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While husband Tim is away during World War II, Anne Hilton copes with problems on the homefront. Taking in a lodger, Colonel Smollett, to help make ends meet and dealing with shortages and rationing are minor inconveniences compared to the love affair daughter Jane and the Colonel's grandson conduct. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
Watching this film, we couldn't help drawing a parallel between what the Hilton family went through in the early 40s to the actual conflict in Iraq. The film makes clear the hard times on the families left behind. The government, unfortunately, doesn't provide for the people that have to sacrifice a great deal by making do with a reduced income in order to survive, while the men, or women are away in combat.
John Cromwell directs the film with an accurate eye for details. There is a lovely sequence at an airfield hangar where we see couples in silhouette dancing a waltz. It's at that time when war seems so far away from the lives of the family at the center of the story. This is a distraction that is shattered shortly thereafter when Anne Hilton learns about the airplane accident where the young son of her grocer dies. War shows its ugly face no matter how far removed one is from the actual theater of operations, as it is in this case.
David O. Selznick adapted the novel in which the film is based. It runs for almost three hours, and it could have used some cutting, but this movie has proved to be a favorite for many that have discovered it years after it was first released.
Claudette Colbert was an accomplished actress who made this Anne Hilton come alive. Jennifer Jones is a compelling Jane, a girl deprived of a father and confused about what she want from life. Joseph Cotten plays Tony, the man who comes into the lives of the Hilton women. Monty Woolley, Robert Walker, Agnes Moorhead all have excellent moments where they shine.
It was also good to see in minor roles people that would go on to have careers of their own. Guy Madison, Keenan Wynn, Craig Stevens appear in the film shortly, but they leave their mark on it.
This is a film that will not disappoint.
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