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Kitty Foyle
USA 1940
Directed by Sam Wood
Running time 107 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars


Ginger Rogers picked up the Best Actress Oscar for her performance as Kitty Foyle, a young working class woman making her way in the world. Told in flashback, we follow her story from being a starry-eyed teenager with her head full of nonsense, through a brief marriage to a charming but spineless society scion (Dennis Morgan), to maturity and marriage with a poor but idealistic doctor (James Craig).

Rogers had finished her iconic partnership with Fred Astaire and was looking for a new direction, not an unusual path for many actresses who have made their name in light entertainment but one that often fails. Rogers, however, certainly shows that she was capable of commanding the screen on her own (there is no singing or dancing) but there is little no doubt that she picked up the Oscar for the boldness of her move rather than for any remarkable acting as such (she beat out Bette Davis for The Letter, Joan Fontaine for Rebecca not to mention Katharine Hepburn for The Philadelphia Story and Martha Scott for Our Town.

Whilst the plot follows a predictable pattern, as written by Dalton Trumbo and Donald Ogden Stewart it does take on issues facing the “New Woman” of the time like pre-marital sex and its consequences and this adds another level of interest to what is a watchable if minor addition to the "woman's picture" category.

 

 

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