These Wilder Years (1956)

Approved   |    |  Drama

These Wilder Years (1956) Poster

A middle-aged man tries to reconnect with his illegitimate son, who was given to an orphanage many years ago.


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17 July 2006 | bkoganbing
| Revisiting His Past
These Wilder Years marks the only teaming of James Cagney and Barbara Stanwyck. It would have been nice if they had been teamed for a better film. Can't you just see Stanwyck in Virginia Mayo's part in White Heat?

Still These Wilder Years is not a bad film, high class soap opera the kind of stuff that became popular on television in the Eighties.

James Cagney is a millionaire industrialist looking for the son whose paternity he denied when he was sowing his wild oats. Barbara Stanwyck runs the home for unwed mothers where the girl who Cagney was involved with came and gave up her kid for adoption.

Cagney has the resources to get his way, but Stanwyck with the confidentiality of adoption records has the law on her side. Or has she?

Walter Pigeon plays Cagney's attorney and Don Dubbins, a young actor whose career Cagney was pushing plays the son and both do well. Look for bit parts from Tom {BillyJack} Laughlin, Michael Landon, and Dean Jones all at the start of their careers.

Cagney and Stanwyck are both players with an edge to their parts. It's like they've been taken down into second gear for this film. Still it's a pleasant enough movie. Look for young Betty Lou Keim who is a current unwed mother in Stanwyck's charge. Her scenes with Cagney are quite poignant.

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