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Monday, February 13, 2017

Sentimental Journey (1946)

When an actress (Maureen O'Hara) discovers she has a terminal illness, she withholds the information from her director husband (John Payne). Instead, she talks him into adopting a child (Connie Marshall) with the hope that she will be a solace to him after her death. Based on the short story THE LITTLE HORSE by Nelia Gardner White and directed by Walter Lang (THE KING AND I). When a movie about a dying woman adopting an orphan has sentimental in the title, expectations are pretty low that this is going to be one soppy tearjerker. But though it pushes the sentiment to the extreme at times, it never crosses over to treacle. Indeed, the story turns rather dark what with the grieving husband unable to relate to the child at all while the child gets the cold shoulder at every attempt at reconciliation. Her fantasy world isn't all that different than the little girl in CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE though this film doesn't have that film's artistry. But there's no getting away from the fact that this is a tearjerker and as tearjerkers go, it's very well done. Fortunately, Connie Marshall is a more than decent child actress. Remade in 1958 as THE GIFT OF LOVE with Lauren Bacall and Robert Stack. With William Bendix, Cedric Hardwicke, Mischa Auer, Glenn Langan, Dorothy Adams and Kurt Kreuger.

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