A man who lived his life as he was was told he should, not as he would have chosen to, is brought out of his shell by a beautiful young woman.

Director:

King Vidor

Writers:

John P. Marquand (novel), Elizabeth Hill (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Hedy Lamarr ... Marvin Myles
Robert Young ... Harry Pulham
Ruth Hussey ... Kay Motford
Charles Coburn ... Mr. Pulham Sr.
Van Heflin ... Bill King
Fay Holden ... Mrs. John Pulham
Bonita Granville ... Mary Pulham
Douglas Wood ... Mr. Bullard
Charles Halton ... Walter Kaufman
Leif Erickson ... Rodney 'Bo-Jo' Brown (as Leif Erikson)
Phil Brown ... Joe Bingham
David Clyde ... Hugh the Butler
Sara Haden ... Miss Rollo
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Storyline

Fortysomething, blue blooded Boston born and bred, Harvard educated businessman Harry Pulham leads a regimented, routinized life with his wife, the former Kay Motford, who he's known since childhood. Harry outwardly believes he is all the more happy because of the way his life is, which was somewhat predetermined as part of his upbringing. This day, he receives two telephone calls which make him examine his life. The first is from Bo-Jo Brown, a Harvard colleague who is heading a twenty-five year reunion committee, with Harry foisted into the job of writing attendee biographies, which is to include his own. The second is from Marvin Myles, a former work colleague from his time over twenty years ago at the J.T. Bullard Advertising Agency in New York City, that job which Harry got from his more liberally minded Harvard friend Bill King. The result of these two telephone calls makes Harry wonder if he is happy, if he is or ever was in love with Kay, and if he never was if he would have ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's a girl like Marvin Myles hidden in every man's life See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to contemporary pre-production articles in The Hollywood Reporter, Herbert Marshall was slated for the title role. See more »

Goofs

The flashback scenes in a taxi take place in 1919, however, the footage through rear-projection through the back window of the cab clearly show late 1930s automobiles. See more »

Quotes

Kay Motford Pulham: Harry, please. I'm much to busy to run away into nowhere.
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Connections

Featured in Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

The Band Played On
(1895) (uncredited)
Music by Chas. B. Ward
Played at the dance class party
Danced to by Brenda Henderson and Bobby Cooper
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User Reviews

 
A poignant, subtle look at life's lost possibilities
8 February 2002 | by LFRibeiroSee all my reviews

This muted but affecting version of John P. Marquand's stinging reproach of the turn of the last century's hidebound upper classes, this beautiful MGM production is easily Hedy Lamarr's finest performance. Co-starring the too frequently overlooked Robert Young and the multifaceted Van Heflin (who would win a Best Supporting Oscar that year for Johnny Eager), the film also boasts the usual MGM powerful supporting cast (including Charles Coburn, Ruth Hussy, Bonita Granville and a cameo by the great Anne Revere). Under King Vidor's perceptive direction, this tale of a man's reflection of a life full of stifling tradition becomes a poignant, subtle exploration of lost opportunity. At last given a role of substance, Lamarr is wonderful as an educated working class woman with aspirations, who must watch the man she loves cave in to the expectations of wealth and tradition. A gem of a film; discover it for yourselves.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

13 August 1942 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

H.M. Pulham, Esq. See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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