A warm and human preachment for godliness, this biography of a Methodist minister is from the best-seller by Hartzell Spence. About the only faults with the picture are its slowness in the first half and the tendency of director Irving Rapper to skip over the hectic postwar depression years. Most of the dramatic wallop is contained in the last 40 minutes, or when the Rev. Spence (Fredric March) is in conflict with the wealthy element in his Denver congregation.
Spence, originally a medical student, comes to religion through listening to an evangelist. He takes his fiancee (Martha Scott) from her opulent Canadian home to his first parish in an Iowa mud-road town. This is the beginning of a trek through similar parishes with the Spences undergoing various privations. They raise three children, likably played by Frankie Thomas, Elisabeth Fraser and Casey Johnson.
March and Scott are both splendid in their roles. The stars carry the brunt of the story, although the cast is both populous and excellent.
1941: Nomination: Best Picture