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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.



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

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


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




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 December 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Young Lovers  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Screenwriters Ida Lupino and Collier Young were married to each other when they collaborated on this film. See more »

Crazy Credits

(opening title card) This is a true story. It was photographed where it happened. Our grateful thanks to the many who made this motion picture possible. See more »


Why Pretend
Written by John Franco
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User Reviews

I felt a little differently
8 April 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I will admit that I am not as enthusiastic about this film as others on this board. I love and admire Ida Lupino as an actress and a pioneer for women directors, and I have seen quite a bit of her directing. She always tackled difficult subjects. However, she never seemed to have much of a budget. Because of this, I assume, she couldn't afford to get really good actors.

This is a powerful story, written by Lupino and her then-husband, Collier Young. It's the story of Carol (Sally Forrest), a talented young dancer, who works with Guy (Keefe Brasselle). They're not only dance partners, but they're in love as well. Carol becomes ill and it turns out that she has polio. She is moved to a facility for rehab.

I was too young to know the full impact of polio; the worst of it was when I was very small. I certainly did know people who had it, and I know how frightening it was. Since no one was sure how it was contracted, I remember a woman in an AIDS documentary talking about people she knew, "good Christians" as she called them, who would leave food at the front door of a victim's family.

The problem I had with this film was the acting, which I consider abominable for the most part. Sally Forrest, a pretty young woman, was misdirected in the role and comes off as unpleasant. One of course understands anger and self-pity, but she was absolutely hateful for most of the movie. And one minute she would be screaming at a fellow victim, Len (Hugh O'Brian) and then in the next scene, she'd be friendly.

Keefe Brasselle could never act and, if what I know of him is correct, had the success he did thanks to mob connections. Apparently the President of CBS Television claimed he was forced by the mob to give Brasselle three TV series without a pilot or script. They all flopped and a lawsuit followed, as well as the president being ousted.

Anyway, he's not very good and when he begs Carol, "Be a woman for me, I need you" as she's sitting there with polio, one wonders if she maybe needed something too, and possibly the script needed a rewrite.

What is interesting is to see the therapy that polio patients had and the support and encouragement. The end of this film was very touching, demonstrating that with a few tweaks, it could have been good and a tear-jerker. Unfortunately I just couldn't warm up to Carol until close to the end.

Hugh O'Brian here has an early role. He and I are from the same home town, and about 15 years ago, I interviewed him. At a Hollywood Museum opening a year ago, I saw a man in a wheelchair who looked like a mountain man -- long gray hair and gray beard -- and I said to the person I was with, I think that's Hugh O'Brian. No one believed me. I spoke with him. He was 90 then, still had all his marbles, was very funny, and completely deaf.

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