The Hasty Heart (1949) Poster

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Going Through Life Without Friends
bkoganbing19 February 2008
The Hasty Heart is the second best known work of author John Patrick, his biggest triumph being The Teahouse of the August Moon. It ran on Broadway from early to middle 1945 while there was still very much a war going on in the China-Burma-India Theater for 204 performances. It starred Richard Basehart, Anne Burr and John Lund on stage.

Those same roles were taken by Richard Todd, Patricia Neal, and Ronald Reagan in the screen adaption directed by Vincent Sherman. About the only change that was made was a brief prologue showing exactly how Richard Todd got his injuries. After that the entire film is set in a hospital along the Assam front in that theater.

The Hasty Heart is a story about the wounded Richard Todd who doesn't know that while seemingly recovered he lost a kidney and the other one is irreversibly damaged. He will die within a matter of weeks and nurse Patricia Neal moves him in with some other convalescent soldiers including an American, Ronald Reagan and tells them to be easy with him.

Easier said than done because Todd's a really hard case. He's a bitter angry man, a foundling with no family or friends to speak of which is why they aren't writing him his ticket back home, he's got no one to go back home to.

Richard Todd got his first notice in The Hasty Heart with the American public and during the Fifties he made as many films on this side of the pond as in the United Kingdom. Todd was a real life war hero so in playing this part he brought a wealth of bitter experience among dying men. Todd got an Oscar nomination for Best Actor and his competition included, John Wayne for Sands of Iwo Jima, Kirk Douglas for Champion, and Gregory Peck for Twelve O'Clock High. The eventual winner though was Broderick Crawford in All the King's Men.

Patricia Neal as a young contract player with Warner Brothers also got her first really good part as the compassionate nurse. And a veteran contract player with Warner Brothers who left the movies for another career, Ronald Reagan got some of the best notices of his career. The Hasty Heart is definitely one of the three films most identified with him in a good way, the others being Knute Rockne - All American, and King's Row.

The Hasty Heart is a fine film about the tragedy of war and the worst tragedy of going through life without friends. Make sure to catch it if it's ever broadcast on TCM.
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Life is so much better with goodwill and friendships ...
lora6429 June 2007
This is a special movie and simply one of the best dramas on film when it comes to a touching heartfelt story. As others have said, there are no gimmicks or pretensions, just a very genuine story of people doing their best under the circumstances, wanting to give friendship each in their own way, and of one who doesn't know how to accept it.

I recall seeing "The Hasty Heart" as a youngster and of course didn't understand most of it yet came away inwardly moved. It is only decades later when able to view the video that I was more totally drawn into the drama, the scenes and dialog, and could appreciate the superb performances of the actors. One can readily see how it had been a fine stage play because of such excellent dialog as the scenes unfolded. Really topnotch.

There is Richard Todd as Lachie, the recuperating soldier impatient to return home after the announcement that the war has ended. However, it's doubtful he'll be going as his time is limited due to serious health failure which he is unaware of. Others in the makeshift hospital ward are encouraged to befriend him when he is brought to settle in their midst but with mixed results because of his 'standoff-ishness'. I think Reagan is very convincing in his role as the American soldier who sees things as they are, speaks his mind, and knows how to accept life.

It's a wonderful story about the meaning of friendship and I think one other film similar to it would be "The Captive Heart" (1946) with Michael Redgrave, a very heartwarming wartime drama.

A great film in my opinion dealing with the plain, unadorned human side of life.
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Moving picture
humpty26 February 1999
The Hasty Heart is one of the finest and most sensetive films ever made. Ronald Reagan gives his best acting performance and this story should bring a tear to the most cynical eyes. It is a story about a man with a terminal illness and his battle with self pity. As sad as it is, it is a celebration nevertheless, of the human condition. Its about real people and real feelings, not some hyped up special effects extravaganza of all prop and no plot. Although the film is not religious, per se, and does not mention God, it is a spiritual film, a gut wrenching exercise of the soul.
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Richard Todd + Ronald Reagan + Patricia Neal = MUST SEE
Enrique-Sanchez-5630 April 2001
Here is a movie no one talks about, yet it belongs among the best movies to come out of Hollywood.

Richard Todd reprised his stage role and received an Oscar nomination for this largely unknown movie. Yet, if you have a chance, DO NOT miss it.

It moves you, and it makes you laugh and smile. The story is simple but the emotion runs deep.

Some may point out that the ending may be inappropriate to the subject's tone. Yet, we do see that a man's life can been changed and improved by some simple gestures of friendship. And that is all we really want to see. The rest would have truly made this a maudlin effort.

Contrary to all of the criticism, scoffing and easy ridicule of the merely two (2) Reagan "Bonzo" movies, he sure was a fine actor and we were lucky to have him in the movies.

See it.
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Reagan Shines
telegonus7 November 2001
As a fan of neither soap operas nor Ronald Reagan I find myself utterly captivated by the movie of The Hasty Heart, a popular play of the postwar years, which was filmed in England by Warner Brothers. Richard Todd plays Lachy, a proud, somewhat obnoxious Scotsman who is assigned to a Burmese hospital, where he is presumably recovering from surgery but in fact dying, a fact kept from him by the medical staff. The other patients are told to go easy on the fellow, to make friends with him, which they do, with considerable opposition from Lachy himself, who did not up to this time have friends. There is some excellent dialogue along the way, as the various patients and staff members attempt to soften up this hard case, which in the end they do. The acting, of Richard Todd, as Lachy, and Patricia Neal, as the nurse he develops what I guess one would call a crush on, is quite good, but what makes the film somewhat of a revelation is the truly excellent performance of none other than Ronald Reagan, as Yank, the one American among the patients, and nobody's fool. Reagan does not play his part for charm. Yank is in his way as tough as Lachy, only he accepts life and Lachy doesn't. He too has a hard streak, but also compassion; and he is never soft. The interaction between the astringent Yank and everyone else is, thanks to Mr. Reagan, far and above the liveliest part of the film, which depending on one's mood can be either inspiring, in a gentle sort of way, or vaguely depressing, given its subject matter. This is a fine example of a well-made play of the sort its author, John Patrick, was an expert at. One doesn't see too many of them around these days, as they have gone out of fashion, as the art of the drama has, for good or ill, moved on. After seeing this movie one might have second thoughts about the notion that the theatre has, in the last half-century, moved on to better things.
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Lovely Heartwarming, Tearjerker Movie
trpdean6 March 2002
I join others praising this movie. Is it sentimental? Well, yes. Is it simple? Yes. In fact, does the main character seem a little simple? Yes - the acting by Oscar nominated Richard Todd is a bit broad to my taste. (I quite admire Todd - who, in The Longest Day, played virtually the part he played in the real D Day landing; generally Todd is rather stoic and understated in his acting - e.g., D Day: The Sixth of June - not so here).

Still, there is something about this movie that really grabs you - like say, The Fantasticks - simple, yet quite true, very humane and in its own way, powerful.

Reagan is his usual fine self - I think always underrated as an actor - e.g., see his smallish part in Bette Davis' Dark Victory (he's a lazy society swell). Patricia Neal is the sort of woman you DO fall for.

The fact that they do not sugarcoat the ending - we know the future will be grim, is to the movie's benefit. These were dark days - all these men had been through the Depression, had been in a vicious War in Burma for years, had seen, and caused others, death many many times. They're far more matter of fact about death than any contemporary movie would make its characters -"oh, too bad, a bad break" is the comment. The acceptance of this grim reality made me think about the resilience of people and the stoicism of that generation.

Do see it- it's a wonderful simple tearjerker that you won't forget.
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ivan-228 August 2000
My diary records my varying impressions of this film:


A young man doesn't know he is dying. He doesn't appreciate people. His friends know his fate and try to be kind, but he rejects them. They don't give up, and he mellows a little. But then he finds out he is dying and that they knew. He interprets their kindness as mere pity, is outraged and prepares to die alone. However a man who doesn't speak English, and therefore doesn't know he is dying gives him a gift, and convinces him that there is genuine friendship in this world. The movie is gimmicky and contrived, like a dramatized sermon, but it is one of the better films ever made.


This time I wasn't tearful. I found it rather preachy. The writer should have written a short essay rather than bore us with a contrived plot.


I loved it just as much as when I first saw it. The critics, true to form, despised its "sentimentality", yet it is an exceptionally lucid, warm and wonderful play, Reagan's best and most humane role.


One of my most favorite movies. It focuses your attention on what is valuable in life, stripping away pride. We all have a very limited time, and appreciation and gratitude is in order. The real subject of the film however, is faith in mankind. The bitter man's faith has been shattered by the war. Yet he learns that however murky and ignoble people's motives may be, one must cherish every morsel of kindness one can get or give. (Although solitude is not that bad either!!!) Profoundly wise and moving!
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This movie should be compulsory viewing
stephenc-512 April 2000
I came back from work one day and this old Black and white movie was on TV Damn, Black and White ??? and i had spent a fortune on my Dolby system, after flicking through the channels i came back to it, something about the main character caught my attention (Cpl. Lachlan "Lachie" MacLachlan) he was rude, obnoxious scaving and although he acted very tough he appeared to be very very lonely. For the next hour and a half i was hooked. Its a story about people (as simple as that) how they get along , how they dont get along its a very human story, no special effects, no twisting plots just a warm hearted story that you will come away from feeling better with the world. This is one of those Sunday afternoon movies you could easily flick past like i almost did. If you ever see it advertised take time out to watch it, it will make you cry and laugh all in the same scene. Take time to watch it........Highly recomended s c...
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nothing but good things to say about this film
rjross599 June 2004
This film is one of Reagan's best. I'm of Scottish descent and the

Scots are not exactly portrayed in the best light, yet I still loved it. Excellent movie, excellent cast. It makes you cry, it makes you laugh. What more can you ask for in a film? People of different races and cultures getting along is a sight for sore eyes these days. Bring back the old movies and maybe people will learn something about unity.It's a heart-warming film and those who don't get that just don't GET IT. I had to watch this again after President Reagan passed away and it made me sad in a whole new way.Things took on a different meaning but that's okay. What didn't change was the quality of the film.
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A Hasty Heart
ricktallman8414 November 2005
This film was a complete surprise as to how excellent it was. Not a surprise was Patricia Neal's usual outstanding performance. Ronald Reagan proved to be much more than a B movie actor though. This is far and away his most outstanding performance and shows that his acting ability was as good as anybody's from that time. I'm also very surprised that this film is not more well known. Reagan's role as "the Gipper" in Knute Rockne All-American is obviously memorable and outstanding particularly during his hospital scene. And for Reagan to be known as the Gipper instead of the Yank makes sense. But again, this performance as Yank is clearly superior to any other role he performed including the Gipper.
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Beyond expectation!
vacaville-shane13 April 2008
It has been some time and dozens of films since I've been so moved. Although no fan of Reagan, I appreciated him here. And I've always been charmed by Neal. The supporting cast was also quite fine. But the performance by Richard Todd deserved every bit of critical praise he's received. Was Broderick Crawford's award win more deserved that year? Tough to say now, in light of this screening. Of course, it matters not. It is history. What I can say is that of all the nominated performances from 1949, I was no where near as moved, as touched. The emotional depth caught me by surprise. The bits of humor welcome and appropriate. Albeit somewhat melodramatic, I was reminded of the decency there is. Watch this one. It'll stay with you a while. You won't be disappointed.
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semck25 February 2000
This is another one of those movies that isn't all that famous (as far as I know, anyway), but which nevertheless belongs in a very elite group with the best and most famous movies ever made.

The acting and directing is superb, not to mention the writing.

I highly recommend it.
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The best movie you never heard of
hawkcj3013 December 2013
This movie really touches on a subject most of us choose to overlook, "self inflicted loneliness". The movie revolves around a young Scottish soldier who due to his upbringing (or lack there of) has chosen to live his life in emotional solitude. He assumes his self importance above all others. The writers do a fine job of bringing the players together. Ronald Reagen is excellent in this film but Richard Todd steals the show. It is his finest work as far as I'm concerned.

I watched this film a second time with my "Self Centered" son and he was engrossed and drew many parallels to his own actions.

Watch this movie - you will be pleasantly surprised.
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The Hasty Heart ****
edwagreen14 June 2010
A poignant film dealing with relationships in crisis.

Richard Todd gave an absolutely fabulous performance as the dying soldier who does not know his fate. Totally alone in the world with a terrible attitude, the film deals with his coming to realize that there is kindness in the world. Naturally, this is put to the test when he discovers that he is terminally ill.

Ronald Reagan is excellent as the American soldier who works with the others in the Burma Hospital to bring happiness to the Scot. (Todd)

Todd received a best actor nomination for his performance. He certainly gave winner Broderick Crawford ("All the King's Men") a run for his money.

This is really an outstanding film dealing with human kindness during such adversity.

Patricia Neals shows her mettle as the nurse who went the extra mile for the Scot.
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The Heart Need Not Be Hasty When Friends are Found...
Stormy_Autumn28 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
"The Hasty Heart" (1949) was directed by Vincent Sherman. The cast included Ronald Reagan, Patricia Neal and Richard Todd. The supporting cast brought so much emotion to the movie. They were all mostly portraying patients in a jungle hospital during WWII. Orlando Martins was in a role where he had no lines. He had to use actions and expressions to get his point across. He succeeded wonderfully.

Lachie MacLachlin (Todd) wasn't interested in friends. His goal was to leave the war behind. He'd return to his only his land. Otherwise he had nobody. Because Lachie had been in such pain it was discovered his wounds were worse than thought. He was dying. His bunkmates were encouraged, by their nurse (Neal), to not leave Lachie to die alone. It was difficult for any of them to care, but Yank (Reagan), finally, agreed to try.

Not knowing his precarious position, Lachie was hard, standoffish, uncaring towards those who offer their friendships. Then, still not knowing, he softened. They've reached out and he started to reach back. Then everything fell apart. The secret blew up.

What next? Buy stock in a tissue company before you find out.
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Excellent...aside from Blossom.
MartinHafer26 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This film is set just after WWII and is set in a hospital in Burma---filled with soldiers who can't wait to be sent home. At this point, most of the patients have left and there are just six left. One of them, Corporal MacLachlan, is a thoroughly unpleasant person. What he doesn't know is that he's dying. Back in the old days, if your kidneys gave out, they apparently didn't have dialysis and it certainly was in the days before transplants. MacLachlan's lost one kidney and the other is so badly damaged it's only a matter of weeks until he dies. To help boost his morale, they decide to move him in with the last five patients. And, to try to help him in his final days, they tell the five about MacLachlan's dilemma and ask that they all become his friends and assist him. But, sadly, MacLachlan is so horrible a personality, that it's practically impossible for the men to like him--and he pushes everyone away at every opportunity. I actually like this because too often dying people are noble in films's--this guy defies the cliché, that's for sure! Can he make any connection with these men and can MacLachlan make peace with life? Tune in and see.

This is an interesting film because Richard Todd stars as the angry Scotsman. It's interesting for several reasons. First, he was not a Scot but Irish--and he still did a great job. Second, while a famous actor, he's not that well known outside Britain and it's a chance to see him in a mainstream Hollywood film. And, in addition, Ronald Reagan and Patricia Neal do very well in their important roles. Finally, I liked the emotional component--particularly towards the end of the film. It took a lot of risks and in the process yanked the viewers' hearts--it's an excellent tear-jerker. As I said above, the dying man, at least initially, was quite unlikable. And, the acting is very nice as well. Overall, it's a very good film. About the only serious problem I saw in the film was the Nigerian character, Blossom. He has almost no discernible personality or intellect. Could any person be this stupid or sub-human? Having him never say anything other than this patronizing name seemed sad and reinforced the idea of black men being less intelligent--a sad stereotype to say the least!
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the Scot just blew me away.......forever
rickdumesnil-5520310 December 2015
Never knew who Richard Todd was.....but i like forties war movies so i watched it.....eating salsa. THE film captured me in the first ten minutes and i was glued to the screen. Ronald REAGAN a handsome suppose to be a so so actor...was surprisingly awesome in this one. Not a fan of PATRICIA NEAL either she won me over with that warm devoted friendly face. But my biggest shock.....the Scotsman.....RICHARD TODD what a tour DE force of impeccable acting. his different registered emotions made my salsa unable to pass my throat...i just stared with amazement. What a darn good movie that could have easily fallen soap operas with a good ending as not to displease the audience. This one didn't...he was gonna die......but not alone......OK i will admit..I'm 66....i didn't sniff..........i cried like a baby. Please take a minute to buy it.
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Poignant war story
treeline130 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The story opens in an Allied Forces hospital in Burma, 1945, on the last day of the war. Those patients who can travel are going home, but five remain (including one played by Ronald Reagan). The head nurse (Patricia Neal) tells the men that a Scottish soldier (Richard Todd) is going to be joining them and asks for their help. He has only a few weeks to live and is too ill to travel; since he has no family, she asks the men to befriend the solider in his last days - but not to tell him he's dying.

This is a touching drama with many moments of humor. The soldiers are all believable and their camaraderie is heartening. Star Richard Todd does a great job with the Scottish accent. He plays a tough, bitter man who never knew how to make friends and when he finally does shed his defenses, he "shares a moment with kings." Patricia Neal is perfect as the compassionate nurse who helps the soldier find peace. Ronald Reagan is quite likable as the wise and easy-going "Yank."

The story really made me think about what I would want were I in this soldier's predicament. To know or not to know? To try and go half-way around the globe to die in an empty house or stay among new friends? It's a wrenching dilemma whatever the decision, and the film doesn't sugar-coat it. Top-notch acting and thoughtful script. Recommended.
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Must See!
tbird-222 September 1998
This is a powerful drama, but with very subtle power that will have you captured by the end of the film. Richard Todd is very good as Lachie. I wanted the movie to go on for another half an hour.
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A Lovely Movie
Handlinghandel5 August 2006
"The Hasty Heart" is one of the most effective tearjerkers I know of. In a way, I guess, it could be called manipulative: Having a character we know from the start to be terminally ill is pretty much a sure thing. But this movie earns all its tears.

Richard Todd gives a superb performance as the Scottish soldier who is afraid of intimacy. Why he didn't win an Academy Award is a mystery. His performance is as brave as he and the other characters in the movie are portrayed as being.

Patricia Neal, too, is excellent. She is a great favorite of mine but that's irrelevant: had she never made another movie, her Sister Parker would be a knockout in American movie history. (Thankfully, she did make many more.) The supporting cast is superb. However, I don't care for Ronald Reagan in his important role. This has nothing to do with politics and he often could be very good. But he doesn't seem to me to fit in with the ensemble -- and this is very much an ensemble piece.

Pat O'Brien would have been much better, but he was too old. William Holden would have been right too, but he was too young.

Several things in the movie are outdated. The slight condescension toward the black character, Blossom, was of its time. It makes one cringe a little now. It's also sort of funny to see so many people in a hospital unit smoking cigarettes. Thankfully, that's behind us too, at least as a way for sick people to feel better.

Vincent Sherman's directing is possibly his best. And he was a fine director. The story is simple, direct, and heartbreaking. And Todd is a marvel -- truly a marvel.
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See it for performances by Richard Todd, Ronald Reagan and Patricia Neal
jacobs-greenwood8 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Directed by Vincent Sherman, with a screenplay by Ranald MacDougall that was based on the play by John Patrick, this slightly above average drama features the Academy Award nominated Best Actor performance by Richard Todd (his only) and what has to be one of best performances ever given by actor Ronald Reagan as well. Patricia Neal, in only her third film (and second with Reagan), exhibits the talent that would later earn her a Best Actress Oscar (out of two such nominations).

The rest of the cast is solid, if unrecognizable and forgettable except for Orlando Martins, whose role is unfortunately so necessarily one dimensional that it could be considered racist. Several nationalist prejudices (e.g. stereotypes) are discussed and/or exploited, though the fact that they ring true and/or make this story more genuine will be lost on those who tend to look for harm instead of accepting or learning from the very real cultural differences which exist.

Todd plays a disagreeable Scot who was injured during the last days of World War II in Burma. Though he's been patched up, he's also dying from a pending kidney failure, a fact that's kept from him but shared with the other soldiers (like Yank, Reagan) in the recovery ward, and their compassionate nurse (Neal). The hospital's commanding officer (Anthony Nicholls as Lieutenant Colonel Dunn) and Sister Parker (Neal) ask these others to make friends with this misfit Corporal Lachlan MacLachlan (later nicknamed 'Lachie'; Todd) to make his last days as happy as possible. Howard Crawford plays Tommy, a Brit from London, Ralph Michael plays Kiwi (not Kini?), a bearded New Zealander, and John Sherman plays the Australian dubbed Digger; these non-PC nicknames were ostensibly given to them by the orderly (Alfred Bass), and accepted by the others (without protest, as these were less sensitive times). Martins plays a local native, called Blossom, the only English word Yank has taught him.

Yank has an earned bias against persons from Scotland per his Scottish grandfather, but learned a technique of reciting the books of the Bible (Old Testament) to keep himself in control of his emotions. In fact, he is the one (other than the Sister) who ultimately leads the others to keep trying (e.g. to be more tolerant) to befriend Lachie who, from the very first, will accept no assistance from the others for not wanted to be in any man's debt. He refuses any kindness whatsoever, and gives none himself. Encouraged by the Sister, the others try to be friendly but are quickly frustrated in their efforts by the Scot's belligerent nature. They all but give up, including the Sister, until she learns that it's Lachie's birthday and the men each give him a piece of what adds up to be his first kilt (the inevitable question and mystery as to what a Scotsman wears under such garb is fodder for a couple humorous scenes). The gift brings tears to the Scot's eyes and prompts his transformation into someone who can't stop talking for more than a week with his newfound friends, even about politics (there are some surreal moments in this movie, when one considers that Reagan went on to become the 40th President of the United States!).

But when talk of going home begins, Lachie finds the others are uncomfortable, and not as accepting of his invitations to come home with him for a visit. Pondering this one evening leads to an intimate moment with the Sister, she even kisses him (of her own free will); he later proposes and she accepts. However, Lt. Col. Dunn then offers him a plane ride home, which doesn't make sense to Lachie until he's told of his fatal condition, and the fact that the others knew of it. Lachie, who'd had a rough childhood as a foundling, returns to his distrusting self and lashes out at his former comrades. But, once again, Yank is responsible for leading the others, and Lachie, to a reconciliation of friends, with help from innocent Blossom. The Scot will not die friendless.
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The Hasty Heart
mcannady126 September 2015
S P O I L E R N O T I N T E N D E D - But is important when describing the ultimate meaning of this entertaining and ultimately poignant film.

I first watched this outstanding film on TV when I was very young growing up in the 60's. Though I had seen many dramatic films, I had never seen one that affected me so emotionally! It stayed with me through the years and I did recall the pathetic soldier who eventually finds peace and love in the crisis of his imminent death.

A question remained with me over the years - Did the lovely and gallant Nurse Parker really fall in love with Lachy, or was she playing up out of pity?. We can see that she is about to cry when he proposes marriage to her. "What am I to do?" she quietly asks herself as Lachy hurries to inform his new friends that he is in love with Nurse Parker and she has accepted his marriage proposal!

Just a week ago or so a friend asked me if I had the film. In copying The Hasty Heart for her I was reminded of it and recalled that I had liked it years ago. Needless to say, I was struck by the same feelings when viewing the film some 40 years later.

Here were a group of soldiers in Burma that are preparing to go home. Ronald Reagan is one of these men who keeps his morale up by being friends with the other soldiers, including a mute fellow comrade.

Nurse Parker, a lovely and empathic nurse presides over the barracks and is asked to introduce a new soldier to the men going home soon. He is being shipped there briefly, as he will die soon. She becomes aware of a medical secret concerning this man; he has two to three weeks at most to live as he got shrapnel in one kidney and his bad kidney is forced to function - for a brief time.

Nurse Parker asks that the other soldiers befriend "Lachy" and mentions that he is from Scotland. The Captain had asked her to keep Lachy's condition a secret from him, but to reveal the truth to his fellow soldiers in confidence.

At first Lachy is defensive and unfriendly. Little by little it is revealed that he had never had a friend before. His initial rudeness nearly ruins his chances of having friends at the barracks. (They all keep the secret of Lachy's medical crisis).

Ronald Reagan's character helps "the thawing out process" of this new man and the men all chip in to give him a Scottish kilt as a gift.. At first he suspects the others of making fun of him and even Nurse Parker of "wangling" a marriage proposal from him.. She is surprised but unruffled.

After a few ups and downs Lachy apologizes and wants to join the other men and to gain their friendship. He is soon included in their pictures, makes friends with all of them and comes to love Nurse Parker.

After a few days he decides to propose marriage to the nurse and she accepts. (In a moment of personal crisis she says: "What am I to do?") We see that she is deeply affected by Blachy's proposal and medical crisis.

When Lachy is finally told by the kindly Captain that he has a short time to live, he is very angry and bitter about Nurse Parker and the other men keeping his health crisis a secret. He turns away from them all and will not speak to the nurse he has grown to love in a short time. (He even spurns a friendly (but mute) black soldier who had handed him a gift. Ronald Reagan reacts angrily and says he can't talk and was trying to be his friend. Lachy is apologetic and is nice to Blossom again.

When they are packing Lachy up to fly home to Scotland Nurse Parker approaches and he bitterly cries and says she feels only pity. A meaningful responsive statement ensues here:

"Oh, Lachy, don't you know that any woman would feel pity!" And she looks at him meaningfully. Now I am a hopeless romantic admittedly, but it did occur to me that maybe Nurse Parker had another secret; her "Hasty Heart" was beating fast in gradual response to Lachy and it was not only pity she felt?.

So the poignant story ends with a sad pathos; our tragic young soldier of 24 will die soon, but he has learned about real friendship in a short time and Love. He decides to be their friend again and poses for pictures as one man laughingly "steals" his kilt.

I rated the film a 9, as Blossom is not portrayed like the other soldiers; intelligent and interactive. Instead, we see that he is mute and cannot understand English. (It is not clear, but maybe he had been from Burma or Jamaica and had never learned English). One thing is inherently certain, though. Our mute soldier understands the real meaning of friendships as well as all of the others. Orlando Martins gave afine performance as 'Blossom'...
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10 out of 10 - Great Performances by All!
folsominc226 June 2012
Amazing film about a man, used to being and surviving on his own, is dying and does not know it. The other patients in the ward know and try to be his friends, as difficult as he makes it.

I thought each one's performance was amazing and moving. You could feel the nurse's indecision when Lachie, the dying man, asks her significant questions about the future.

Besides Richard Todd's performance, which truly should have won an Academy Award, was the performance by Ronald Reagan. He was quite the man and quite the actor. Quoting the books of the Bible when he lost his temper was super and makes one think that is a very good idea - but to do it quietly. (wink) A final scene with both actors nose to nose gave a completion to the film as well as the final act between them before getting their photograph taken.

Some suggest that it should not end on a whimsical note and I heartily disagree. It ended just perfectly. There was no need for a long drawn out scene of death or dying on any of the characters' roles. It ended as it had begun, men surviving the after effects of the horrible war and finding humor and fun where they could.

Good show!
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Richard Todd + Ronald Reagan + Patricia Neal = Pure Gold.
ScottAmundsen28 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
THE HASTY HEART, based on the stage play by John Patrick, is brought to the screen by Ranald MacDougall and Vincent Sherman, in a film starring Richard Todd (who received his only Oscar nomination as the prickly Scotsman Lachie and who should have won over Broderick Crawford's overcooked Willie Stark in ALL THE KING'S MEN), Ronald Reagan (who could have had a Supporting Actor prize for this one; he's that good, and Patricia Neal, an actress so gifted that even in a piece of dreck like Ayn Rand's THE FOUNTAINHEAD she manages to keep her head above water.

Todd is a Scottish soldier dying of kidney failure; Reagan is an American who starts out resenting the young Scot but who comes to respect and even love him as he tries so hard to be brave. Neal is the head nurse of the MASH unit where they are recovering from their wounds.

It isn't long before Neal reveals to the others Lachie's condition; the Scot is prickly and prideful and she can see no other way to reach the boys' hearts but to tell them the truth.

Reagan is actually splendid here; I am not sure I ever saw him deliver the goods so perfectly. His Yank warms to Lachie in a completely believable manner.

If you see it for nothing else, see it for Todd, Reagan, and Neal. The three of them together teach a master class on what good acting is.
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Richard Todd deserved the Oscar
pbeat24 January 2009
This movie belongs to Richard Todd. This is a must see for any film student. Forget Reagan. He can't act but I had to find this film in a Ronald Reagan film package just to see the Academy nominated performance of Richard Todd. Why we never heard from him again while Reagan has film collections is the absurdity of Hollywood. Richard Todd gave the best performance of the year and should have won the Academy Award. Don't miss this film if you want to study good acting. Patricia Neal is also first rate but the rest of the cast was below average. Reagan is distracting at how bad he is but only makes Todd that much better. The story is so sweet it will tear your heart out and you could spend most of the film crying. It was nice to get away from the war propaganda for half a second in 1949 and see a story that could have happened in any age. This film is among the best of the 40's and Richard Todd deserves a standing ovation.....
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