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The Impatient Years (1944)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance, Drama | 10 September 1944 (USA)
To rekindle their love, a divorce judge orders a couple whose marriage is on the rocks to re-enact their four-day breakneck courtship.



(original screenplay)


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Credited cast:
Benjamin L. Pidgeon, Bellboy
Minister's Wife
Hotel Clerk
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bob Haymes ...


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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They found the answer to WAR-TIME MARRIAGES in the middle of a KISS! See more »


Comedy | Romance | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 September 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Anni impazienti  »


Box Office


$600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This movie was originally set to reunite the trio of stars of The More the Merrier (1943) (Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea and Charles Coburn). Only Arthur and Coburn are in it. McCrea backed out before shooting started and was replaced by Lee Bowman. See more »


Andy Anderson: Well, you know, sometimes nice girls will surprise you.
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Who Said Dreams Don't Come True?
Written by Harry Akst, Benny Davis and Al Jolson
Sung by Bob Haymes
See more »

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User Reviews

A Quiet Gem! A rare, adult comedy-drama!
29 June 2002 | by See all my reviews

"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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