Saturday, June 22, 2019

Film Friday: An Apartment for Peggy

An Apartment for Peggy (links to IMDb/photos and blurb via IMDb)

A retired professor rents his attic apartment to pregnant Peggy and her GI-Bill-student husband. The professor ponders if his life is no longer useful while the young couple faces the challenges shared with many WW II veterans' families.

20th Century Fox
1948/96 minutes/color
Starring Edmund Gwenn, Jeanne Crain, and William Holden

Born Yesterday got me on a William Holden kick, so I've been slowly watching more of his movies. My sister and I both love him, so it also gave us an excuse to get together and share a meal (and pie!) and enjoy a charming movie, An Apartment for Peggy. Directed by George Seaton, who also helmed the Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street (also starring Gwenn, who so convinced me in the role that when I was little, I believed he was Santa Claus!). Seaton, who also wrote the script, gives us a film that is both real and comforting, emotional yet uplifting, and a wonderful time with three great actors. As a 1948 review in Variety says, Perlberg and Seaton "sell the human interest with just the right amount of believeable hokum and heartstring tugs, and the cast plays it to the hilt." 

The film starts with Gwenn as a philiosophy professor who is ready for his life to end, and soon we meet Crain, as bubbly pregnant Peggy, and her husband, Jason (Holden), in college on the GI bill, hoping to become a teacher. The film capably tackles big issues, and small, with humor and a light touch. The way the three become a family, and their interactions with others, highlights favorite themes of mine--found family and helping others in the ways you can. If you like any of the stars, or Miracle on 34th Street, I highly recommend An Apartment for Peggy. Thanks to Christine at Overture Books and Film for her review that reminded me this was a movie to watch! I agree wholeheartedly with this glowing 1948 New York Times review that Seaton "has made an enriching picture, balanced with laughter and tears." It's an entertaining and comforting movie, especially welcome right now!

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