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Follow-up to hit film Claudia (1943) finds title characters (Dorothy McGuire, Robert Young) dealing with the ups and downs of marriage and parenthood in their rural Connecticut town. Illness, accidents, and jealousy plague the young couple as they learn to weather life. Written by
No hint here of the big war that had just ended. I expect audiences wanted a return to peacetime normality as soon as possible, and what focus could be more encouraging than a gentrified young couple like David and Claudia. They're prosperous, with a big house, servants, and a circle of attractive, sophisticated friends. Maybe they're not your average real couple, but they are the kind that young wives could read about in popular magazines like Town and Country. More importantly, such dreams might now be within everyone's reach thanks to a burgeoning post-war economy.
The comedy comes in the first 5 minutes. After that, it's high-class soap opera with an outstanding cast. Was there ever a more winning screen personality than McGuire or a more comfortable pipe smoker than Young. Together, they're nearly ideal. We know that despite their clichéd trials and tribulations, they'll emerge together in the end. Two scenes stay with me. When Young starts tickling wife on top their bed, we know what follows-- rather suggestive for the time. Still, it's done with such unforced naturalness and good humor, who could object. The other is the deeply felt confrontation between McGuire and Mrs. Dexter (Hobart). It's one of the more touchingly humane scenes of that period and stands as the movie's well-wrought centerpiece. All in all, this brief 73 minutes is a prime example of how effectively Hollywood could turn out slick little programmers during its illustrious studio period.
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