Jean Arthur is one of my favorite actresses and in "The Impatient Years" (which could also be the title of her fractious tenure at Columbia), she gives one of the best performances of her film career. In contrast to her independent, softly cynical characters of the 1930s, she played slightly befuddled "spinster" roles in the 1940s, but the role of Janie Smith Anderson managed to meld both attributes into an appealing and touching performance. Lee Bowman was equally wonderful in his role as Sgt Andrew Anderson, bringing an assured, low-key type of charm to the screen. I must also praise the supporting cast made up of the fantastic Charles Coburn, and lovely character actors Harry Davenport, Charley Grapewin, Phil Brown, and Grant Mitchell.
Clocking in at a well-rounded 90 minutes, "The Impatient Years" is one of those unsung gems full of humor, pathos, and romance, which also takes a good, hard look at the issue of a runaway marriage and the strain of war. I can only imagine how audiences reacted to this film during war-time, and hope that it brought as much joy and entertainment to them as it did for me.