Journey for Margaret

Journey for Margaret

Director: W.S. Van Dyke

Cast: Margaret O'Brien, Laraine Day, Robert Young

     
 

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This wartime weeper could just as well have been titled Stardom for Margaret, inasmuch as it solidified the popularity of that remarkable child actress Margaret O'Brien. While visiting London, American married couple Robert Young and Laraine Day are caught in the middle of the 1940 blitz. Losing her unborn child during the bombing, Day sadly heads back to the U

Overview

This wartime weeper could just as well have been titled Stardom for Margaret, inasmuch as it solidified the popularity of that remarkable child actress Margaret O'Brien. While visiting London, American married couple Robert Young and Laraine Day are caught in the middle of the 1940 blitz. Losing her unborn child during the bombing, Day sadly heads back to the U.S., while her journalist husband stays behind to cover late-breaking events. Young makes the acquaintance of O'Brien and Clifford Severn, children orphaned by the blitz. After pulling the shell-shocked O'Brien out of her near-catatonic state, Young decides to adopt both children and take them back to his wife in the States. There are some tense moments as Young tilts at the stepped-up immigration restrictions, but he is finally able to bring his new family home. Journey for Margaret stars Robert Young and Margaret O'Brien would be reunited two decades later on an episode of Young's TV series Marcus Welby MD, in which Ms. O'Brien played a patient suffering from obesity.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Journey for Margaret is a much better picture than one might think. Yes, it's an unashamed tearjerker, one which is not above a bit of audience manipulation as it searches for ways to get those tear ducts flowing. But it DOES bring forth tears in most people, and while some of it is undeserved dramatically, much more of it comes about because the story Journey tells is indeed an emotionally harrowing one. Dealing as it does with orphaned children during wartime, Journey can't help but melt the heart, and it's to its credit that it doesn't go too far overboard and become the kind of cloying, overly sentimental weepie that it easily could have been. The screenplay deserves some credit for this, but it's the director and cast that really give Journey its glow. Margaret O'Brien, of course, became a star as a result of Journey, and it's easy to see why. Though occasionally mannered, hers is a remarkable performance for someone so very young, and she really plays her scenes for all they're worth. William Severn is perhaps not quite as accomplished as an actor, but as an appealing and heartbreaking child, he's first rate. And Robert Young, in what could have been a thankless part, makes sure that he's not just there as something for the kids to hang onto. He makes sure that his character is every bit as important as the children, and his chemistry with the younger ones is crucial to Journey's success. Young's lovely, sensitive turn, and the performances of all the cast, were undoubtedly aided by W.S. Van Dyke's attentive, caring direction. Journey holds up quite well, unlike other "weepies" from the era which are often a laugh fest for modern audiences.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/01/2009
UPC:
0883316225547
Original Release:
1942
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:21:00
Sales rank:
27,753

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Margaret O'Brien Margaret White
Laraine Day Nora Davis
Robert Young John Davis
Fay Bainter Trudy Strauss
Nigel Bruce Herbert V. Allison
William Severn Peter Humphreys
Elizabeth Risdon Mrs. Bailey
Doris Lloyd Mrs. Barrie
Halliwell Hobbes Mr. Barrie
Heather Thatcher Mrs. Harris
Jill Esmond Susan Fleming
Lisa Golm Frau Weber
Jimmy Aubrey Porter
Anita Bolster Woman
Matthew Boulton Warden
John Burton Surgeon
Cyril Delevanti Stage Manager
Herbert Evans Man
Al Ferguson Policeman
Jo Gilbert Mme. Bornholm
Henry Guttman Polish Captain
Signe Hasso Anya
Leyland Hodgson Censor
Olaf Hytten Manager
Lilyan Irene Nurse
Charles Irwin Fairoaks
Colin Kenny Steward
Crauford Kent Everton
Keye Luke Japanese Statesman
Clive Morgan Father
Ottola Nesmith Nurse
Bea Nigro Nora's Mother
David Thursby Air Raid Warden
Doris Stone Mother
Eric Snowden Porter
Margaret Hamilton Actor
Miles Mander Actor
G.P. Huntley Rugged

Technical Credits
W.S. Van Dyke Director
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco Score Composer
B.P. Fineman Producer
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
David Hertz Screenwriter
Ray June Cinematographer
Robert Kalloch Costumes/Costume Designer
Sol Kaplan Score Composer
William Ludwig Screenwriter
Richard A. Pefferle Art Director,Set Decoration/Design
Wade B. Rubottom Art Director
Franz Waxman Score Composer
George White Editor
Edwin B. Willis Art Director,Set Decoration/Design

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