Kitty Foyle

1940, Movie, NR, 105 mins


In a dramatic role right after the Astaire years, Ginger Rogers proved yet again that she had more than enough star quality herself to carry major films. A minor classic and a very typical "woman's picture" of its day, KITTY FOYLE details its feisty heroine's romances with two men. Wyn (Morgan) is the embodiment of the society scions Kitty has watched entering Philadelphia's classiest ball every year. The two fall in love when she becomes his secretary, but his social obligations continually tear them apart, even to the point where he marries another woman. Kitty later begins a sincere if casual romance with Mark (Craig), a struggling young doctor. Eventually accepting his marriage proposal, Kitty has a big choice to make when Wyn sweeps back into her life.

Highly sentimental, KITTY FOYLE features typically variable direction by Wood and includes an unnecessary prologue showing how the treatment of women supposedly changed through the years. Despite these drawbacks, this film makes no apologies for being a romantic tearjerker. The humor and warmth are real, and the film maintains admirable restraint even amid Kitty's most sorrowful travails. Best of all, Rogers offers a performance of considerable dexterity and poignancy. This proletariat Cinderella is a showcase part and she makes the most of it, whether wisecracking with her cronies or during a very cheap first date with Mark, telling off Wyn's snobbish family in fine style, or in her several moving encounters with children. Rogers's Oscar win has always been slightly controversial, given the stiff competition that year (Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Joan Fontaine and Martha Scott). If, however, one considers her equally fine work in the same year's excellent but controversial PRIMROSE PATH and realizes that Academy Awards are often given for a good year's work, then maybe it's entirely fitting to say that Ginger Rogers was the Best Actress of 1940. leave a comment

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