony Caruso jealous. He's in need of some fatherly advice even if he doesn't know it's his father. As for Warren she likes singing with the poor fisher folk living on the wharves with their harmonica band led by Borrah Minevitch. Blackmer does not approve of her associating with the lower classes.
Towards the downside of her career, Kay Francis gradually transitioned into mother roles, if the film had been done at MGM, Greer Garson might have been cast. She and Huston do well together in their joint scenes.
The title song for Always In My Heart received an Academy Award nomination as the Best Song, the only nomination the film received. But this was the year of White Christmas and no other song was going to win the Oscar that year.
Certain things in the film tell me that the original play was a great deal more serious. The changes were made in keeping with wartime years as Gloria Warren the Harmonica Rascals led by Borrah Minevitch were aiming at both a USO show and a big radio contract. Of course Warren is also aiming to study seriously as well.
The changes leave Always In My Heart quite a hybrid film, not quite drama and not quite comedy. Still it's a pleasant enough film with the cast doing very well by their roles.
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