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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A poor family living on a houseboat plans a very special Sunday DINNER FOR A SOLDIER.
Here is an excellent example of the type of movie Hollywood produced during World War Two as morale boosting entertainment. It depicts the decency of the folks on the Home Front that the guys in the military were fighting to preserve and protect. Today, its unabashed nostalgia & romanticism greatly add to its appeal.
Anne Baxter stars as the determined young woman who must hold her family together during difficult times; the prospects of an affluent, but loveless, marriage only add to her strain. Appearing late in the film is John Hodiak as the gentle sergeant who comes wandering along Baxter's beach at exactly the right time. Together they epitomize the wistful longing which is forever associated with the warrior leaving for battle and the loved one left behind. Appropriately, Baxter & Hodiak were later to marry in real life. (Tragically, John Hodiak would die of a heart attack in 1955 at the age of only 41.)
Old Charles Winninger steals most of his scenes as Baxter's delightfully incorrigible 'Grandfeathers.' Her younger siblings are very well played by Billy Cummings, Connie Marshall, with her beloved pet hen, and little Bobby Driscoll, standing on his head, in one of his earliest film roles.
Two Oscar winning actresses enliven their smaller roles: Anne Revere as an outspoken chicken farmer who enjoys a playful feud with Winninger; and Jane Darwell as the community's liaison with the local air base. Gravel-voiced Chill Wills plays a friendly bus driver.
Near the end of the film movie mavens will recognize silent screen comic Chester Conklin as a photographer and Rory Calhoun as the sergeant who grabs Hodiak's strawberry cake, both uncredited.
'I'll See You In My Dreams' is the lovely old tune which ties together the romantic elements throughout the film.
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