Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Star (4 stars)

The Star, a 1952 drama starring the fabulous Bette Davis and co-starring Sterling Hayden, is much like All About Eve and Sunset Boulevard, in that in explores the theme of a middle-aged movie star desperately trying to hang on to a career that is being overtaken by more youthful actresses.  While I LOVE Bette and think she gave an amazing performance here, I do think All About Eve and Sunset Boulevard are superior to The Star, and I give them both 5 stars.

Bette plays Margaret (Maggie) Elliott, a former Oscar-winning actress, who is at a very low point in her life.  Divorced and sharing custody of her daughter with her ex-husband, Maggie is bankrupt and has recently been evicted from her apartment.  Add to that is the humiliation of having to spend a night in jail due to drunk driving. And, the cruelest blow of all is that since she's now in her early 40's, she is no longer young enough to garner the star roles she has formerly known.  More youthful actresses are now on the scene, and Maggie is considered for only the mature characters and the supporting roles...that is, when she's offered a part at all.  Her agent tells her to face the facts...producers want youth.  But Maggie cannot bear to think of herself as "out to pasture" and continues to try to obtain roles that no longer suit her age.

Bette was 44 in this movie, but I think she appeared much older.  In All About Eve, which was only two years earlier, she looked MUCH younger than she did here. Regardless, though, she gave a FABULOUS, Oscar-worthy performance.  (She received her ninth Best Actress nomination for The Star; however, Shirley Booth came away with the Oscar that year, for her performance in Come Back, Little Sheba).  I truly think Bette is/was the best actress EVER.  I totally love her and think she gave more than 100% all the time.  I think she could have received an Oscar for nearly every movie she ever made. Anyhow, her incredible acting ability shines brightly here in The Star.

Although the movie was about an aging Hollywood actress, it could easily speak to the heart of anyone since we live in a youth-worshiped society. Nearly everyone fears growing older and being displaced by someone younger, thus we obsess with our success as Davis's character did in this film.  Therefore, I think most everyone can identify with Maggie Elliott.

Maggie's daughter, Gretchen, is played by a totally lovely thirteen year old Natalie Wood.  Although her part is extremely small, she's really delightful.  The relationship between mother and daughter is very sweet, and I thought the chemistry between Bette and Natalie was wonderful.

Finally, I will just say that I am giving this movie 4 stars because of the incredible talent of Bette Davis.  However, the ending was wrapped up WAY too quickly.  In only about five minutes, everything was resolved, and it just didn't seem credible to me.  For that reason, I considered giving 3 stars.  So, just know that the rushed ending will mar this movie a bit.  Even so, though, ANY movie of Bette Davis's is worth watching.

Happy viewing!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Casanova Brown (4 stars)

Casanova Brown, from 1944, is the second pairing of Gary Cooper and Teresa Wright.  Their first pairing was in The Pride of the Yankees (5 stars from me) in 1942, and they had great chemistry together there. Here in Casanova Brown, which is a rather slapstick comedy, they also work great together.

On the eve of his wedding to Madge, Casanova (Cass) Brown (Coop) receives a letter from a maternity hospital in Chicago.  After first dismissing the letter as nothing more than an advertisement or perhaps a mistake, Cass begins to question whether there is more to the situation than he's aware of.  He relates to his future father-in-law (fabulously played by Frank Morgan) of how the previous fall, on a trip to New York, he had met lovely Isabel Drury (Teresa Wright), had a whirlwind romance with her and gotten married.  However, her parents didn't approve of Cass due to the fact that the "stars weren't in the right alignment on the day of his birth"...thus, they annulled the marriage, and Cass left New York, once again a single man.  (The scene where Isabel's parents disapprove of the marriage is very slapstick...and quite entertaining.)

Unsure if his and Isabel's one night together resulted in pregnancy, Cass decides that he must respond to the letter from the maternity hospital, so he heads off to Chicago before ever marrying Madge.  After consulting with the doctor, he discovers that Isabel did, in fact, have a child and that she intends to put the child up for adoption.  Cass, however, refuses to allow his baby to be "given to strangers," so he kidnaps the baby from the hospital nursery and hides out with her in a nearby hotel.

Although Cass has zero knowledge about how to take care of a baby, he is determined to try.  And he is just as determined to not be discovered by Isabel or the doctor.  It's a series of comical moments---and alot of fun---watching the new daddy in action.

As I said, this movie is often slapstick, but this crazy-about-Coop gal finds it completely and totally delightful.  It's really Coop's show; although Teresa Wright gets second billing, you don't see all that much of her.  Frank Morgan actually gets more screen time than Teresa does...and he's quite hilarious.

Anyhow, this cute but silly movie is out on DVD and should be readily available.  Also, it's on Net Flix in their "instant viewing" inventory.  Hope y'all get a chance to see it.

Happy viewing!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Miss Grant Takes Richmond (4 stars)

Miss Grant Takes Richmond, starring Lucille Ball and my man William Holden, is a romantic comedy from 1949.  I readily admit that comedies are not my genre of choice.  I far and away prefer a good, heavy drama.  However, as I have already made known, I am totally crazy about Bill Holden.  He is my all-time favorite actor, and for that reason, I want to see (and own when possible) as many of his movies as I can...even the comedies.  Miss Grant Takes Richmond was one that had been on my radar for quite some time, but given that it's not out on DVD, I was at the mercy of Turner Classic Movies to put it on their schedule...which they finally did this past week.  So, I recorded it, and it's now part of my William Holden library of films.

Lucille Ball is Ellen Grant, a rather inadequate secretarial school student.  Bill Holden is Dick Richmond, owner of Richmond Realty, and he is in the market for a secretary.  However, the reality is that the realty business is just a front for Dick's REAL business...which is betting.  Since Ellen is fairly inept, Dick thinks she will be the perfect secretary.  He's sure she has no brains and that she'll never have a clue as to what is really going on.

But Ellen's not exactly what Dick thinks she is.  She really wants to do a good job.  She really wants to be a helpful secretary.  And she really wants to do things that will "benefit" her new boss.  Such as after a phony letter about wanting to acquire some property is dictated to her, Ellen approaches the seller and convinces him to come down on his price.  After telling Dick that the property would be perfect for an affordable housing project, Ellen throws all her efforts into developing the project.

With Ellen getting more and more interested in the realty business, Dick and his partners feel that they really need to get rid of her.  So, hoping she'll quit, they overload her with work.  When that backfires, Dick tries coming on to her, sure that she will be furious at his freshness...but still, Ellen's commitment to her job remains.  It seems that Ellen will not leave Richmond Realty no matter what.  And she is determined to make the housing project a success, even getting some of her friends to put down money for a home there.

The remainder of the movie is a series of comedic moments as Ellen works hard to develop the housing project and Dick and his partners work just as hard as they try to keep their bookie operation from being discovered.  The movie is lighthearted and fun, and those that love Lucille Ball or, in my case, William Holden, will definitely want to see it.  Although it's not out on DVD, it IS on VHS, so you could probably track down a copy.

Happy viewing!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pillow Talk (5 stars)

Pillow Talk, from 1959, is a fabulous romantic comedy starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson.  Paired together in three movies (Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back, and Send Me No Flowers), Day and Hudson had amazing chemistry together.  Though all three movies are wonderful, Pillow Talk, without question, is my favorite.

Doris, who is her usual perky, lovely, delightful self, plays interior designer Jan Morrow; Rock, who is beyond gorgeous in this movie, is womanizing songwriter Brad Allen.  Jan and Brad happen to share a party line, which is a matter of great consternation to Jan, because Brad monopolizes the phone as he sings love songs to a multitude of different women, making it nearly impossible for Jan to use the line herself.  Irritated, Jan chews Brad out while he's in the middle of serenading one of his women, and then she proceeds to report his behavior to the phone company.  However, when the phone company sends one of their workers out to investigate, Brad charms her, and, therefore, Jan's complaints aren't taken seriously.

Though Brad and Jan have never met face to face, they both believe they know the other.  To Jan, Brad is nothing more than a playboy, and she detests him.  And to Brad, Jan is just a frustrated old maid who is jealous because a man isn't serenading her.  When by chance, they both happen to be at a night club one evening, and Brad discovers that Jan is a beautiful woman, he is instantly attracted to her.  Plus, he wants to prove to her that even she can fall victim to his charms.

So, introducing himself to Jan as Texas ranch man, Rex Stetson, Brad begins romancing her, and before long, Jan has fallen in love with him.  But how will she feel about him when she finds out he is none other than her playboy party line man, Brad Allen? 

Pillow Talk is an absolute scream.  There are several really hysterical moments in this movie, especially once Rex Stetson appears on the scene.  From the faked Texas accent, to asking for a dip recipe, to the times he goes back into Brad Allen mode and calls Jan on the phone to "warn" her about her Texas boyfriend, the laughs are plenty.  Oh, and the visit to the OB/GYN office is also hysterical.

The delightful Thelma Ritter, who is one of my favorite supporting actresses, is great here, as Doris's housekeeper.  Thelma adds so much life to ANY movie in which she appears.  She's loads of fun here, as she happens to enjoy listening to Brad serenade his many women and, therefore, isn't much on Jan's side about him.

Anyhow, Pillow Talk is one of the best romantic comedies I've ever seen, and as I said, Rock's totally gorgeous, and the chemistry between him and Doris is fabulous.  Definitely be sure to see this one.  It's out on DVD and should be very easy to track down.

Happy viewing!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Major and the Minor (4 stars)

The Major and the Minor, starring Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland, is a fun little 1942 comedy directed by the fabulous Billy Wilder.  Wilder, who is one of my very favorite directors, is known for such great works as Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17, The Lost Weekend, and Double Indemnity (plus many more).  The Major and the Minor, with Ginger Rogers as "the minor" and Ray Milland as the "major," was one of Wilder's earliest works.

Ginger, who, as I always stress, was FAR more than just a dancer, is Susan Applegate, a young woman who has grown weary of the leacherous lifestyle of New York City and intends to return to her home in Iowa.  From the time of her arrival in New York, she had held aside just enough money for the train trip home in the event things didn't work out.  Only problem...fares have gone up since her arrival, and now she doesn't have enough money for the ticket home.  But after discovering that she DOES have the money for a children's ticket, she quickly transforms herself into a twelve year old and is soon on the train bound for Iowa.  (Okay, yes, it's a little unrealistic to think that a 31 year old woman would try to pass for a 12 year old, but, hey, it's only a movie...and it made for alot of fun.)

On the train, Susan meets Major Phillip Kirby (Ray Milland), an instructor at a boys' military academy.  Phillip, who is a bit near-sighted, thinks Susan is exactly what she claims to be...a little girl all alone and frightened.  So, he takes her under his wing, even having her call him Uncle Phillip.  The relationship is all very above board, but when Phillip's fiance happens by the train, she sees a woman...not a little Phillip's compartment and becomes totally furious.  In order to put out the fire in his fiance, Phillip convinces Susan (who has told him her name is Sue Sue) to stop off for a few days at the military academy.

At the military academy, Susan must keep up the charade.  Although she is falling in love with "Uncle" Phillip, she must continue to be 12 year old Sue Sue and even finds herself having to fight off the advances of all the boys at the academy.  So how long can Susan keep up the act?  How long can she fool people into thinking she's a 12 year old girl when she's really a full-grown woman?  Will Uncle Phillip find out that it wasn't a little girl he took under his wing after all, but a woman who is very much in love with him?  And what about Phillip's fiance?

Well, to find out the answers to these questions, you will have to watch The Major and The Minor for yourself.  It's out on DVD and should be readily available and quite easy to track down.  Yes, it's very unrealistic to think of Ginger, who was 31 at the time, posing as a 12 year old.  And, yes, the movie is VERY dated by today's standards...I mean, we would automatically be screaming "pedophile" if a grown man met a 12 year old girl on a train and shared his compartment with her.  But the times then were more innocent, so if we look at it through the lens of the 1940's, it was simply a man taking it upon himself to look out for a child alone.  Ray Milland's character was never inappropriate towards Sue Sue.  So, even if the movie seems outlandish by today's standards, I still highly recommend it.  It's loads of fun and very cute.  And for Ginger fans (like my husband), it's a definite must-see!

Happy viewing!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (4 stars)

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, starring the incredibly beautiful Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, and George Sanders, is a 1947 film that doesn't fit neatly into any genre, in my opinion.  It's part romance, part drama, part fantasy, and based on the final ten minutes, which left a lump in my throat the size of a golf ball, it's also part tearjerker.  Whatever you want to call is enjoyable and lovely...and a definite must-see.

Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney) is a widow with a young daughter (played by a very young Natalie Wood), who decides to move out from her mother-in-law's home in order to take a home of her own.  She chooses a quaint little cottage by the sea (the movie is set in England).  Only problem is...the cottage has a reputation of being haunted by the ghost of the sea captain that formerly lived there.  Despite the fact that the real estate agent tries to steer her elsewhere, Lucy is determined to call the haunted cottage home.

Not long after she arrives, Lucy meets the ghost of Captain Daniel Gregg (Rex Harrison), and the two soon develop a very deep and abiding friendship.  Eventually, though, a living man enters Lucy's life, and she is forced to choose between that man and Daniel.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is very sweet, and like I said, I had a huge lump in my throat and was lightly weeping through the final minutes of the movie.  I'm not much of a Rex Harrison fan, but I discovered that I didn't have to be to enjoy this.  I hope y'all get a chance to see's out on DVD and should be readily available (I borrowed it from my local library).

Happy viewing!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Man Who Never Was (4 stars)

The Man Who Never Was is a fascinating espionage flick from 1956.  Starring Clifton Webb and co-starring Gloria Grahame and Stephen Boyd, it is a true story and is based on the book of the same name. 

The movie begins in London in 1943, at the height of World War II, shortly before the Allied invasion of Sicily.  British Intelligence Officer, Lieutenant Commander Ewen Montagu (Clifton Webb), realizes that due to the German stronghold at Sicily, the only hope for a successful Allied invasion is to confuse the Germans, to try to get them to think that the invasion will be taking place elsewhere.  Thinking that, they will undoubtedly send troops elsewhere, thinning out their ranks on Sicily, resulting in an easier time and less loss of life for the Allied troops.

So, under the code name "Operation Mincemeat," Lt. Cmdr. Montagu puts a brilliant plan into action.  He will invent a man...a man who never existed (a man who never was!)...a man who will be an officer in the British Army...a man who will be carrying official documents outlining the invasion of Greece...a man whose dead body will be discovered by German agents after his plane has crashed...a man who will be the key to convincing the Nazi agents that Sicily is not the target after all.

There is much suspense as "Operation Mincemeat" gets underway.  They must locate just the right dead body, obtain permission from the family to use it, invent a life and past for the man, transport the body to where it must be found, etc.  And when the Germans send a man back to England to verify the legitimacy of the dead man, wow, it's kind of edge-of-your-seat excitement.

The Man Who Never Was is a wonderful World War II drama and also a highly suspenseful espionage film, and now that I've seen the movie a few times, I think I might like to read the book.  The movie is out on DVD and should be fairly easy to track down.  I hope y'all get a chance to see it.

Happy viewing!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The More the Merrier (4 stars)

The More the Merrier is a delightful romantic comedy from 1943.  It stars Charles Coburn, Joel McCrea, and the always fabulous Jean Arthur.  Charles Coburn won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Benjamin Dingle.

Arriving in Washington DC during a period of housing shortage,  grandfatherly Mr. Dingle convinces working girl Constance (Connie) Milligan (Jean Arthur) to let him lease half of her apartment.  Although she had really hoped to share her apartment with a woman, Connie eventually agrees to let Mr. Dingle move in.  And not long after his arrival, Mr. Dingle, unbeknownst to Connie, leases half of his half of the apartment to Joe Carter (Joel McCrea), mostly because he sees Joe as the perfect marriage partner for Connie, so having them in close proximity to one another is an absolute must.  Now Connie, who didn't want even ONE male roommate, suddenly finds herself with TWO.

Much to Mr. Dingle's dismay, he discovers that Connie already has a fiance, one Charles Pendergast.  However, given that Ben thinks Charles is a stick in the mud, he is more determined than ever to play Cupid for Connie and Joe.  And how that plays out is the bulk of the movie.

There are some totally hilarious scenes.  Connie's morning schedule is a scream.  And the way Joe and Ben play off one another is like two little boys.  Truly, there was fabulous chemistry between all three stars of this movie, but I mostly loved the interaction between Coburn and McCrea. 

This movie is totally predictable, but it's alot of fun getting there.  If you are looking for a sweet romantic comedy, The More the Merrier will definitely fit the bill.  It's out on DVD, so it should be readily available and fairly easy to track down.

Happy viewing!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Her Twelve Men (4 stars)

Her Twelve Men is a sweet, sometimes sentimental, 1954 drama starring the beautiful Greer Garson and the tremendously underrated Robert Ryan (in a role totally counter to the usual "heavies" he plays).  At first glance, Garson and Ryan seem like a strange pairing, but I think they were fabulous together, and as a huge Ryan fan, I must admit that I enjoyed seeing him in a good-guy role for a change.  While he plays the villain so well (such as Billy Budd, Bad Day at Black Rock, and Crossfire to name just a few), I think he was a very versatile actor and could do equally well with a "softer" role.  He is definitely high on my list of favorites, and I enjoyed him very much in Her Twelve Men.

Greer Garson, with her lovely lilting brogue, portrays Jan Stewart, a young widow who has just been hired as the first female teacher at The Oaks, a boarding school for boys.  Since the school has never had a woman teacher before and no one is quite sure what to expect, she is hired on a one year trial.  Her job will be to teach and be house-mother to a group of twelve pre-adolescent boys...many of which have been sent there by parents who just don't want to be bothered with them.

Joe Hargrave (played by Robert Ryan), who is in charge of the lower school, feels that Jan is unqualified for the position but, nevertheless, wants to help her make a difference in the lives of the boys.  Continually angered by parents who ignore their children and then expect the school to straighten them out, Joe is completely devoted to his position.

The boys in Jan's ward include Bobby, whose parents are on the Riviera and who don't miss him at all, and spoiled Dick, whose widowed dad travels three weeks out of the month, leaving Dick to the care of the servants.  How these boys' lives are changed by the love and care of Jan (and Joe) is the crux of the movie.

I read film critic Leonard Maltin's review of Her Twelve Men (on the TCM website) and was totally shocked.  He gave the movie two out of four stars, saying that "Her Twelve Men was a failed attempt to repeat the success of GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS."  I totally disagree with Mr. Maltin on this one.  I enjoyed Her Twelve Men far more than Goodbye, Mr. Chips.  It's sweet and tender and got me misty-eyed on several occasions.  (Not that Mr. Chips didn't, but I definitely didn't connect with Mr. Chips as I connected with Her Twelve Men, probably in large part due to my appreciation of Robert Ryan.)

Anyhow, I highly recommend Her Twelve Men.  I don't think it's out on DVD, though you might be able to track down a VHS copy through the library system.  Also, TCM shows it fairly often, so you can catch it there.  Oh, and by the way, it's in color.

Happy viewing to all!!!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Born Yesterday (5 stars)

Born Yesterday, from 1950, is a comedy/drama starring the totally delightful Judy Holliday, William Holden, and Broderick Crawford.  (To be quite honest, Broderick Crawford actually gets second billing...but given that William Holden is my all-time favorite actor, I am giving HIM second billing.)  This movie deals with some very heavy subjects....government corruption, abuse towards women, lack of education....but because it does so in a sometimes comedic way, it doesn't come across as preachy. 

Judy Holliday is Billie Dawn, a rather ditzy former chorus girl who is now the "dumb blonde" girlfriend of corrupt businessman, Harry Brock (played brilliantly by Broderick Crawford).  Billie is fairly uneducated ("stupid" by her own admission) and does whatever Harry tells her to do, never questioning anything.  For that reason, it works to Harry's advantage to have Billie as one of his corporate officers.

Harry and Billie arrive in Washington D.C., where Harry intends to lobby a congressman for some legislation that will benefit his business; however, while meeting with said congressman and his wife, Harry realizes that Billie's lack of refinement and education will probably hurt his business aspirations.  So, at his lawyer's suggestion, he asks reporter Paul Verrall (William Holden) to "learn Billie some things."  Paul, who is disgusted by Harry's boorish behavior, eagerly accepts the job and is soon showing Billie around Washington D.C. and giving her history and civics lessons in the process.  In time, Billie blossoms under Paul's tutelage and begins to see Harry for what he really is.  She begins to question what Harry tells her to do...which doesn't sit well with Harry at all.

I won't reveal more than this.  Suffice to say that watching Billie's metamorphosis is totally delightful.  And that the incredibly handsome Bill Holden is there to help in the process just adds to the delight for me.  Judy Holliday is wonderful in this role.  While I have seen all but one of Judy's movies and REALLY like several of them, Born Yesterday is easily my favorite.  She actually won the Best Actress Academy Award for her performance.  (1950 was an amazing year, and the Academy had an extremely tough decision for actress that year.)  I must admit, the first time I saw this movie (which was my first Judy Holliday experience), I cringed when I heard her VERY strong New York accent.  But I've come to love the accent AND her.  She's a total sweetheart.

As an aside, I want to mention that Born Yesterday was on Broadway back in the 40's, with Judy Holliday in the lead.  So, both on the stage and on the screen, she has given life to Billie Dawn.  AND hear this...later this month (March 31st, I believe) Born Yesterday will be opening on Broadway again.  I'm not sure who will be playing the Judy Holliday/William Holden roles, but Broderick Crawford's role will be played by Jim Belushi (in his Broadway debut). Should be fantastic!!!  And guess daughter and I are planning a trip to New York City in early June.  Seeing Born Yesterday on Broadway is definitely on our must-do list.  However, I must say that I have already been warned by my daughter that I absolutely CANNOT whine about the fact that there's another actor and not dreamboat Holden playing Paul Verrall.  Oh, boy, can I do that?  Not whine about another man taking Holden's role, I mean?  I doubt it...but I AM excited to see this beloved story on the stage.  (ADDENDUM:  We ended up not taking that trip after all, so we didn't have the opportunity to attend the Broadway show.)

Anyhow, if you haven't ever seen Born Yesterday, I highly recommend it.  It is a totally wonderful movie, and if you've never before seen Judy Holliday, start here with her Academy Award winning performance.  You'll love her.  This movie is out on DVD and should be very easy to track down.  Add to that, Turner Classic Movies has it on their March and April schedules.

Happy viewing to all!!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Four Daughters (4 stars)

Four Daughters, from 1938, is a romantic drama starring Claude Rains, Priscilla Lane, and---in his film debut---the sensational John Garfield.  Featuring the supporting talents of Jeffrey Lynn, May Robson, Gale Page, and the Lane sisters, this Michael Curtiz-directed film is the first of three about the Lemp family.  (Four Wives and Four Mothers would follow closely on the heels of this one.)

Claude Rains is Adam Lemp, a widowed music professor who lives with his sister and his four marriage-age daughters (played by Priscilla Lane and her two sisters, Rosemary and Lola, and Gale Page).  One day, Felix Deitz (Jeffrey Lynn), the son of an old friend of Adam's, stops by for a visit, and all of the girls find themselves attracted to him.  Daughter Thea is so attracted that she refuses to set a date for her wedding to Ben, and daughter Emma finds herself virtually ignoring shy Ernest, who is vying for her hand.  Felix, though, has eyes  for daughter Ann (Priscilla Lane), the baby of the family, and before long, they are courting one another.

Enter Micky Borden (John Garfield), a down-on-his-luck friend of Felix, who is supposed to help Felix write some music.  Micky has had a difficult life, beginning with the fact that he was orphaned as a baby.  Nothing seems to work out for him, and he is moody and pessimistic.  Ann, however, isn't deterred by Micky's grumpy moods; she works hard to encourage him to not give up, to not always expect bad things.  Before long, Micky has fallen in love with Ann...but Ann has agreed to marry Felix.

So, which man does Ann choose?  Do things turn around for Micky?  Does he find favor smiling upon him finally?  To find out the answers to those questions, you will have to watch this movie.  I'm almost positive it's out on DVD, so I think it should be fairly easy to track down.

John Garfield, who began his career on the stage, is totally terrific in this, his very first screen role.  From the very moment he appears on screen, he brings with him that fabulous, chip-on-the-shoulder, brooding rebel moodiness which would characterize him throughout the majority of his career.  Before Clift, Brando, or Dean, there was John Garfield---the original brooding rebel.  The rest of the cast is terrific as well, especially Claude Rains and May Robson.  (Incidentally, Mr. Rains, who was also a well-respected stage actor, was quite a mentor to Mr. Garfield as he made the transition from stage to screen.)

This film is the original of 1954's Young at Heart, which stars Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, and Gig Young.  Both films are interesting and enjoyable; however, the Young at Heart remake has a totally different ending than Four Daughters does.  With only a few minor changes, the movies are nearly identical...until the last few minutes.

Four Daughters is very solid and enjoyable, and, of course, for John Garfield fans, it is a must-see, since it's his film debut.  I hope you get a chance to see  it.

Happy viewing to all!!