6.8/10
133
12 user 3 critic

Happy Land (1943)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 10 November 1943 (USA)
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... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Fallen Angel (1945)
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A slick con man arrives in a small town looking to make some money, but soon gets more than he bargained for.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Alice Faye, Dana Andrews, Linda Darnell
Topaze I (1933)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An honest and naive schoolteacher gets a lesson in how the world works outside the classroom, when a rich Baron and his mistress use the teacher's name and outstanding reputation in a ... See full summary »

Director: Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast
Stars: John Barrymore, Myrna Loy, Reginald Mason
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A ruthless, domineering woman is married to an alcoholic D.A., her childhood companion who is the only living witness to her murder of her rich aunt seventeen years earlier.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A married woman and a drifter fall in love, then plot to murder her husband. Once the deed is done, they must live with the consequences of their actions.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Rick Todd uses the dreams of his roommate Eugene as the basis for a successful comic book.

Director: Frank Tashlin
Stars: Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Shirley MacLaine
The Big Heat (1953)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When the Germans invade Norway their Commandant and the town Mayor confront each other, attempting to maintain civility as far as possible. When the army tries to orgnanize townspeople to ... See full summary »

Director: Irving Pichel
Stars: Cedric Hardwicke, Henry Travers, Lee J. Cobb
The Jackpot (1950)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Bill Lawrence wins a slew of prizes on a radio quiz program. His happiness is short-lived when he discovers he'll have to sell the prizes in order to pay the taxes on them.

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: James Stewart, Barbara Hale, James Gleason
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Elizabeth and John say goodbye as John leaves to go to war. When World War I ends, Elizabeth receives a telegram that John has been killed in action. She finds comfort in Larry and they ... See full summary »

Director: Irving Pichel
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Orson Welles, George Brent
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A formal tailcoat that gets passed from one owner to another affects each life in a significant way.

Director: Julien Duvivier
Stars: Charles Boyer, Rita Hayworth, Ginger Rogers
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A WWII tale of romance that begins during New Orlean's "Mardi Gras" celebration when a soldier and a girl meet and fall in love. He asks her to marry him but she decides to wait until his ... See full summary »

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Nancy Coleman, Margaret Lindsay, Phillip Reed
Bedtime Story (1964)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story of two gigolos who vie to see which is the best at their profession.

Director: Ralph Levy
Stars: Marlon Brando, David Niven, Shirley Jones
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Gramp
...
Lenore Prentiss
...
Gretchen Barry
...
Russell 'Rusty' Marsh
...
Anton 'Tony' Cavrek (as Henry Morgan)
Minor Watson ...
Judge Colvin
...
Peter Orcutt
William Weber ...
Bill Beecher
Oscar O'Shea ...
Father Case
James West ...
Rusty - Ages 12 to 16
Larry Olsen ...
Rusty - Age 5
Bernard Thomas ...
Sam Kendall
Adeline De Walt Reynolds ...
Mrs. Schneider
Edit

Storyline

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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 November 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Filho Querido  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Feature film debut of Natalie Wood. See more »

Connections

Version of The 20th Century-Fox Hour: In Times Like These (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Good Morning to You
(uncredited)
Music by Mildred J. Hill
Lyrics by Patty S. Hill
Sung by the schoolchildren
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Melancholy and Grief In Wartime Iowa
3 June 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Don Ameche's son is killed in WW II. Can grandpa Harry Carey, returning from the dead, convince a grieving Ameche that his life, his son's life, and this whole war is worth his son's sacrifice, and get Ameche to believe his small town is indeed HAPPY LAND?

Despite a wonderful opening sequence, reminiscent of the homespun melancholy of the better parts of Our Town and Since You Went Away, this is a rather superficial and bland treatment of the grief of a good, if temporarily embittered man, whose son has died in the war. Ameche, a decent enough actor, does not have skill to bring off his role, and Harry Carey, with his mono-tonal voice, and facial expressions running the gamut of emotions from A to B, makes conversations about life and death as enchanting as a conversation about whether to pick up milk at the store. The result might be truly Midwestern in its emotions, but it's questionable whether that's a good thing.

Much of the movie is flashbacks to the life of Ameche's child (though, interestingly, we do not see the kid actually fighting in the war). There's nothing especially interesting in the flashbacks, nor, really, is there much there that would provide comfort to Ameche. A final scene, where Ameche learns from a young Harry Morgan how his son died heroically, works somewhat better, simply because Morgan's flat Midwestern delivery and Ameche's flat Midwestern delivery grounds what has been rather leaden supernatural stuff in a bit of reality. Whether Ameche, under these circumstances, would find the will to go on again after all this, is questionable.

A comparison between this film and It's A Wonderful Life is inevitable, as they deal with the same basic situation. This film, far more low key and far less extreme than the Stuart/Capra collaboration, might be more appealing to folks who prefer their fantastic/supernatural cinema to be realistic. But to this viewer, the far more dramatic events and emotional acting of Stuart makes his movie more fun to watch and, oddly enough, more believable.

Assessment -- Don't avoid this movie. You might like it. Alas, I did not.


6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Happy Land (1943) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?