30 July 2015 | bkoganbing
That wealthy and powerful
Barbara Stanwyck plays the title role of B.F.'s Daughter, a very wealthy heiress who marries iconoclastic liberal minded economics professor Van Heflin. B.F. is Charles Coburn and he's one of those people who's two initials everybody knows because he's that wealthy and powerful.
Coburn is a firm believer in Herbert Hoover's rugged individualism and he's inculcated those values in his daughter. Stanwyck falls for a man who is the antithesis of her father's values, but he's barely getting by on his professor's salary. She decides to help by using her piece of her father's fortune to send him on a lecture tour for one of his books. Heflin turns out to be a natural, but he's never to know that his wife bought him a career.
The novel was written by J.P. Marquand who is best known for those Mr. Moto mysteries. It was published at the beginning of World War II and MGM took several years to finally get it to the screen.
Rich heiresses who overpopulated the cinema in the Thirties were a dying breed of movie heroines by the time B.F.'s Daughter came out in 1948. Stanwyck however makes it work and Coburn is in most familiar surroundings as the gruff millionaire.
Van Heflin had teamed well with Stanwyck the year before in The Strange Loves Of Martha Ivers and he does well in somewhat lighter fair by comparison. Margaret Lindsay does well as Stanwyck's best friend who marries yuppie Richard Hart who goes to war. The term yuppie was not in use back then, but that is what Hart is. He proves to have the right stuff when that is questioned by Keenan Wynn.
Wynn plays a part that seems a dress rehearsal for the role of the news commentator in The Great Man. A little less bitter, but just as cynical and he's got an incredible knack for predicting events wrong.
B.F.'s Daughter is a great part for Stanwyck and a great film for her as well.