Deprived of a normal childhood by her ambitious mother, Katie, Lillian Roth becomes a star of Broadway and Hollywood before she is twenty. Shortly before her marriage to her childhood ... See full summary »
On trial for murdering his girlfriend, philandering stockbroker Larry Ballentine takes the stand to claim his innocence and describe the actual, but improbable sounding, sequence of events that led to her death.
Jerry Ryan is wandering aimlessly around New York, having given up his law career in Nebraska when his wife asked for a divorce. He meets up with Gittel Mosca, an impoverished dancer from ... See full summary »
After a long absence, Mary Jane visits her schoolfriend Eloise, and Eloise's daughter Ramona. Eloise drinks too much and is unhappily married to Lew Wengler. Eloise falls asleep and remembers her time with her true love, Walt Dreiser, at the beginning of the Second World War. She recalls the events that led up to her split with Mary Jane, and how Lew married Eloise rather than Mary Jane.Written by
Opening credits: The characters, events and firms depicted in this photoplay are entirely fictional. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or to actual events or firms is purely coincidental. See more »
After the December 7, 1941 football game at the Polo Grounds, Eloise is climbing the stairs to the train platform, and the ends of her head scarf are out.. In the next shot, the ends of her scarf are tucked inside her coat. (A double was probably used at the Polo Grounds as Eloise's face is not seen climbing the stairs, and Susan Hayward was used in the next shots done at the studio.) See more »
[to Walt and referring to her dress and Boise, Idaho]
Does it look awfully "Boisey" to you?
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"My Foolish Heart" is far better than the critics acknowledged in 1949, and offers something else that wouldn't have been apparent when first released.
Films made during and just after WW2 give us an insight into what people experienced at the time in a unique way. Although we have plenty of documentaries that show what happened, the movies are more personal, and work on a different emotional level - we identify with the stars and through them a window is opened on the past.
When an old friend, Mary Jane (Lois Wheeler), visits Eloise Winters, played by Susan Haywood, she reflects on the events that led to her present unhappiness. Years earlier, Eloise was engaged to Lewis Wengler (Kent Smith). Although he was in love with her, she sought something he couldn't provide. At a dance, she meets Walt Dreiser played by Dana Andrews with whom she has immediate chemistry. They fall in love, but the war intervenes and changes their lives.
Maybe the stars were a bit too old for their parts, but their performances easily made up for it. Susan Haywood's career was studded with great performances, but she tapped an inner truth in this film. Dana Andrews was not a particularly animated actor, but when the role suited his rather controlled persona, as this one does, he was perfect.
"My Foolish Heart" has a number of strands. Mary Jane is Eloise's friend, and saves her from committing a hurtful act, but their relationship is complex. Eloise's relationship with her parents also seems a little strained, especially with her mother, but it is strengthened by the arrival of Walt, although it doesn't appear that way at first. Kent Smith's character ends up with the woman he loves, but it's definitely a case of be careful what you wish for.
The film shows that death in war can occur quite randomly - simply by accident. However, the victims are killed by the war just as surely as if their plane had been shot down over Germany or their ship torpedoed in the South Pacific.
Eloise is also a casualty of the war.
Although critics at the time dismissed this as just another "weepie", and even the director, Mark Robson, disowned the film, it was a box office success. It goes to show that the public saw more in it than the critics, and artists aren't necessarily the best judges of their own work.
"My Foolish Heart" has an unusual love story and is an insightful look at how the loss of a loved one can affect the rest of a person's life; after WW2, I think plenty of people would have identified with Eloise.
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