Five children in an apparently ideal American small town find their lives changing as the years pass near the turn of the century in 1900. Parris Mitchell (Robert Cummings) and Drake McHugh (Ronald Reagan), both of whom have lost their parents, are best friends; Parris dreams of becoming a doctor, studying under the father of his sweetheart Cassandra Tower (Betty Field), while Drake plans on becoming a local businessman when he receives his full inheritance - juggling girlfriends in the meantime. As they become adults, the revelations of local secrets threaten to ruin their hopes and dreams.Written by
Sadly, both Scotty Beckett (as the boy Parris Mitchell) and Douglas Croft (as the boy Drake McHugh) would die tragically young, peaking prematurely in their film careers into a rapid descent of addiction. Croft succumbed to alcohol intoxication and liver disease at age 37 (in 1963); while Beckett, in recovery following a terrible beating, died of an overdose of barbiturates and alcohol at age 38 (in 1968). See more »
When Randy sends Parris a letter in Europe, the return address reads "Kings Row, USA" with no street address or state mentioned. See more »
I have never been to America, but this movie seems so familiar. It reminds me so much of the apartment building I grew up in Calcutta. Maybe because people everywhere are essentially the same, or maybe because every character in this movie is a carefully thought out archetype. The Good Grandson who is the apostle of virtue, the Sacrificing Best Friend, the Spunky Girl, the men who live on the wrong side of the tracks but are still nobler than the rich old townspeople, the Old Man with Something to Hide, the Evil Man with an Honorable Facade, etc. In fact just the crowd u'd meet anywhere u live. That's what, I feel, gives this movie its timelessness. Add to it James Wong Howe's lustrous b&w photography like an old family photo polished everyday by the doting old maid, the assured editing that pieces together scenes straddling across time [Parris, the good little boy to Parris the good young man] & space [Americana to Vienna, like the new year msg in Parris' letter from Vienna dissolving into another msg scratched out on the snow in King's Row], Sam Wood's confident direction [he had done 'Our Town' too] & brilliant all round acting. Reagan blew my mind & so did Anne Sheridan. Wish Robert Cummings was less wimpy, but you can't take it all, can you?
A great movie, see it!
51 of 64 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this