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Our Very Own (1950)

Approved | | Drama | 27 July 1950 (USA)
Gail discovers the shocking news that she is adopted during a heated argument with her sister, Joan. With the reluctant support of her adoptive parents and baby sister, Penny, Gail goes in ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Chuck
Joan Evans ...
Joan Macaulay
...
Mrs. Fred (Lois) Macaulay
...
Mrs. Gert Lynch
...
Fred Macaulay
...
Gus Schilling ...
Frank, TV Repairman
...
Zaza
Jessica Grayson ...
Violet
...
Bert
...
Gwendolyn (as Rita Hamilton)
...
Mr. Jim Lynch
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Storyline

Gail discovers the shocking news that she is adopted during a heated argument with her sister, Joan. With the reluctant support of her adoptive parents and baby sister, Penny, Gail goes in search of her biological mother and true identity. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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SAMUEL GOLDWYN'S unforgettable, compelling entertainment triumph!

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Drama

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Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

27 July 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vida de mi vida  »

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(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Jessica Grayson's final film. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mother Knows Best
1 October 2009 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

It's 1949 and adoption is a stigma—at least in some people's eyes. Anyway, the Goldwyn studios continue their saga of America's middle class (e.g. The Best Years of Our Lives {1946}) by building a screenplay around this social theme. Of course, the Macaulay family are a highly idealized version of the real middle class. For example, note how unfailingly courteous and civilized family members are despite surging emotions. Sure, daughter Joan's hormones get the best of her and she behaves badly, but in a way that's still refined. And note Mom's unfailingly wise council and forbearance in Jane Wyatt's early version of Mother Knows Best.

Despite obvious sincerity, the film's Hollywood treatment guarantees a predictable ending from the very start. I just wish the screenplay had dealt with the more difficult aspect of adoption—namely, the factor of an unknown genetic inheritance among those contemplating marriage and who care about such things. And that could well apply to an upwardly mobile neighborhood such as the Macaulay's. But including a genetic factor would have resulted in a much more difficult and darker film.

Still, it's an entertaining movie despite the compromises. That opening sequence is a gem of youthful high-spirits and frustration thanks to Natalie Wood and Gus Schilling even if he is doing schtick (as one reviewer noted). The scene is not just a good one, but also aims to persuade us that the Macaulay's are a real family like anyone else's. Anyway, I agree with those reviewers who find Blythe and Granger a little long-in-the-tooth to be playing teenagers, though it's one of the movie's lesser compromises. Yes, Ann Dvorak is good as the self-conscious birth mother. But I really like Joan Evans' turn as the jealous sister. Catch her subtle facial expressions as she goes through any one of her many emotional conflicts— a fine, unheralded young actress. Also standout is young Martin Milner. His totally unaffected teenager seems light years from his high school peer, the maturely sophisticated Blythe.

And speaking of Milner's gawky teen, I can't help noticing the chuckles we get from his rather callous treatment of pudgy, plain-Jane Gwendolyn (Rita Hamilton). For a film otherwise sensitive within its limits, that same concern apparently doesn't extend to an unattractive girl made the butt of mood lightening gags in a seemingly guilt-free manner. I'm not sure what the moral is, but I don't think it's a good one. Anyway, the movie remains an interesting, if idealized, time capsule of a period when apparently every teenage boy owned a hotrod.


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