Review: ‘Kitty Foyle – The Natural History of a Woman’

This is a film translation of Christopher Morley's bestseller expounding the romantic life of a white-collar girl - her happiness and heartbreaks and final decision for lifelong happiness. Picture is unfolded in retrospect from the time the girl is forced to choose between two men - one whom she madly loves, but cannot offer marriage, and the other waiting at church.

This is a film translation of Christopher Morley’s bestseller expounding the romantic life of a white-collar girl – her happiness and heartbreaks and final decision for lifelong happiness. Picture is unfolded in retrospect from the time the girl is forced to choose between two men – one whom she madly loves, but cannot offer marriage, and the other waiting at church.

This swings the story back to Philadelphia, at time she falls madly in love with scion of rich family on the other side of the tracks. Romance proceeds apace, with girl followed to New York and married. But boy’s straightlaced family provides disillusionment, separation and finally divorce, with Kitty suffering double tragedy of her baby’s death and remarriage of husband in his own social set.

Despite its episodic, and at times, vaguely-defined motivation, picture on whole is a poignant and dramatic portraiture of a typical Cinderella girl’s love story. Several good comedy sequences interline the footage, deftly written and directed.

Ginger Rogers provides a strong dramatic portrayal in the title role, aided by competent performances by Dennis Morgan and James Craig.

1940: Best Actress (Ginger Rogers).

Nominations: Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Sound

Kitty Foyle - The Natural History of a Woman

Production

RKO. Director Sam Wood; Producer David Hempstead; Screenplay Dalton Trumbo, Donald Ogden Stewart; Camera Robert de Grasse; Editor Henry Berman; Music Roy Webb; Art Director Van Nest Polglase, Mark-Lee Kirk

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1940. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Ginger Rogers Dennis Morgan James Craig Eduardo Ciannelli Ernest Cossart Gladys Cooper
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