Successful middle-aged businessman Steve Bradford returns to the town where he attended college many years previously. His conscience has been bothering him since whilst a student, he fathered an illegitimate son who was given away to the local orphanage. He returns to the orphanage and meets its current head, Ann Dempster, hoping to persuade her to help him find his son. She refuses but Steve finds himself getting more involved at the orphanage and learns many lessons life had failed to teach him. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It is surprising that it took so long for someone to put Barbara Stanwyck and James Cagney together in a film. This is a much different project, though, than what they may have done together twenty years earlier. Nonetheless, it is fun to watch them pair up for These Wilder Years at MGM.
The performances of the leads are surprisingly tender and subdued. This is quite significant considering that Miss Stanwyck is often given to toughness and that Mr. Cagney has a propensity for ham. But the script (about adoption) calls for a different approach, and fortunately, the director worked with the stars to play the characters instead of themselves; instead of giving what audiences have come to expect from them.
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