35 user 11 critic

None But the Lonely Heart (1944)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 17 October 1944 (USA)
When an itinerant reluctantly returns home to help his sickly mother run her shop, they are both tempted to turn to crime to help make ends meet.



(written for the screen by), (from the novel by)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Ma Mott (as Miss Ethel Barrymore)
Aggie Hunter
Jim Mordinoy
Lew Tate
Roman Bohnen ...
Dad Pettyjohn
Konstantin Shayne ...
Ike Weber


A sickly English woman runs a store by herself, while her irresponsible son travels aimlessly, refusing to contact her. When told that his mother has cancer, the young man comes home, reforms himself, and helps his mom run the shop. Soon however, each becomes involved in illegal activities. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...to three women who loved him he was King of Kings! (original poster) See more »


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 October 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apenas um Coração Solitário  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ernie's full name is "Ernest Verdun Mott" - named by his father who was at the WWI battle. See more »


When Ernie and Henry are talking at the end of the film, we hear planes fly overhead as they look up at them. The planes cast shadows over Ernie. However, it's obvious the shadow effect is done by hand tinting each frame of film as the edges of the shadows are extremely sharp and they jump around slightly from frame to frame. See more »


Aggie Hunter: Don't worry for me. I'm here if you need me. I can't help my own nature. If I love you it's something I can't help, and something that I need. People are what they are and love what they love, and I don't see any sense in trying to be something else. I wouldn't trade it for a box at the opera, the thing I feel for you. And you can't change it or take it away from me. And there you are mister jack in the box.
See more »


Featured in The 75th Annual Academy Awards (2003) See more »


Romance No.6, Op.6 (None But the Lonely Heart)
(1869) (uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Played during the opening credits and often in the score
Played by Jane Wyatt on cello
Played by Cary Grant on piano
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User Reviews

The Perils of Typecasting
9 June 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Cary Grant wanted to do something different than being a comedic or romantic leading man. He'd have liked to do more serious things like None But the Lonely Heart a good deal more frequently.

In point of fact Grant understood the character of Ernie Mott far better than any of his other more upper class characters. Ernie Mott was the kind of fellow Cary would have run into back in the days when he was Archie Leach. Grant came from a hardscrabble background growing up in London. In many ways Cary Grant was the greatest role he ever played.

Grant had played cockneys before on the screen, but in a more comic vein in Sylvia Scarlett and Gunga Din. However what we've got in None But the Lonely Heart is far more serious.

It's an original screenplay by Clifford Odets and adapted from a novel by Richard Llewellyn who also wrote How Green Was My Valley. Odets was at that time a sensation on Broadway with a whole string of dramas of social significance from the Thirties. The grinding effects of poverty are just about the same whether it's the Lower East Side of New York or the cockney slums of London. Odets also directed this film, one of only two times he did that.

Grant understood that very well and he turned in one bravura performance as Ernie Mott who wants desperately to get ahead and makes a few bad choices in trying to do so. The only one who understands him is his mother played by Ethel Barrymore who returned to the screen for the first time in a decade.

It was a great performance for Cary Grant and it lost a fortune for RKO Studios as the public as Sam Goldwyn said, stayed away in droves. They would not accept Grant in a dramatic part. Cary got his second and last nomination for Best Actor, but lost the Academy Award to Bing Crosby in Going My Way.

Ethel Barrymore won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar that year for this film. It led to a permanent break from the stage and she spent the rest of her life in Hollywood in a variety of films. Unlike brother Lionel she wasn't tied down to a long term contract to one studio and she picked and chose wisely in roles when she stayed in Hollywood.

George Coulouris is the best from the rest of the cast as a small time racketeer in the neighborhood who Grant gets mixed up with. Coulouris always exudes menace, one of the best in doing that.

What happened to Cary Grant is the same thing that happened to Tyrone Power when he appeared in Nightmare Alley, great critical reviews and the public wouldn't buy it. Both of those guys were limited by type casting their entire careers. Power did manage to do Witness for the Prosecution at the premature end of his career, the closest Grant did to a dramatic part after this was Crisis which also was a commercial flop.

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