Tucson, Arizona, circa 1910: Emily Hefferan wants a divorce. In flashback, she recalls twenty years of marriage to Jim Hefferan, who sinks every cent of each new windfall in harebrained investments. Emily only keeps a roof over the family by taking in boarders...more and more of them. But Jim's latest deal goes just a little too far. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Celeste Holm's valiant struggle as pioneer and actress
Celeste Holm is superb as the center of this film, which is truly sky-high praise for her skills, because the character she plays deserves a sound kick in the pants. She is the wife of an ambitious and relentlessly self-seeking blow-hard (perfectly cast Dan Dailey) who would be homeless if it were not for her frugality, industry-- and vanity. Oh, she may not seem vain on the surface, but what other reason could there be for her to stand by, year after year, as her husband fails at get-rich-quick schemes, forcing her to take in boarders to pay the mortgage and support the family. Every time he schemes, she points out the practical problems, only to succumb when he gives her a compliment. Yes, singular. One. One compliment is enough to make her cave every time.
Marriages aren't like that. Flattery does not overcome a daily struggle to make ends meetcertainly not among Western settlers, which these characters purport to be.
Which is another problem with this minimally filmed stage play. It presents Tucson as an early settlement in 1910, but Tucson was two centuries old by then, having been occupied by Spanish colonists, then Mexico (when it got the name Tucson), and finally the U.S. as part of the Gadsden purchase (1853). By 1900 it was a thriving town of about 7,500 people, but it's depicted as a desolate desert with fake saguaro and a tiny train depot.
Those are just a few of the problems with this sentimental fiction. Author Rosemary Taylor admits her memoir was mostly fiction. Which, of course, it has to be. What moron would accept this story as fact? Oh, right Robert Osborne, the round old duffer with the slurred speech who introduces TCM movies. It's not the first time I thought he was nothing more than a starry-eyed fan without an original thought, an iota of insight, or the least suggestion of critical acuity. insight.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?