6.6/10
186
9 user 3 critic

Never Fear (1949)

Passed | | Drama | 29 December 1949 (USA)
A dancer who has just gotten engaged to her partner and choreographer and is about to embark on a major career is devastated to learn that she has contracted polio.

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(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by)
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Carol Williams
...
Guy Richards
...
Len Randall
...
Phyllis Towwnsend
Lawrence Dobkin ...
Dr. Middleton
Rita Lupino ...
Josie
Herbert Butterfield ...
Walter Williams
Kevin O'Morrison ...
Red Dawson
...
Dr. Taylor
Jerry Hausner ...
Mr. Brownlee (as Jerry Housner)
John Franco ...
Carlos
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Storyline

A dancer who has just gotten engaged to her partner and choreographer and is about to embark on a major career is devastated to learn that she has contracted polio.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

29 December 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Young Lovers  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The year this film was released, 1950, there were 33,300 reported cases of polio in the United States. See more »

Crazy Credits

(closing title card; except for "The End", words are in cursive) This is not / THE END / It is just the beginning / for all those of faith / and courage. See more »

Soundtracks

Why Pretend
Written by John Franco
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User Reviews

 
A rare look at a serious and relatively common disease of the day.
3 March 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Carol (Sally Forrest) and Guy (Keefe Brasselle) are an up and coming dance team. However, Carol contracts polio and is now unable to walk. Much of the film is set at a sanitarium that treats paralysis victims and is both about her treatment and adjustment to her new life. Like most people facing this, she goes through severe bouts of depression. It becomes so bad that she pushes Guy out of her life--though he loves her and seems accepting of her disability. Will Carol be able to make a new life for herself or will she give way to defeatism and failure?

This is a pretty unusual film. Despite as many as 58,000 cases of polio in the US (about half of which resulted in paralysis) and a president (FDR) with polio, films act as if the disease never existed. You just don't hear about it in movies for the most part--and "Never Fear" is a rare exception. The only film of the time that reminds me of this is "The Men"--though this is about soldiers who are paralyzed as a result of war wounds. And, both films are quite similar in themes and quality. While "The Men" is a must more prestigious and big-budget movie, director Ida Lupino did a wonderful job in "Never Fear"--providing it with realism that you often don't find in 'disease' films. Very informative and well done all around--with fine acting (by relative unknowns), script and direction--and shot almost documentary style. Well worth seeing.

Finally, let me explain my score of 9. Sure, it's not as pretty a film as many A-pictures. BUT, as a lower-budgeted B, it has a HUGE payoff dollar-for-dollar. You can easily see why Lupino was soon given more chances to direct other B-budget films.


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