Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Mother Didn't Tell Me

Another movie that I watched over the weekend was Mother Didn't Tell Me, which is available on DVD from Fox's MOD scheme.

Dorothy McGuire plays Jane Morgan, a working girl who gets sick with a hacking cough one day and has to see a doctor right away, which is how she ends up at the office of Dr. William Wright (William Lundigan). Jane comes across as a bit selfish, as she's ticked at how long she's made to wait, never mind how many other patients were in the waiting room. She's also selfish enough that when she gets home, she calls up trying to get the doctor to come over for a house call!

It's obvious, however, that she actually is just falling in love with the doctor despite having only seen him the one time. They start seeing each other, but the good doctor often seems to get called away on important calls. Still, Jane thinks she'd be willing to get married to him. His mother (Jessie Royce Landis), however, isn't so sure. Apparently, it takes a special class of woman to be a doctor's wife, dealing with all the sudden absences, and Mrs. Wright doesn't think Jane has it in her. Plus, there's the fact that William knows a female medical student Helen (Joyce Mackenzie) that Mom thinks is better suited to being a doctor's wife since Helen is planning to become a doctor herself.

Still, Jane eventually does get married to the doctor, figuring she can make herself such an important part of his life that it will paper over the hurt of all those sudden house and hospital calls. Unsurprisingly, things go bad the very first time Jane tries to host a dinner party and William isn't able to make it. It's up to another doctor's wife, Maggie Roberts (June Havoc) to try to comfort Jane and get her to see the reality that she's going to have to make compromises.

Eventually, Helen finishes her residency, comes back to town, and takes a job as Dr. Wright's partner! Jane gets the distinct idea that William is going to leave her in favor of Helen, so decides to take matters into her own hands by leaving William first, a decision which makes no logical sense.

In fact, much of the movie makes no logical sense. It's dated, which is no big thing since I'm used to watching old movies. The idea that it takes some special class of woman to marry a doctor seems silly, yet it's the entire premise of the movie. Jane is so flighty that you just want someone to shake some sense into her, while Mrs. Wright's motivations seem to take a sudden turn in the final act.

Mother Didn't Tell Me may be an interesting time capsule, but it's not a particularly good movie. As always, however, you should probably judge for yourself.

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