An American World War I soldier, whose disfigured face is reconstructed by Austrian plastic surgeons, returns home after twenty years, but no one recognizes him, his widow is married to another man, and his son is a grown young man.
Elizabeth and John say goodbye as John leaves to go to war. When World War I ends, Elizabeth receives a telegram that John has been killed in action. She finds comfort in Larry and they marry. John returns 20 years later, disfigured, with a new identity, Erik, and an adopted daughter, Margaret. John/Erik and Elizabeth accidentally meet and he learns that he has a son, Drew. John must then decide whether or not to reveal his true identity.Written by
Before marrying "Lawrence Hamilton", Claudette Colbert's character is named "Elizabeth MacDonald". She would later play another character with the same name, Elizabeth (Betty) MacDonald, in The Egg and I (1947). See more »
Lucile Watson's name is misspelled "Lucille" in the opening credits. See more »
Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile!
Music by Felix Powell
Played during the opening scene See more »
Heart-Rendering, To Say The Least
What a powerful story! So powerful to me, at least, that I have only watched it one other time and have little desire to see it again.....even though it's a fine movie. It's too frustrating a story for me, frankly. I could NOT have done what Orson Welles' character did in this film. Welles, by the way, is outstanding in here. He, Claudette Colbert, George Brent and Richard Long provide some wonderful acting.
Long, playing the elder son, presents a tremendous contrast of how a young man acted back in the 1940s compared to nowadays in terms of of respect and manners. The little girl in here is played by Natalie Wood. I wouldn't have known it was her had she not been mentioned on the back of the video box. She has blonde hair and is about five or six years old, and does an impressive job speaking German.
This is a real heart-rendering story. The only drawback is the credibility of Colbert's character, "Elizabeth Hamilton," the wife of Welles. A supposed war victim and gone for years after his marriage to her, Wells - despite now having a beard and aging a bit - would still be recognizable (at the least, audibly) to his former wife. It was asking a bit much to believe she wouldn't realize it was him, but it's still good storytelling and a film that hits you deeply. Speaking about the last point, if you liked 1942's "Random Harvest," you probably would like this, too.
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