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Voice of the Turtle

(1947 b 103')

En: 6 Ed: 5

John Van Druten adapted his play about a soldier on leave who stays the weekend at an apartment of an actress, who is trying to get over being too romantic.

In New York in December 1944 Kenneth Bartlett (Kent Smith) tells sad Sally Middleton (Eleanor Parker) that their relationship is not serious and must end. Sally invites her actress friend Olive (Eve Arden) to see her apartment. Olive calls Ned and wants to see him. Sergeant Bill Page (Ronald Reagan) arrives to see Olive; but she tells him she has to see her husband and leaves. Bill makes phone calls but has no luck. Bill invites Sally to dinner.

Olive goes out with Commander Ned Burling (Wayne Morris). At a French restaurant Olive sees Sally and takes Ned away, but Bill saw her. In a cab Ned kisses Olive.

At Sally's apartment Bill suspects that Olive lied. Sally gets a call from Olive, and Bill falls asleep on the day bed. Sally invites him to stay because of the rain and the packed hotels. She loans him pajamas and prepares the bed. Bill goes to sleep.

In the morning Bill finds a note from Sally that she will be back by noon. Sally meets playwright George Harrington (John Emery), and the actor Henry Atherton (John Holland) gives her the part. Sally declines to have another drink with George because she had no breakfast. Sally runs into Bill at the market, and they buy groceries. In her apartment Bill suggests the theater, but she is doubtful. After he kisses her, Sally calls Ken and asks for theater tickets.

Ned forgot his tickets, and Bill sees Olive. Ken meets Bill and invites them to his party. After the show Bill dances with Sally. At her apartment he tells her to let the phone ring. She tells him that she is over Ken. When Bill kisses her, Sally pulls away and says she gave that up. Bill got a hotel room, but Sally asks him to stay over again. She has trouble unzipping the back of her dress, and he helps her. Sally retreats into her room, and Bill walks out. Sally goes after him and cries. Bill comes back and says he loves her.

In the morning Olive calls Sally and then Bill's hotel. Bill has just left and brings Sally the Sunday paper. He hides before Olive comes in. Sally tells Olive that Bill is not hers anymore. Bill slips out, calls, and comes back. Olive warns Sally not to get sentimental over Bill. He declines to dine with Olive, and she leaves. Sally has a rehearsal in Atherton's apartment. In the park Bill remembers Sally. She finds Bill and flowers in her apartment. Bill asks for her love and says he wants to marry her. In the final scene he serves her dinner.

This theatrical comedy reflects the changing morals about a man and a woman being together overnight in an apartment. Actresses may also be more daring in their unconventional lives.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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