Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Close to my Heart(1951)

Close to My Heart(1951). Drama. Director: William Keighley. Cast: Ray Milland and Gene Tierney.

Midge Sheridan and her husband, Brad, can not have children of their own, Brad's gift of a puppy gives them the idea to adopt a child. After they learn from Mrs. Morrow at the adoption agency about the two-year waiting list, they look for other ways to find a baby. Midge reads in the newspaper about a newborn left on a police station doorstep and she convinces her husband to find him. He finds the baby at the foster home of Mrs. Barker, then he and Midge pretend they are writing an article for the newspaper. Midge falls in love with baby Danny at first sight. Brad writes about Danny in his column, looking for Danny's parents. Although he himself is very concerned about Danny's background. Meanwhile, Midge, is secretly visiting Mrs. Barker and helping with Danny's care. When Mrs. Morrow drops by the Sheridans' house for an inspection, Brad learns that Midge has decorated the nursery for Danny. Mrs. Morrow tells them that they must accept that the background of any adopted child is concealed. Though the adoption is not final, Danny is given to the Sheridans.

Later, Dunne, a taxi driver who has read his article, contacts Brad at the office.
Dunne remembers driving a woman with a baby to a police station, and takes Brad to her apartment. There Brad finds the woman, who says that the child's mother, a neighbor who she barely knew, died three days after giving birth to her son. The woman gives Brad the child's mother wedding ring, which is inscribed with "ML--ECH."
Brad writes asking his readers for any information about Danny's mother. He eventually finds Martha's former boardinghouse in Bakersfield, California, where the landlady, who knew very little about her former tenant. Through his search Brad learns that Danny's mother, was a schoolteacher, who eloped with a man named Edward Hewitt. However, Mrs. Morrow has learned about Brad's investigation and takes it as a sign that Brad is still uncomfortable with the adoption. Brad is just about to sign the adoption papers when his city editor, "Frosty", tells him that Edward has been identified as Evarts Heilner, a convict on death row at San Quentin. Meanwhile Mrs. Madison has also learned the father's identity, and comes to the Sheridan home to take back Danny. When she arrives, she finds only Midge at home, as Brad is visiting San Quentin. Brad meets with Edward, who is guilty of killing a policeman and a prison guard. Will they win back Danny?

This is a very charming movie. Gene Tierney's character is very sweet, Ray Milland is also very good in his part. Fay Bainter the adoption agency supervisor comes over as heartless.

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