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F. Hugh Herbert
In a typical American Midwestern city, Hartfield, Iowa, Lew Marsh (Don Ameche) is the owner of a drugstore. Everyone knows Lew and knew his grandfather, old "Gramp" Marsh (Harry Carey), who had passed on. One evening, Lew and his wife, Agnes (Frances Dee), reminisce lovingly about their son, "Rusty" (Richard Crane), when a telegram arrive from the Navy Department informing them that "Rusty" had been killed in action. Lew becomes bitter, avoids people, refuses to go near the family drugstore. "Gramp" appears before Lew and takes him in hand and together, they revisit the past: Lew's childhood; "Gramp" as a Civil War veteran; Lew's courtship of Agnes; the birth of "Rusty"; Lew as a WW! soldier; Rusty's boyhood days and into his attempt to decide between Lenore Prentiss and Gretchen Barry, and how Lenore becomes his bride just before he joins the Navy. This excursion into the past takes away Lew's bitterness and he now sees what America means. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Happy Land is a great look at life of an old time druggist.
Years ago (1980's) I happened on this film just as it was beginning on AMC. At that time I was a newly licensed pharmacist (less than 5 years experience.) I couldn't stop watching it. There on the screen was the story of a druggist like I'd always thought it should be--respected in his community, devoted to his fellow citizens' health, and always available night and day. This was the life I'd thought I was supposed to have before the reality of modern health insurance had fully settled on me. Don Ameche played the role perfectly. Harry Carry as the ghost of 'Gramps', Ameche's grandpa and druggist mentor, could not have been better cast. The central role of the Marsh drugstore was also perfectly set. This was like being in the era. Even a non-pharmacist would find this to be a charming look at an older generations' simpler life. Even with a world-war raging, the drugstore with its soda fountain and variety of dry goods was always there. People met their future spouses at the soda fountain, were able to find just the right remedy for what ailed and could get there favorite bath oils,etc. This is a must-see film for any pharmacist or anyone else who longs for the good-old-days. Anyone would find the story moving and even though most scenes take place in the drugstore, there is plenty of story to keep your attention. This film should be released on DVD. I know every pharmacist would want a copy.
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