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A poor family in Florida saves all the money they can in order to plan something special for the soldier they've invited to Sunday dinner. They don't realize that their request to invite the soldier never got mailed. On the day of the scheduled dinner, another soldier is brought to their home and love soon blossoms between him and Tessa, the young woman who runs the home. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
So painfully beautiful, the kind they have no clue how to make anymore
Sunday Dinner for a Soldier is a class act. From first scene to last it will tug on your heartstrings and make you long for a time in America when people took pride in their country, in their families, in being responsible, without always thinking of themselves first. It was a time when home was where the heart was, since so many young men were in Europe or Asia fighting to liberate the world from fascism.
The story is about a poor family living in a ram-shackled houseboat, who have to scrounge for a living, but who have big hearts. They want to share their gifts of love, friendship and food with a US soldier, whom they have been told will be delivered to their house on a Sunday by an aid society. There is a mix up and it looks like he won't show up when all of a sudden God - it had to be God! - brings one to their home by chance. It turns out he is a man from a broken family (John Hodiak) and he quickly warms to the old grandpa of the house, the little children, and the eldest daughter (Anne Baxter, who never looked lovelier than in this film). They quickly become his surrogate family.
Exceptional performances by everyone, particularly Anne and John, who fell in love while making this picture and got married and had a child together. You can sense there was a real attraction there, it wasn't just acting. I loved the scene where they danced together in the unfinished dance hall by the sea. Oh my gosh, how romantic! Of the children it's Connie Marshall whom you'll remember the most. What a delightful child actress she was; she doesn't deserve to be forgotten. I actually sought this film out just to see another film she was in, after seeing her give another luminous performance in Sentimental Journey, with Maureen O'Hara. She didn't disappoint! This film needs to be seen by more people. How can they continue to ignore gems like Sunday Dinner for a Soldier and put out total junk on DVD every day? It's beyond me. Here's hoping some saner heads will prevail and we'll one day see an official release of this unforgettable film.
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