These Wilder Years (1956)


“Oh, I’m not blaming him Darling, I’m fighting him. It isn’t a matter of him or me, it’s a matter of lots of others. We all make our beds and have to lie in them, whether we sleep or not. Isn’t that all there is to it?” – Ann Dempster

Number of Times Seen – 1 (7 Jul 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A successful executive puts his business on hold in order to try and seek out the son he gave up for adoption twenty years earlier.

My Take on it – This is a film with an intriguing plot that works well despite the fact that it was made at a time where this kind of subject matter was barred by the censors from being dealt with directly.

They therefore were forced to utilize innuendo and jokes to try and get their story out.

James Cagney is perfectly cast on the lead role and quite easily makes us believe that his character has a call of conscience after two decades.

Cagney and Barbara Stanwyck have great chemistry together and this connection works  whether their characters are being shown agreeing or disagreeing on certain issues along the way which helps keep things interesting.

Walter Pidgeon also gives a great performance as Cagney’s lawyer who ends up also showing his true compassionate self.

The ending of this film feels a bit too easy and probably isn’t the best kind of ending that would have worked in this scenario since it’s a bit too convenient, but I must admit that I understand what they were trying to say with it regardless.

Bottom Line – Cagney does a wonderful job with this role and makes us believe that his character has a change of heart after so many years.  The fact that this film was made at a time where certain things were not discussed on film, they needed to utilize a clever kind of dialogue for this film including innuendos and hints to explain everything that they want to her. Cagney and Stanwyck have nice chemistry together and that helps the story stay interesting. Pidgeon is always fun to watch and he plays his character in a great way that also works quite well. The ending is a bit too easy and isn’t the most plausible ending they could have conceived, but it still passes for what they are trying to say here. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – At the beginning of the film, Bradford arrives at his steel mill in a 1956 Imperial Crown Imperial Limousine. Only 119 were made. In excellent condition in 2018 these cars could be worth upwards of $100,000 or more. Imperial was Chrysler’s luxury line at the time, much as Lincoln is to Ford or Lexus is to Toyota. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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One thought on “These Wilder Years (1956)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1956 | MovieRob

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