18 February 2010 | edwagreen
The War on Mrs. Hadley-And They Opposed A 3rd Term for FDR ***1/2
With the war raging by 1942, this film was certainly timely. It really showed the isolationists what they were-selfish in every sense of the word.
As Mrs. Hadley, Faye Bainter etched an unforgettable character in a truly under-rated performance. Her late husband, a newspaper editor, wanted one-term presidencies and not only opposed FDR's policies, but was totally against his running for a 3rd term in 1940. Surrounded by memorabilia of Republican administrations, the war and everything else occurring in the film is a direct threat to Mrs. Hadley's very existence. Her erudite manner and apparent sophistication,in a world of snobby people looking down on others, is depicted beautifully. She even, as an over-protective mother, tries to get her son out of serving in the army.
Bainter is supported by a marvelous cast. Jean Rogers is the daughter who will buck her to marry army private Van Johnson. In the same year that he played the son to the Miniver's, Richard Ney is convincing as the alcoholic son who finds his way out of his mother's orbit by going into the service.
Edward Arnold is an old family friend, who works for the government and makes sure that Ney is drafted to the consternation of Mrs. Hadley.
Then, there is Spring Byington as Cecelia, Bainter's faithful friend who doesn't share her disposition and contempt for others.
Coming from an Oscar nominated turn in "How Green Was My Valley," Sara Allgood is wonderful as Van Johnson's mother, who knows how to deal with Mrs. Hadley. Allgood's Irish brogue and manner serves her well again. It should be noted that Allgood really should have won the supporting Oscar for 'Valley.'
The film works well because it ultimately deals with the human spirit. No matter what our differences, national emergency must bring us together to fight for the American ideal against totalitarianism.
A memorable film dealing with an epic time in history.