38 user 12 critic

To Each His Own (1946)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 12 March 1946 (USA)
An unwed mother, forced to give up her child to avoid scandal, follows her son's life from afar even as she prospers in business.


Mitchell Leisen


Charles Brackett (screenplay), Jacques Théry (screenplay) (as Jacques Thery) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Olivia de Havilland ... Jody Norris (as Olivia De Havilland)
Mary Anderson ... Corinne Piersen
Roland Culver ... Lord Desham
Phillip Terry ... Alex Piersen
Bill Goodwin ... Mac Tilton
Virginia Welles ... Liz Lorimer
Victoria Horne ... Nurse Daisy Gingras
Griff Barnett ... Daniel Norris
Alma Macrorie Alma Macrorie ... Belle Ingram
Billy Ward Billy Ward ... Gregory - Younger (as Bill Ward)
Frank Faylen ... Babe
Willard Robertson ... Dr. Hunt
Arthur Loft ... Bernadock Clinton
Virginia Farmer ... Mrs. Cora Clinton
Doris Lloyd ... Miss Pringle


During World War I, small-town girl Josephine Norris has an illegitimate son by an itinerant pilot. After a scheme to adopt him ends up giving him to another family, she devotes her life to loving him from afar. Written by Mark Foltz <foltz@triton.wustl.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Great Picture! You'll Thrill to Every Moment! See more »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


John Lund's debut. See more »


When Captain Cosgrove shuts off the power to his biplane it continues to glide on a level path. Biplanes have very high drag because they have two wings and all the supports in between. The plane would have started to fall toward the ground, not continue on. The clouds in the background show a level path of travel. See more »


Gregory: Holy Canarsie!
See more »


Remade as Lux Video Theatre: To Each His Own (1954) See more »


Three Little Fishies (Itty Bitty Poo)
Word & Music by Saxie Dowell
See more »

User Reviews

Birth Mother
1 October 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Although I don't think To Each His Own is as good as Olivia DeHavilland's other Oscar winner The Heiress or as good as the film she lost for in between these two, The Snake Pit, To Each His Own was the film that Olivia finally came into her own as an actress. She also showed Jack Warner a thing or two about type casting.

The story of To Each His Own is very much like something that Olivia's friend from Warner Brothers, Bette Davis, might have done. Bette won and was nominated multiple times for films like these and it's the stuff that Olivia badly wanted to do and was thwarted by Jack Warner who could only see her as the clinging leading lady to some dashing hero like Errol Flynn.

This film is all Olivia and she's the right age to do it. She was 30 at the time she made To Each His Own and the part called for her to age from her Twneties to her Forties. When we first meet her she's a a rather unhappy middle aged spinster doing duty as an air raid warden in wartime London. She's an American expatriate who is a cosmetics queen though her factory has now been converted to war use. She meets up with dashing Roland Culver who's a titled earl doing the same work and her thoughts go back to her years as a kid during that first World War.

A romance with a dashing flier played by John Lund and she's left pregnant and no chance of married when he's killed in action. Illegitimate birth was a horrible situation back in the day, so Olivia gives up the child to friends Philip Terry and Mary Anderson. Still the maternal instincts can't be snuffed out and she intrudes in their lives as well as a friend of the family her own child refers to as an 'aunt'.

Of course the whole thing becomes impossible and Olivia eventually moves to London when her factory becomes British based. Still she never stops thinking about the child someone else is raising.

Playing Josephine Norris as a young girl was no stretch because that's what she was playing all those years at Warner Brothers. But the more difficult challenge and what got her the Oscar for Best Actress was the way Mitchell Leisen guided her through the many stages of life. That called for Olivia to draw from the wellsprings of talent and ability that she knew she had and couldn't convince Jack Warner of the same.

The film was aided at the box office by the popularity of the song To Each His Own. You will not hear a note of it in the film, but The Ink Spots and Tony Martin had best selling records that year, The Ink Spots version going to number one on that Hit Parade that Lucky Strike sponsored. In fact I'm sure the popularity of the song and the film aided each other.

To Each His Own also earned an Academy Award nomination for Charles Brackett for Best Original Story.

You watch this film and you wonder just what Jack Warner must have been thinking when Olivia DeHavilland's name was announced on Oscar night.

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Release Date:

12 March 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

To Each His Own See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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