During the Great Depression, a wealthy banker throws away his wife's expensive fur coat; it lands on the head of a stenographer, leading to everyone assuming she is his mistress and has access to his millions.
Non-citizen Arthur marries reporter Murphy for a bogus gangster's confession. A divorce is needed, and Murphy is fired. The gangster wants her to be his girlfriend, the police are outside, and only one who can save her is Murphy.
Erle C. Kenton
Standing before a divorce court judge are Sergeant Andy Anderson and Janie Anderson asking him to dissolve their marriage. Janie's father, William Smith, objects and the judge allows him to give his version of their story. They had met in San Francisco fifteen months earlier and, after knowing each other only three days, had gotten married. Andy was sent overseas the day after the wedding and when he returns and despite the fact that Janie had borne him a son, they find they are almost strangers. Mr. Smith suggests, and the judge orders, that if they retrace their actions over the four days they knew each other they would regain their love. They return to the coffee counter where they met and, later, their actions and conversations in the hotel where they register in separate rooms arouses the suspicions of the hotel clerk and the old, ubiquitous wartime "bellboy" who set themselves up as Janie's guardian. Janie and Andy go to the license bureau and even go to the same minister, with ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Al Jolson made a studio recording of the song "Who Said Dreams Don't Come True?" (music and lyrics by Al Jolson, Harry Akst and Benny Davis), which originally was to be sung by Jolie over the opening credits. As release print begins, the melody is played without the Jolson vocal. His prerecording still exists. Later in the movie, Bob Haymes croons the ditty. See more »
Legendary star Jean Arthur ended her Columbia contract with THE IMPATIENT YEARS in 1944 and walked away from her screen career to return to the movies only twice within the next eight years. This mildly entertaining light drama was not a particularly memorable ending to the golden era of her career but it is an acceptable one. Jean married solider Lee Bowman in a whirlwind courtship before he left for duty, now that he's back they find they have nothing in common except for the baby she gave birth to while he was away. A bad first day back home has the duo headed to divorce court where judge Edgar Buchanan agrees with Jean's dad (Charles Coburn) suggestion that they be forced to relive their whirlwind courtship again for a few days to see if they really don't have anything in common before a divorce will be granted.
This is essentially a drama with a few comic touches. Jean Arthur is always good and looks remarkably youthful at 43 (although publicized at the time as 38) completely believable as a young girl who has become completely domesticated without a husband (or really wanting one). Lee Bowman was one of several rather colorless actors promoted to leading man during the war years while many major stars were away serving in the military. He's OK here but not much more than that and is saddled with a character that has a rather unpleasant edge. Certainly the "second courtship" of Arthur and Bowman doesn't ring true in it's resolution.
Phil Brown plays Jean's bookish boarder who is half in love with her and has been playing surrogate, platonic husband while Bowman has been away. Brown doesn't make a particularly strong impression on screen but he went on to have a very long if minor career reaching his apex with a small role in 1977 in STAR WARS. He passed away just last year, 2006.
Charles Coburn is wasted here but a few other character actors shine in their small roles, notably Charley Grapewin as an elderly bellhop and Harry Davenport and Jane Darwell as the justice of the peace and his wife.
THE IMPATIENT YEARS proves at least that Jean Arthur could handle drama as well as her more acclaimed talent for comedy. The star was one of a kind but the film alas is run of the mill.
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