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My Foolish Heart

(1949 b 98')

En: 6 Ed: 6

A woman falls in love with a man who is drafted and becomes pregnant. When he is killed, she marries another officer who has been going with her best friend.

In the rain Mary Jane (Lois Wheeler) visits Eloise (Susan Hayward), who tells her husband Lewis Wengler (Kent Smith) on the phone that she can't pick him up. Her daughter Ramona (Gigi Perreau) is Walt's, but Lewis doesn't know. Lewis and Eloise quarrel about her drinking, and he says he is leaving and wants to take Ramona. Eloise packs and remembers when she was a "nice girl."

At a dance Eloise Winters puts off Lewis with Mary Jane. Walt Dreiser (Dana Andrews) talks with Eloise, and they dance outside. Walt sees Miriam Ball (Karin Booth). Walt calls Miriam and invites Eloise to dinner. On a weekend night Eloise has to sneak out. After dinner Walt takes her to his apartment. She kisses him, declines more, and leaves; but she comes back, and he takes her home.

Walt tells Eloise that he was drafted and takes her to her room. They are caught kissing in the elevator, and she is expelled from the school. Eloise takes Walt to meet her parents. Her mother Martha Winters (Jessie Royce Landis) is upset and refuses to meet Walt; but her father Henry Winters (Robert Keith) talks with Walt alone and understands. Walt leaves for camp.

On a train Eloise tells her father she can't go back to Boise, and he gives her money. Mary Jane is dating Lewis. Walt and Eloise go to a football game on December 7, 1941. In the confusion they are separated. Eloise takes the train with Walt so they can spend the night before he reports. He says he loves her.

Eloise meets her father at the airport. He is to see a doctor and tells how he got married quickly in 1917. Walt tells Eloise that he has seven days leave before he ships out. Mary Jane urges her to tell him she is pregnant. Walt and Eloise say goodbye, and she says she loves him.

Walt writes her a letter and gets in a plane that crashes. Eloise learns that Walt died and reads his letter about how he wanted to marry her. Martha Winters tells Eloise that her father is very sick. Mary Jane asks Lewis to dance with Eloise, who asks him for a drink. Lewis takes Eloise for a drive and parks. She says she wants him to be hers.

Lewis with Mary Jane come back in to talk with Eloise. She says she wants Lewis and Mary Jane to have Ramona, and she apologizes for taking years out of their lives. Mary Jane tells her that Lewis is leaving Ramona with Eloise.

This poignant drama shows how war can interrupt and damage personal relationships. Under the pressure of limited time together moral standards become looser. Author J. D. Salinger was so concerned about the superficiality of this movie that he never allowed another one of his works to be made into a film.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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