Papa was a 'holy roller' Pentecostal preacher who always pastored to very small congregations, and he would occasionally say with a smile that God kept him humble and the church board kept him poor. But while I never knew the lifestyle of the wealthy as a child, we were always blessed with an abundance of love and happiness . . . . And in hindsight, I wouldn't change one day of my youth. I was never allowed to go to the movies as a child, and now in my adult life I am still trying to compensate for that loss by watching every old motion picture that I can, enjoying every one of them. There is a gal that writes to me occasionally to correct some of my spelling and other errors on these pages, and I am very grateful for her help. One day recently I opened an e-mail note from her and she put it to me that she had discovered a secret about me . . . . She has decided that I have never seen a movie that I didn't enjoy . . . and that is indeed the deepest secret of my soul . . . I have yet to see a story, no matter how badly produced, directed, or acted, that I did not enjoy . . . But there are some movies that I enjoy less than others, and this, truth be told, is one of them. It was excellently produced, directed and acted, but I am not a big fan of tragedies that don't offer even a glimpse of joy as it unfolds. This is not to say that I wasn't fully engaged in the story, because I was more engaged than normal. I found myself talking to the actors . . . telling them not to do what they were about to do, but they ignored my pleas and did incredibly stupid and destructive things (in my humble opinion). They didn't seem to hear me or understand my pleas, but I kept hoping for wiser choices to come . . . ever hoping, but alas, the dumb deeds continued. It wasn't until late in the story that I finally remembered something that has guided my life . . . As one who has made many more than my share of dumb moves, it has allowed me to watch the rest of this story with a bit more calm attitude. The saying not only has proved true for my life, but it also works in this story: If you would like to have great wisdom, know that Wisdom is the fruit of Experience . . . Experience is the result of mistakes . . . When I make a dastardly mistake, instead of mourning my stupidity, I should reflect on the great wisdom that will grow from it. Now I can pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and anticipate the wisdom that will evolve from so many mistakes.
Director: Berthold Viertel
Stars: Matheson Lang, Lydia Sherwood, Nova Pilbeam