• Warning: Spoilers
    Here we are again, folks, Sudsville, USA, Douglas Sirk, sole owner and proprietor. At one level this is Meet Me In St Louis without the technicolor and the songs and also, it must be said, without Vincente Minnelli. Sirk is one of those directors you either love or can take or leave but who could never be accused of less than fine craftsmanship. It's 1910 and Barbara Stanwyck is lying a bad second to Fink's Mules on the vaudeville circuit; years ago she abandoned her husband and children to become a star on Broadway except someone forgot to tell the Producers and she ended up one stop away from burlesque. At this low point she receives a letter from her daughter (no one bothered to wonder just HOW the daughter got her address) who's about to graduate and will be appearing in her High School play. Against her better judgment Stanwyck goes back for the gig, sets tongues wagging anew and, in the fullness of time, is reconciled with her high school principal dull husband, Richard Carlson. It's a fairly painless way to spend 100 minutes or so, Stanwyck didn't know how to turn in a bad performance and Billy Gray, playing her youngest son, would soon be familiar to Doris Day fans when he played Wesley Winfield in On Moonlight Bay and its sequel By The Light Of The Silvery Moon. Certainly worth a look.