Eleanor Smith’s novel of the 1860s, Ballerina, in providing basis for the tale, details the intensive training required to bring a ballet dancer to stardom # and her love life along the way. Loretta Young comes under the stern hand of elderly ballet master Conrad Veidt, marrying him in appreciation after a sensational debut, although in love with young John Shepperd. After Veidt’s death, she marries shipping magnate Dean Jagger, and honeymoon tour of Europe finds her forgetting the stage life. But she returns to dancing for separation, and bears a daughter (Ann Todd), whom Jagger eventually finds and takes back to New York for proper rearing.
Gregory Ratoff overcomes much of the story immobility through carrying various dramatic episodes to dramatic peaks, and then veering away to the next sequence without holding on the climax. Ratoff also generates strong sympathy in the latter reels with the mother-love hearttugs for the absent child.
1941: Nomination: Best Sound