The adorable Ida Moore will win you over in this touching war drama the moment she innocently insists that her family can't be broke since they still have more checks. Then, she sweetly sings a lullaby to the orphaned child in their home, born and instantly orphaned, and taken in along with paying borders so she and cranky sister Beulah Bondi don't loose their house. Bondi, playing much older as normal, is embittered and cold while sister Moore is a total contrast. Percy Kilbride plays their brother (who dresses as if he were the butler), also playing older. Because of imperious Bondi's cantankerous and bossy demeanor, their house has been closed off to strangers for years, but thanks to pretty Nina Foch, they begin to take in factory girls as borders in order not to loose their mortgage to the bank.
Bondi of course lightens up thanks to the presence of a new baby, and it is like seeing Ebenezer Scrooge come to accept Christmas. This is a sentimental war drama where generations whose time has gone by get the chance to do their duty and find their lives bettered for giving. Lloyd Bridges is barely recognizable as the soldier widower, yet handsome and virile. Jess Parker is the good doctor, with Columbia starlets Jeff Donnell and Jeanne Bates as two of the borders. Ironically, Bates would later replace Donnell as the Quartermain housekeeper, Stella, on "General Hospital" when Donnell passed away.
I will have to watch this again as I did not recognize Shelley Winters upon the first viewing, but coming at the very beginning of her career, that could explain my inability to spot her. I have been searching for this for decades it seems, mainly as a fan of Beulah Bondi's. But Nina Foch in the meantime has become one of my favorite B movie actresses, and I've come to fall totally in love with the sparkly Ida Moore. Realistically, Bondi never completely cracks that crusty demeanor, but it's apparent that her icy exterior slightly thaws. Even as a somewhat forgotten obscurity, this touches the right buttons, so my wait in wanting it did not lead me to be disappointed.
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