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Physicist Bill Beck meets and marries doctor's receptionist Julie. Five happy years later, she develops a heart condition. Afraid of leaving Bill alone by her premature demise, Julie adopts a sirupy, fantasizing orphan, Hitty. It's an uphill battle forging a relationship between the equally self-absorbed physicist and child: will she have time? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Watching The Gift Of Love tonight made me wonder about the original film made from this story, Sentimental Journey. Having never seen that one I wondered if it was marginally better because this one is a two bath towel special.
There is a brief prologue of sorts where a doctor's receptionist Lauren Bacall meets scientist Robert Stack who's gone in for a consultation about insomnia. She decides to take the case personally and her cure is a couple of martinis. Before you know it they're in love and married.
Married for five years and no children. Then Bacall learns she's got a serious heart ailment that will cut her life short. Her concern is for Stack because even after five years the passion is still intense. Her solution is adopt a child even though she'll not be an adoptive mother long. Redirect his passion with what she believes will be The Gift Of Love.
The gift in the flesh is little Evelyn Rudie, a strange child who can't seem to get adopted. Still she and Bacall take to each other. The crisis comes for Stack and Rudie when Bacall dies.
Stack and Bacall are reunited as a husband and wife as they were in Written On The Wind. There Stack played an unhinged character and here he's a bit unhinged as well as being all consumed with his scientific research until Bacall gives him a domestic life as well. The two of them make this film bearable.
Otherwise The Gift Of Love is awash with sentiment and bathos. It's definitely a film to prepare yourself with a pair of bath towels at the ready.
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