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Flavia's been told that her Aunt Susan's fiancé, Steve, has been on a trip around the world, but in truth he's finished his prison term. Steve wonders how he can make some money and is approached by his old associates. When Flavia discovers the truth about Steve, she loses all faith in her family and in God, and it will take a miracle to restore Flavia's belief and Steve out of trouble.Written by
Warm film with the usual top MGM production values, strong cast.
When I finally saw this film I was surprised it was described as a "bomb" by Leonard Maltin. While it's not the greatest movie ever made, it's hardly a bomb, despite the problematic production history. Because retakes took so long, Margaret O'Brien is noticeably taller and older in some scenes than in others. The character's belief in fairy tales strains credulity in the scenes where little Margaret seems to be aging rapidly.
One could argue, as well, that, despite the hardships supposedly being endured by the characters in their poor New York neighborhood, at the height of the Great Depression, they seem reasonably well fed, dressed, and housed. The apartment where Flavia (O'Brien) lives is quite large, for example.
But there are some very true things in the film, the experience of being an only child, living among adults; the realities of readjustment for an ex-con (George Murphy). Many of the realities are not in the scenes or the lines, but in Margaret's and George Murphy's faces.
The cast is great and there's a nice Christmas atmosphere in the scenes that wrap up the story.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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