EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|THESE WILDER YEARS (director: Roy Rowland; screenwriters: Frank Fenton/from a story by Ralph Wheelright; cinematographer: George J. Folsey; editor: Ben Lewis; music: Jeff Alexander; cast: James Cagney (Steve Bradford), Barbara Stanwyck (Ann Dempster), Walter Pidgeon (James Rayburn), Betty Lou Keim (Suzie), Don Dubbins (Mark), Edward Andrews (Spottsford), Grandon Rhodes (Roy Oliphant), Basil Ruysdael (Judge), Dorothy Adams (Emily's sister); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Jules Schermer; MGM; 1956)|
film features for the first time, late in their
careers, veteran stars
James Cagney and Barbara Stanwyck."
by Dennis Schwartz
Rowland ("Hollywood Park"/"Our Vines Have
Tender Grapes"/"The Outriders") directs this
old-fashioned soap opera weepie about a wealthy
industrialist trying to track down his adopted
illegitimate son from twenty years ago. The film
features for the first time, late in their careers, veteran
stars James Cagney and Barbara Stanwyck, and
their uplifting performances elevate this modest
affair. It's adapted from the story by Ralph
Wheelright and the tepid script by Frank
Steve Bradford (James
his Detroit steel company for an extended leave to go
on a personal mission to find the address of his
adopted illegitimate son. In Steve's hometown of
Bufton, he visits with the do-gooder foundling home
explains he never searched before because he was too
busy. Ann respects Steve's feelings, but refuses to go against the
strict state adoption laws that prevent the agency
from giving out information about the adoption. The
high-powered businessman brings in expensive hot-shot
NYC attorney James
help circumvent the law. But when they bring the case
to court, they lose.
Steve, anyhow, gets to meet
his son (Don
Ann notifies him of his dad's visit and he comes to
Bufton. Steve apologizes, and the kid forgives him.
They say goodbye, but the kid remains with his loving
foster parents. Steve learns some life lessons and
adopts the 16-year-old orphan Suzie Keller (Betty Lou Keim), living with Ann, so she
wouldn't have to put her illegitimate baby up for
Sentimentality rules the
day, but Cagney and Stanwyck make it worth watching.
REVIEWED ON 7/8/2013 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ