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Come to the Stable

(1949 b 94')

En: 6 Ed: 6

Two nuns raise contributions in order to build a hospital, but a local musician does not want it in his backyard.

Nuns Margaret (Loretta Young) and Scholastica (Celeste Holm) arrive at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and find Amelia Potts (Elsa Lanchester) painting a nativity scene in her stable. Margaret explains that in France during the war she prayed to save a hospital and promised to build one. Margaret and Scholastica bury a St. Jude medal and pray. They meet musician Robert Masen (Hugh Marlowe) and his dog. He says that Luigi Rossi owns the land. Margaret and Scholastica tell the Bishop (Basil Ruysdael) they need land and money. He gives them a month but only $50. Amelia says that Rossi lives in New York. The sisters ride in Masen's jeep with Anthony (Dooley Wilson), and Masen lets them borrow his jeep.

Margaret and Scholastica ask a New York cop where Rossi is. They are given money but insist on seeing Rossi. He tells of his son missing in France and gives them the deed. Masen sings his new song to Kitty (Dorothy Patrick). She tries to burn his Hollywood contract, and the sisters come in. Masen gives them $200.

Margaret and Scholastica get a flat tire and see a building for sale. Claude Jarman gives them a 3-month option for $50. The Bishop learns that the price is $30,000 and says they must leave; but ten nuns and a chaplain arrive. So the Bishop gives them three months to raise $5,000 for the down payment.

Masen returns with friends and learns the nuns are selling things. He tells Amelia to get rid of them, and she says they are moving into the factory; but they need $500 more in one day. Kitty sings Masen's song, and they realize the tune is what the nuns are singing. Masen says he wrote it in France.

Margaret and Scholastica drive a stake in the ground, and water springs forth. Masen's shower does not work and says they hit his pipe. Masen offers Jarman $32,000 for the factory to keep it from the nuns and a fertilizer company. The music critic loses at tennis doubles and offers $500 if he would win. Scholastica plays well as his partner, but they lose.

Masen tells Margaret that he does not want a hospital in his backyard. She tells Amelia that they are leaving. Masen argues with his friends about the ethics of the situation. He goes to the nuns and learns they are from Normandy. Margaret asks him to pray.

In the final scene the factory has become a chapel with a memorial window for Luigi Rossi Jr.

This religious drama reflects the alliance between France and the US while suggesting that with faith and effort people will support charitable work.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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