One day, while she is lunching alone on her terrace, Carrie makes the acquaintance of Ron Kirby, her new gardener, who tells her that his father has died and that he has taken over the business. Several years younger than Carrie, Ron is a simple, down-to-earth man totally at ease with himself and his position in society. He doesn't aspire to be socially prominent or to live the country club life; rather, he is content to live in the country and to try his hand at tree farming.
Carrie and Ron are drawn to each other and begin spending time together, despite the fact that the tongues of the snobby country club crowd are beginning to wag. When Ron takes her out to his tree farm, Carrie is fascinated by the old mill located on the property and tells him it would make a wonderful home for him and the wife he will one day have.
Several weeks later, Carrie is stunned to visit the mill and discover that Ron has begun renovating it and it is shaping up to be a beautiful home. He tells her he is doing it for her, for them...and he tells her he loves her and asks her to marry him. At first, Carrie turns him down, convinced that their different lifestyles and the age difference between them will prevent them from finding happiness. However, after Ron encourages her not to worry about what other people think and to take a chance on happiness, Carrie accepts his proposal and is blissfully happy.
When Carrie calls her college-age children home to share the news with them, she is unprepared for how violently they oppose such a union. Besides the fact that Ron is much younger than their mother, is the fact that socially he is not what she deserves. They are certain he could never fit in with the elite country club crowd Carrie has run in for years, and a cocktail party with said people proves they are right. The gossip mill is in full force when Carrie and Ron show up for a party, and ugly words about Carrie's fidelity to her deceased husband make their way to Carrie's daughter's ears. Both of Carrie's children tell her that such a marriage will shame them and totally ruin their lives.
Will Carrie reconsider? Will she put aside other people's opinions and do what makes her happy? These are the questions which play out in the balance of this sweet, tender film.
As noted, I don't care for Jane Wyman, but Rock more than makes up for that. I quite adore him---his gorgeous presence makes any movie enjoyable for me. And this film is definitely sweet and lovely and even gets me mildly misty-eyed. Out on DVD, it ought to be fairly easy to track down. And, just FYI, Jane and Rock were paired together in another romantic tearjerker, Magnificent Obsession. I highly recommend both that film and this one.
Happy viewing...and happy birthday, Rock Hudson (November 17, 1925 - October 2, 1985)!!