Sentimental Journey (1946)

94 mins | Melodrama | March 1946

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Little Horse . The picture's release title was taken from the popular song "Sentimental Journey," which is heard several times throughout the film. The song, which was the theme song of band leader Les Brown, was popularized by Doris Day, Brown's singer, although her version is not heard in the film. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, and HR news items, Paramount was the first studio to register the title with the MPAA, but eventually relinquished it to Twentieth Century-Fox, which paid $10,000 for unlimited use of the song in the picture. Although contemporary sources refer to Mischa Auer's character as "Lawrence Ayres," he is called "Gregory Petrovich Rogozhin" in the picture. Studio records indicate that Eleanore Griffin worked on an early version of the screenplay, but the extent of her contribution to the completed film has not been determined. A mid-Aug 1945 memo in the legal records indicates that Bruce Humberstone was originally set to direct the picture, and a Jun 1944 HR news item announced that Peggy Ann Garner would be the film's star. Although HR production charts include Charles Russell in the cast, his appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. A contemporary production source lists Ernest Palmer as the film's director of photography, but all other sources credit Norbert Brodine, including the onscreen credits. The studio records note that the beach sequences were shot on location at Laguna Beach, CA.
       Although the Var review stated that ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Little Horse . The picture's release title was taken from the popular song "Sentimental Journey," which is heard several times throughout the film. The song, which was the theme song of band leader Les Brown, was popularized by Doris Day, Brown's singer, although her version is not heard in the film. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, and HR news items, Paramount was the first studio to register the title with the MPAA, but eventually relinquished it to Twentieth Century-Fox, which paid $10,000 for unlimited use of the song in the picture. Although contemporary sources refer to Mischa Auer's character as "Lawrence Ayres," he is called "Gregory Petrovich Rogozhin" in the picture. Studio records indicate that Eleanore Griffin worked on an early version of the screenplay, but the extent of her contribution to the completed film has not been determined. A mid-Aug 1945 memo in the legal records indicates that Bruce Humberstone was originally set to direct the picture, and a Jun 1944 HR news item announced that Peggy Ann Garner would be the film's star. Although HR production charts include Charles Russell in the cast, his appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. A contemporary production source lists Ernest Palmer as the film's director of photography, but all other sources credit Norbert Brodine, including the onscreen credits. The studio records note that the beach sequences were shot on location at Laguna Beach, CA.
       Although the Var review stated that Sentimental Journey marked child actress Connie Marshall's first screen appearance, she had previously appeared in the 1944 Twentieth Century-Fox production Sunday Dinner for a Soldier . On 23 Sep 1946, John Payne, Lynn Bari and Gloria McMillan starred in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the story. In 1958, Twentieth Century-Fox remade the picture as The Gift of Love , which was directed by Jean Negulesco and starred Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack and Evelyn Rudie. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Feb 1946.
---
Daily Variety
6 Feb 46
p. 3.
Film Daily
13 Feb 46
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 44
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Aug 44
p. 1, 5
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Oct 45
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Feb 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Mar 46
p. 12.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 Dec 45
p. 2750.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Feb 46
p. 2837.
New York Times
7 Mar 46
p. 33.
The Exhibitor
20 Feb 46
p. 1887.
Variety
6 Feb 46
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
SOUND
Mus mixer
Mus mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Transparency projection shots
Transparency projection shots
Transparency projection shots
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Research dir
Research asst
STAND INS
Connie Marshall's stand-in
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "The Little Horse" by Nelia Gardener White in Good Housekeeping (Jun 1944).
SONGS
"Sentimental Journey," music and lyrics by Bud Green, Les Brown and Ben Homer.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Little Horse
Release Date:
March 1946
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 6 March 1946
Production Date:
27 August--late October 1945
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
21 February 1946
Copyright Number:
LP363
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
94
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
11283
SYNOPSIS

Theatrical director William O. Weatherly is deeply in love with his beautiful wife, Julie Beck, who stars in his plays and devotes herself to fulfilling his every whim. Unknown to Bill, Julie has a serious heart condition, and one day, while they are rehearsing their new play at their Long Island country home, Julie has a dizzy spell. Family friend and physician Jim Miller warns Julie that the consequences will be dire if she does not relax the busy pace of her life, and suggests adoption when Julie confides her wish that she and Bill could have a child. Julie hopes that a child will give Bill the strength to continue living if she should pass away, and soon after, she finds the perfect child while strolling along the seashore. A group of orphans from the city happily plays on the beach, but one of them, a ten-year-old girl named Mehitabel, who is called "Hitty," sits alone and watches for seahorses. Hitty imagines that Julie is the "Lady of Shalott," from Tennyson's poem, and Hitty's daydreaming reminds Julie of her own childhood fancies. After they part, Julie returns to Bill and asks him about adopting a child. Distracted by a new playscript, Bill agrees to Julie's plan, and later, after the play has opened successfully, Julie takes Bill to the orphanage to meet Hitty. Bill clumsily tries to charm Hitty, who shyly responds to his overtures. After a while, the adoption proceedings are underway and Hitty moves into Bill and Julie's elegant New York City apartment. Bill is baffled by Hitty's talk of unicorns and poetry, but the girl's relationship ... +


Theatrical director William O. Weatherly is deeply in love with his beautiful wife, Julie Beck, who stars in his plays and devotes herself to fulfilling his every whim. Unknown to Bill, Julie has a serious heart condition, and one day, while they are rehearsing their new play at their Long Island country home, Julie has a dizzy spell. Family friend and physician Jim Miller warns Julie that the consequences will be dire if she does not relax the busy pace of her life, and suggests adoption when Julie confides her wish that she and Bill could have a child. Julie hopes that a child will give Bill the strength to continue living if she should pass away, and soon after, she finds the perfect child while strolling along the seashore. A group of orphans from the city happily plays on the beach, but one of them, a ten-year-old girl named Mehitabel, who is called "Hitty," sits alone and watches for seahorses. Hitty imagines that Julie is the "Lady of Shalott," from Tennyson's poem, and Hitty's daydreaming reminds Julie of her own childhood fancies. After they part, Julie returns to Bill and asks him about adopting a child. Distracted by a new playscript, Bill agrees to Julie's plan, and later, after the play has opened successfully, Julie takes Bill to the orphanage to meet Hitty. Bill clumsily tries to charm Hitty, who shyly responds to his overtures. After a while, the adoption proceedings are underway and Hitty moves into Bill and Julie's elegant New York City apartment. Bill is baffled by Hitty's talk of unicorns and poetry, but the girl's relationship with Julie deepens as Julie teaches her how to pamper Bill. During a visit to the zoo, Bill buys Hitty a toy horse, which she dubs "No Name," and later, she clutches it to her as she suffers from a slight fever. Bill storms off when Julie refuses to accompany him to a party because she wants to look after Hitty, and Jim advises Julie to send Hitty back to the orphanage, as he believes that Bill will never be mature enough to welcome Hitty into the family. Soon after, Julie is trying to break the bad news to Hitty when she suffers a fatal heart attack, but before she dies, she urges Hitty to take care of Bill. Time passes as the grief-stricken Bill visits Julie's grave every day and stays with his business manager, Donnelly. Hitty's own pain and loneliness increase as she waits for Bill to come home, but one day she sees Julie's ghost, who encourages her to be cheerful for Bill upon his return. Donnelly finally persuades Bill to go home, and Hitty tenderly looks after him. The pressure is too much for Bill, and he rebuffs Hitty's attempt to serve him breakfast in the same fashion that Julie had always done. While Bill struggles to cope with Julie's death, Donnelly buys a book on child psychology and attempts to help Hitty accept Bill's decision that she be sent to boarding school. Hitty tearfully tells Bill about Julie's admonition that she should care for him, and Bill agrees to let her stay. Hitty continues to be comforted by Julie's ghost and arranges for a Sunday afternoon party at the country house, just as Bill and Julie used to do. Bill cannot enjoy himself, however, and tells his friends to leave when Hitty describes her latest visitation from Julie. Bill remains at the house while Donnelly takes Hitty back to New York, but later that evening, Hitty runs away and a frantic Bill returns to the apartment. There, he discovers a recording left for him by Julie, in which she describes Hitty as the "living link" that will always bind them. Finally realizing how much Julie loved Hitty, and how much he cares for her himself, Bill goes to the seashore to search for the girl. As Bill had suspected, Hitty has gone to the place where she first met Julie, and he rescues her as the tide comes crashing in. Back at the apartment, Bill tucks Hitty into bed and tells Donnelly that he must return to work because he now has a daughter to support. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.