These Wilder Years
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James Cagney and Barbara Stanwyck shine in their only screen pairing, a powerful story of loss and regret costarring Walter Pidgeon. After 20 years, middle-aged steel magnate Steve Bradford (Cagney) has decided to return to his hometown to take care of some unfinished business. Determined to find the son he fathered while still in high school, he tangles with orphanage director Ann Dempster (Stanwyck), who refuses to give him the young man’s name. Turning to the courts in a brazen attempt to force Dempster to reveal the information, Bradford gets more than he bargained for when she introduces him to Suzie Keller (Betty Lou Keim), an expectant 16-year-old who helps him realize that the wishes and feelings of others may be more important than his own.
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excellent work was filmed from across the room, bless him, and whose profile thus isn't recognizable but will be in other films. Walter Pidgeon as the heavyweight lawyer in a very impressive pinstripe suit is a joy to listen to, with that heavyweight voice.
Issues in the story are clearly stated.
The story is suspenseful in its own way, and I for one am glad to see Mr. Cagney portray, not a gangster, but someone who deliberately missed an opportunity to be a dad. Some subtle stuff here
Nice photography of the young lady, Betty Lou Keim, who makes her film debut in this one, nice graceful work on her part, so believable. What happened to this actress ? Other films?
Miss Stanwyck is a classic star. She tells the story oftentimes with "just one look." She has a classically mesmerizing face,if one may say so, very mobile. She gives us "portraits" of the character she portrays. Also, lots of skill in moving in front of the camera. Regarding "is the story written to show off Mr. Cagney" , often a story pivots on excellence in a role that is small or smaller than. As here.
So, fix yourself a nice cup of tea and settle back for some value, strength, strong character, and lots of art.
Great art is the art that conceals how it's done. Enjoy this one.
sadistic presentation of brutality and an extreme presentation of crime..explicit steps in commission)..and he left the studio again in the mid 50's and in 1956 saw hinself in this film. It was meant to focus I believe on young persons and was announced to star Debbie Reynolds called All our Tomorrows..then recalled Somewhere I'll Find Him..then released under a different name with different stars. Miss Reynolds was unavailable when filming started and here we have Cagney a business tycoon, who finds himself alone and reflects on his past life, and recalls a young girl with whom he has a child and a lost son and seeks them out. At an orphanage. He is tough in ways and dislikes the dreamy sentiment of the orphanage director played by Stanwyck(her role is minor here) and whatever the film was in its minor stages, here the tale focuson Cagney and his psychology, the modern courts and even Superior courts, and what drives this man to seek out young girls and children, and why the system in this case refuses to knuckle in to him. The courts really took over jurisdiction and care over children, from religious establishments..and here's a character who laces judgements all around and is always referred to as Mr..and younger girls are well disposed toward him and he meets a 16 year old with child who ends up in a crash...eventually he loses his case in courts, but the orphanage allows him to meet his child, and although the state system he's not much happy with, he's used to dealing with life he feels in a fair way, he returns to give thanks, he's a person who expresses gratitude, and ther are christmas scenes, him buying presents, and the film ends at christmas with him helping a young girl, while trying to help his kid, by the force of his own personality. These were wilder years..in many ways he's a throwback to the past..his center..disposed toward youger girls and children...in a modern world. Perhaps he was attracted to this subject, a character who states in the film his friends were perhaps before the world was ever made..but he's mr. ...the ancient mind in the modern world...wanting to make all good..Stanwyck doesnt have that much to do does it irk her that the film is written with Cagney in mind,..his nest films on his agenda were Short cut to hell, man of a thousand faces, Never steal anything small and Shake hands with the Devil...but he made room for this soap opera type tale...of the spirit of christmas in someone