Gail discovers the shocking news that she is adopted during a heated argument with her sister, Joan. With the reluctant support of her adoptive parents and baby sister, Penny, Gail goes in ...
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Gail discovers the shocking news that she is adopted during a heated argument with her sister, Joan. With the reluctant support of her adoptive parents and baby sister, Penny, Gail goes in search of her biological mother and true identity.Written by
Ann Blyth is "Our Very Own" in this 1950 film also starring Joan Evans, Jane Wyatt, Donald Woods, Phyllis Kirk, Natalie Wood, Ann Dvorak, Farley Granger and Martin Milner. Blyth is Gail, the oldest of three girls in an idyllic '50s family. She's in love with Chuck (Farley Granger) whom her sister Joan is trying to take away from her. She's also preparing for her high school graduation; she will be speaking at the ceremony. On her 18th birthday, Gail gets into yet another heated argument with Joan, during which Joan blurts out something she just learned by accident - that Gail is adopted. Even with a perfect mother like Jane Wyatt and a loving father like Donald Woods, Gail doesn't take it well and demands to meet her "real mother," Mrs. Lynch (Ann Dvorak).
"Our Very Own" gives a good idea of what the '50s were like. You never told anyone anything for their own good was just one of the tenets - that includes Gail's parents not telling her she was adopted and Mrs. Lynch not telling Mr. Lynch she had a baby that she surrendered for adoption. Also, this was a private adoption, done through an attorney, which was very common in those days.
Ann Dvorak has the strongest role as the biological mother, and she's excellent, creating a vibrant character without the class of Gail's adopted mother and with a lout for a husband. Her intentions are good - they probably always were - but she's lived her life under someone's thumb and has never been able to pull it together. Blyth does a complete turnaround from Veda in "Mildred Pierce," the role for which she will always be identified, and plays a mature, responsible young woman. Natalie Wood plays her brat sister - by the end of the first scene, you want to slap her. Joan Evans and Phyllis Kirk are both very good, Joan with her slutty moments and beautiful Phyllis, a favorite of mine from the "Thin Man" television show is good as Gail's best friend. Was there ever a mother as ideal as Jane Wyatt? Like Margaret on Father Knows Best, she's practical, kind, wise and lovely. Donald Woods doesn't have much to do, but plays the loving father well. Handsome Farley Granger makes a great suitor, and Martin Milner as a goof - a role he played often in his early career - is cute.
My only objection is that Gail's mother is too good to be true, her boyfriend is too good to be true, and her best friend is too good to be true. But those sisters - whoa.
A good movie with a lot of heart.
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