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The Impatient Years (1944) More at IMDbPro »


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Up 23% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Virginia Van Upp (original screenplay)
View company contact information for The Impatient Years on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 September 1944 (USA) See more »
It's so timely...and it will happen tomorrow in millions of homes and hearts! (original poster) See more »
Standing before a divorce court judge are Sergeant Andy Anderson and Janie Anderson asking him to dissolve their marriage... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Jean Arthur and The Stranger She Married See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order)

Jean Arthur ... Janie Anderson

Lee Bowman ... Andy Anderson

Charles Coburn ... William Smith

Edgar Buchanan ... Judge

Charley Grapewin ... Benjamin L. Pidgeon, Bellboy
Phil Brown ... Henry Fairchild

Harry Davenport ... Minister

Jane Darwell ... Minister's Wife

Grant Mitchell ... Hotel Clerk
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bob Haymes ... Singer
Charles Arnt ... Marriage Clerk (uncredited)
Martin Ashe ... MP at Hotel (uncredited)
Vickie Beaver ... Baby Bill (uncredited)
Dick Elliott ... Bailiff (uncredited)
William Hall ... MP at Nightclub (uncredited)
Robert Homans ... Old Man Whittling on Steps (uncredited)
Frank Jenks ... Top Sergeant (uncredited)
Robert Emmett Keane ... Attorney (uncredited)
Frank O'Connor ... Passerby on Sidewalk / Train Depot Extra (uncredited)
Frank Orth ... Counterman (uncredited)
Regina Wallace ... Nurse (uncredited)
Matt Willis ... MP at Hotel (uncredited)

Directed by
Irving Cummings 
Writing credits
Virginia Van Upp (original screenplay)

Produced by
Irving Cummings .... producer
Virginia Van Upp .... associate producer
Original Music by
Marlin Skiles 
Cinematography by
Joseph Walker 
Film Editing by
Al Clark 
Art Direction by
Lionel Banks 
Cary Odell 
Set Decoration by
Ross Dowd 
Costume Design by
Jean Louis (gowns)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Abby Berlin .... assistant director
Sound Department
Edward Bernds .... sound engineer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Burnett Guffey .... photographer (uncredited)
Music Department
Morris Stoloff .... musical director (as M.W. Stoloff)
George Duning .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Charles Maxwell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
91 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Did You Know?

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 »
Andy Anderson:Well, you know, sometimes nice girls will surprise you.See more »
Who Said Dreams Don't Come True?See more »


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13 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Jean Arthur and The Stranger She Married, 30 January 2007
Author: HarlowMGM from United States

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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