Professor Henry Barnes decides he's lived long enough and contemplates suicide. His attitude is changed by Peggy Taylor, a chipper young mother-to-be who charms him into renting out his ... See full summary »
Professor Henry Barnes decides he's lived long enough and contemplates suicide. His attitude is changed by Peggy Taylor, a chipper young mother-to-be who charms him into renting out his attic as an apartment for her and her husband Jason, a former GI struggling to finish college. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
Jeanne Crain is a breathlessly talkative expectant mother who lives with her husband, a former soldier, in a trailer; she chances to meet retired professor Edmund Gwenn, who feels his mundane, monotone existence means retreating from this world, but he goes along with her plan to let the couple temporarily move into his attic. The perfect example of what they used to call 'whimsical comedy'; despite a clumsy start, it still seems heartfelt today, perhaps even meaningful. Gwenn conveys the most complex emotions simply by wordless expression, and Crain's exuberance grows on you (she's better though in her quieter moments). With these two front and center, William Holden ends up playing third wheel, but his solid, masculinely amiable presence is a nice counterpoint to kooky Crain and he also has some fine scenes alone with Gwenn. The gentlemen in Gwenn's musical troupe are all wonderful, and the writing and direction, while primed for audience approval, genuinely work wonders with what might've been a stale set-up. This tear-jerker is a true gem. ***1/2 from ****
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