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... See full summary »
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>
"The Impatient Years" deserves to be rediscovered. The script and the playing by Jean Arthur and Lee Bowman (as Janie and Andy) showed great daring by going against the grain of WW2 romances in showing the reality behind the media-driven fantasy that marrying soldiers during wartime was a patriotic duty and the epitome of romantic love. Arthur and Bowman honestly (and sometimes, painfully) show tentative getting to know someone after a whirlwind courtship followed by service overseas. Jean Arthur's character openly questions the idea of war marriages and advocates her personal fulfillment over being married because society expected a 1940's woman to be married. This was daring for the 1940's as was the character of the boarder, who didn't go off to war; didn't feel stigmatized for not fighting in battle; and who cared for Andy and Janie's baby as if it were his own son.
The chemistry between Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn (atlast, playing daughter and father) is as strong and as fun to watch as in their other films together.
The pace, music, and editing was lyrical and leisurely. This adds immeasurably to the gentle comedy and strong dramatic moments when Andy and Janie replay their courtship (under court order).
Lee Bowman should have become a star from his work in "The Impatient Years". He showed great chemistry with Jean Arthur and could've developed into a Melvyn Douglas-type leading man.
A film that deserves a second, even third viewing to appreciate and savor!
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