|Index||9 reviews in total|
I loved this movie!!! The characters were people that you could feel for. The young man back from the service still in love with the girl he left behind. Tom Drake is always perfect in the romantic lead as well as Donna Reed as the love of his life. The looks he gives her as if he has been starved for the sight of her as well as her hesitation and confusion as too her feelings for him were played very well. The rest of the quirky characters at the store were perfect as they tried to bring them together. The most touching scene however, was the young couple at his great grandfather's house. I laughed in parts, cried in some and thoroughly enjoyed watching this movie. In fact I've re-watched it about 5 times. A definite must see for total romantics.
This is kind of a lightweight comic version of "The Best Years of Our
Lives." A soldier returns from World War II on a final two-week leave
before getting out of the service. Visiting the New York department
store where he used to work, he declares that he intends to go back to
being a stock clerk and marry the girl he left behind in the stockroom.
But things have changed: The girlfriend is now a store executive, and
she's engaged to another man.
Sympathetic workers at the store devise an elaborate plan to fool the young vet for two weeks, making him believe things are just as he left them. They even talk the old girlfriend into playing along, but obviously their real hope is that love will be rekindled.
OK, give it credit for a cute premise. But as a comedy of mix-ups, this one doesn't work especially well. It's more likable than funny. (The most amusing character by far is the insecure new fiancé, but he's barely on screen.) Best enjoyed as a period piece.
It's interesting to see Donna Reed and Barbara Billingsley in a movie together, although Billingsley's role is very small. Who could have guessed that in just a few years, these two would be America's most beloved TV mothers? Nobody.
The arch title doesn't fit this gentle romantic comedy. Donna Reed and Tom
Drake don't have much chemistry -- but their characters aren't supposed
Both are extremely likable and attractive.
The supporting cast is a dream -- with the exception of Sig Ruman's annoying faux Russian.
Yes, CHUNKY, this is the nick-name that Donna Reeds' romantic lead
played by Tom Drake tags her with! So lets get this clear right away.
From her first ingénue role in THE GET-AWAY (1941) too her last, DALLAS
T.V. (1984-1985) Ms. Reed could NEVER be described as CHUNKY. Not this
attractive and slim actress. Whose roles at M.G.M. seldom lived up to
Ms. Reed is supported by a cast of competent character actors, who unfortunately must flounder through this alleged 'screw-ball' comedy. Clearly M.G.M. was out of their depth making this type of film. A type better produced over at COLUMBIA, PARAMOUNT, RKO and even UNIVERSAL. Neither the 'touch' of Ernst Lubitsch nor the wit of Preston Sturges could save this film. A rather conventional romantic comedy that had all the markings of a pre-war (WWII) effort.
If Irving Thalberg had still been alive the screen-play would have either gone through a significant rewrite or never seen the light of day. It did fit into Louis B. Mayer's 'safe-zone' of none challenging family entertainment. A form that could not stand up to the post-war challenges of the 'DeHavilland Decision', loss of their theater chains, television and would contribute to M.G.M.s decline. Fortunetly for Donna Reed her best days are ahead of her culminating in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) and her Oscar win as Best Supporting Actress.
Jeff returns from WWII, during which his girl has been promoted to
department store executive and is now engaged to another man. So, just
how much has war changed the homefront.
Typical MGM second feature of the time gives their younger players a chance to shine, while backed up by a veteran cast of supporting players. It's strictly lightweight since all dark traces of war have been removed from Drake's returning soldier. As a comedy, it's more sweet and mildly amusing than funny. Drake's ultra-boyish Jeff is the idealized boy-next- door, while Reed's conflicted Jean is still the picture of wholesomeness. Together, they're the audience's ideal young couple for facing a post-war future, with all the essentials moving into place. Above all, the movie works to reassure anxious movie-goers then readjusting to peacetime.
The comedy itself depends on two extended segmentsthe "mad" Russian (Ruman) playing cupid, and the shoe department "merchandizing" the couple back together again. And although the veteran players try hard, the episodes come across as more frantic than sparkling. Too bad the studio didn't assign a more talented comedy director with a better sense of timing and pacing. True, Drake may never have become the studio's second Van Johnson, while Reed is mainly remembered as one of TV's favorite moms. Still, the two do have their moments of genuine charm in this otherwise forgettable period piece.
After serving four (and a half) years, World War II hero Tom Drake (as
Jeff Compton) returns to the New York City department store where he
worked with stock clerk sweetheart Donna Reed (as Jean "Chunky"
Kendrick). Free from service (in a few weeks), Mr. Drake hopes to marry
Ms. Reed. He believes she has been waiting for him. But, Reed has been
promoted to a manager, and has a fiancé. In fact, she believes she
never loved Drake - but, since he was serving his country honorably,
and was taken to a prison camp, Reed could never bring herself to write
the "Dear John" letter.
Her co-workers, led by fussy Edward Everett Horton (as Hiram Dilworthy), convince Reed she shouldn't spoil Drake's furlough, and she pretends nothing has changed. Reed wants to break it to him gently, but Drake gets more and more romantic Reed and Drake are an incredibly sweet and attractive couple - they so obviously belong together, you could go stark raving mad if this film didn't end with the two (re-)kindling their love, and living happily ever after. And, the film does not disappoint. Mr. Horton, obviously having fun during the drunk scene, and the supporting cast are amusing.
****** Faithful in My Fashion (8/22/46) Sidney Salkow ~ Donna Reed, Tom Drake, Edward Everett Horton, Spring Byington
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
My observations: Postwar hilarity. Tom Drake and Grandpa from "Meet Me
in St. Louis" two years later (the year I was born). Donna Reed
charming and pretty. Margaret Hamilton good as always; smaller part
than in "Wizard of Oz". Spring Byington way prettier, also with the
prerequisite perky small nose lacked by Hamilton. Tent scene at end
with former boy next door was hilarious. As a two year veteran of Army
tents, he looked pretty youthful and inexperienced when I looked into
I used to work in a department store, and it was just as elegant as this one. Sadly, it has disappeared and faded into obscurity. We were famous for those great show windows that were used to lure passersby into the store, to get them to buy all of that wonderful merchandise.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Donna Reed and Tom Drake are a perfect pair in this 1946 light film
about a returning soldier who doesn't know that the love of his life
has been promoted in the place they both work in and as has a new love
Margaret Hamilton reminded me of Lily Tomlin with the way her hair was set for this film.
The wonderful supporting cast tries to keep the news from Drake for the two weeks that he is in before he'll officially be discharged from the army.
Invariably, Drake finds out the truth and the group sets upon an idea to bring the two back to each other. How they compare it to selling shoes is funny.
Sig Ruman is great as the Russian music teacher who is occupying the apartment that Reed left when she was promoted.
Light fanfare with Harry Davenport good as the great-grandfather to Drake, who hopes to see him marry Reed.
On the surface, this is an above-average post-war romantic comedy.
Beneath the veneer, it is MGM character actor stunt-casting at its
The leads are straightforward, but all the secondaries are cast much against type. Margaret Hamilton (aka Wicked Witch of the West), Edward Everett Horton (professional obsessive-compulsive fussbudget), and Sig Ruman (the Marx Brothers' nemesis in _Night In Casablanca_ and the always-wonderful _Night At The Opera_), playing a well-intentioned gang trying to bring the two leads together, instead of driving them apart as their "usual" characters would do.
It also pokes fun at many romantic-comedy conventions, which is another indication that this could be not so much a "straight" romantic comedy, as it is a wry send-up of the many post-war romantic comedies & their 2-dimensional, stock characters.
I've seen it only once, with interruptions, so I can't be positive, but this movie may be one of those that worked better in the context of the time at which it was made, but is less successful now that viewers "see" these secondary characters through a completely different lens. I'm assuming this is the case when I give it 9 stars. I thought it was hysterical.
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