Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1946. Paramount Pictures. Story by Charles Brackett, Screenplay by Charles Brackett, Jacques Thery. Cinematography by Daniel L. Fapp. Produced by Charles Brackett. Music by Victor Young. Production Design by Roland Anderson, Hans Dreier. Costume Design by Edith Head. Film Editing by Alma Macrorie. Academy Awards 1946.
Olivia de Havilland won her first Academy Award for this mother of all housewife melodramas. She plays a beautiful young lady circa World War I who falls in love with an airplane pilot shortly before he leaves for battle. When he goes missing in action, she has to decide what to do about the impending arrival of their ‘illegitimate’ child. She concocts a complicated adoption scheme to keep the baby without anyone knowing it’s actually hers, but circumstances arise and the child is adopted by a rich couple in the small town that she lives in. The soap opera plot continues from there, and there are quite a few tearjerking moments before the terrific, satisfying finale (it’s better than Madame X, I can promise you that!). There are some points, though, where the film threatens to be completely ridiculous.