|DEAR HEART (director: Delbert Mann; screenwriter: Tad Mosel/story "The Out-of-Towners" by Tad Mosel; cinematographer: Russell Harlan; editor: Folmar Blangsted ; music: Henry Mancini; cast: Glenn Ford (Harry Mork), Geraldine Page (Evie Jackson), Angela Lansbury (Phyllis), Michael Anderson Jr. (Patrick), Barbara Nichols (June), Patricia Barry (Mitchell), Charles Drake (Frank Taylor), Alice Pearce (Miss Moore), Peter Turgeon (Peterson), Joanna Crawford (Zola); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Martin Manulis; Warner Home Video; 1964)|
|"A pleasant offbeat romantic
comedy about middle-aged opposites making a
love connection against all odds."
by Dennis Schwartz
pleasant offbeat romantic comedy about middle-aged
opposites making a love connection against all odds,
which takes place over two and a half
days. It's a film that remains mostly winsome
despite going on for too long. It's based on the
story "The Out-of-Towners" by Tad
Mosel. Director Delbert Mann ("Marty"/"The
Bachelor Party"/"The Outsider") shows sympathy
to his decent loners in this ebullient production, and
handles with great charm their strained romance.
postmistress, Evie Jackson (Geraldine Page),
a friendly, overbearing and insightful chatter-box
from a small-town in Ohio, arrives alone by train for
a Postmasters' convention in NYC.
Travel-weary middle-aged greeting cards traveling
salesman, Harry Mork (Glenn Ford), wishing only to
settle down to family life, also arrives on the same
train in NYC to accept his marketing promotion and
prepare for his upcoming marriage to the widow Phyllis
(Angela Lansbury), from Altoona,
Pa, and for family life in NYC. Phyllis'
college student 18-year-old son Patrick (Michael
Anderson Jr.) surprises his future
step-dad Harry by waiting for him at the hotel lobby.
Harry has only seen a photo of Patrick when he was 13,
therefore tries to adjust on the fly that he has a
young adult son rather than a little boy.
Harry and Evie stay at the same luxury hotel, and meet
without falling in love at first sight. Though having
opposite personalities, we are manipulated into
believing they eventually fall in love through their
loneliness connection. Harry is flustered that Patrick
takes over his room with his radical Bennington
College girlfriend Zola (Joanna Crawford)
and that leaves the gentlemanly Harry without a room
and time to get to know Evie, who shares her room with
him. With that, Harry determine if he wants the
postmistress more than an immediate family and the
I found the romance improbable and awkwardly executed,
I couldn't warm up to the story even though I'm
usually a big fan of both Ford and Page. They
performed well despite the constraints of the hokey
screenplay, in an odd Marty-like story, which left me
trying to grasp if the implied message flashed by the
filmmaker was seriously meant to be that getting
married is the best way to relieve loneliness for
those willing to compromise in their relationship and
is really the reason most people marry and not for
love as the usual Hollywood sitcom tries to tell us.
REVIEWED ON 7/3/2014 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ