Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2020) on… Kitty Foyle (1940)

Next up, we have the 1940 movie Kitty Foyle starring Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan and James Craig.

Coming Up Shorts! with… Rodeo Romeo (1946)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s Volume 2 from Warner Archive Collection)

Disclaimer: On the disc case, it is noted that the set is intended for the adult collector, which is because these shorts were made at a time when a lot of racist and sexist stereotypes were prevalent. All I’m trying to say is, parents, be careful about just sticking these on for your kids.

(Length: 7 minutes, 1 second)

While at the rodeo, Popeye tries to show up Badlands Bluto, which results in him trying to undermine Popeye. Another fun cartoon, with results I didn’t see coming, such as Popeye eating his spinach before getting into the ring (and then having it replaced with locoweed later). Admittedly, I almost wish Bluto had eaten the spinach as well (at least, that’s what I thought he would do when he noticed the can being left alone). And Harry Welch still didn’t quite work as Popeye’s voice (although he was wisely kept silent for most of the short). The gags worked well enough, so it was definitely another cartoon had fun watching!

And Now For The Main Feature…

The story is told almost entirely in flashback, as Kitty Foyle (Ginger Rogers) remembers how, as a little girl, she used to admire the wealthy and elite, particularly when they celebrated at a big party. Once the Depression hit, she had to go to work, and ended up finding work on a magazine with Wyn Strafford (Dennis Morgan), one of the Philadelphia elite. She fell hard for him, but when the magazine folded and he gave up, she decided to leave for New York, especially after losing her father. While there, she meets Dr. Mark Eisen (James Craig), who asks her out. At first, she doesn’t like him, but she starts to warm up to him. However, before things get too far, Wyn shows up again, and they get married. When they get back to Philadelphia to tell Wyn’s family, Kitty finds out they plan to send her to finishing school and make her more like them, which causes her to leave and end up divorcing Wyn.

At the time, Ginger Rogers had been easing her way into dramas after ending her dance partnership with Fred Astaire. Kitty Foyle would prove to be a big success for her, as she secured her only Oscar win as Best Actress (and her only nomination). Personally, I think her Oscar win was well-earned. I will admit, watching this movie in preparation for this review was the first time I’ve watched the movie in nearly a decade. But I was very strongly reminded of how much I did enjoy this movie (and still do). Of course, as a fan of Fred and Ginger, I enjoy the quick reference to the song “Night And Day” (from The Gay Divorcee). For me, the chemistry between Ginger Rogers and Dennis Morgan works quite well (and apparently, it did for audiences back then, too, as they tried to pair the two of them together, although it took ten years and another studio to pair them up for the far less successful Perfect Strangers). While I will admit that the fact that the movie was made while the Code was being enforced to censor movies does make the ending almost predictable from early on in the movie (well, at least if you know much about the code), it’s still worth watching to see Ginger’s performance. It’s definitely very easy for me to recommend this movie!

This movie is available on DVD from Warner Archive Collection.

Film Length: 1 hour, 48 minutes

My Rating: 10/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Lucky Partners (1940) – Ginger Rogers – Tom, Dick And Harry (1941)

Dennis Morgan – Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943)

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