Known for light comedies and her partnership with Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers stepped off the dance floor and into 1940's Oscar spotlight with her Best Actress turn as Kitty, an indomitable working-class girl who endures t... more »he rejection of Philadelphia society, makes her own way as a single woman and ultimately chooses between an unmarried arrangement with Main Line scion Wynnewood Strafford VI (Dennis Morgan) or marriage to a struggling physician (James Craig). Rogers' deserved Academy Award confirmed she was more than a dance star - a fact humorously underscored when she returned to the studio and was greeted by staffers and actors in top hats and tails. Jane Wyman won the Best Actress Academy Award for her sensitive portrayal of Belinda, capturing the girl's affecting isolation, awakening desire to learn and ultimate triumph. Directed by Jean Negulesco and co-starring Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford and Agnes Moorehead (all four Oscar nominees* for their fine work), Johnny Belinda (nominated for a total 11 Oscars including Best Picture) blends atmosphere, nuance and high drama into a heartbreaking classic.« less
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 11/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ginger Rogers was very popular, both within the Hollywood community, and with the moviegoing public. With two strong performances in 1940, she took home the Oscar despite strong competition. Rogers perfectly captured the dilema of every American girl who worked for a living. Her portrayel of a young woman having to decide between a young woman's daydream of what love would be like and the real thing is flawless. Sam Wood directed this very entertaining film based on Christopher Morley's popular book.
Ginger is Kitty Foyle, a career girl from Philadelphia who falls for her boss, Wyn Strafford (Dennis Morgan), in what she thinks is everything she's dreamed about all her life. Wood used a snowglobe as a transitional device to Kitty's flashbacks of their romance, just as George Stevens had used a phonograph in Penny Serenade the previous year. Kitty and Wyn are no longer together, their brief marriage ending in divorce when it finally becomes clear to Kitty that her Irish American moxie can not overcome Wyn's old-money family in their Darby Mill--Griscom Street romance.
Kitty has moved on and has a chance for something real with a young but poor doctor portrayed by James Craig. But it is a down to earth and more practical love, and when Wyn suddenly appears to take her away once more, but not as his wife, she must decide which path to choose. As she packs to run away with Wyn, she argues with her conscience and remembers.
Ernest Cossart is very good as Kitty's pop, trying to steer her in the right direction. He may have been born four drinks below par, as Kitty affectionately teases him, but he is wise enough to see Wyn's weak character, which will never allow him to break from his society family and make a real life with his daughter. Kitty will face two tragedies simultaneously in this warm and sentimental story of an American working girl trying to have it all.
Rogers did deserve the Oscar because she is everything in this film. She may have been the only actress around who could have so readily been accepted to represent an entire generation of young women during the 1940's. They viewed her as one of their own, even though the glamour of Hollywood was part of her story as well. She was the American girl made good, and her performance here is flawless.
A fine ending showed not only Kitty's Irish American moxie, but her growth and maturity as well. This is a fine film with a terrific performance from Ginger Rogers that is very much a product of the era it was made. A fine score from Roy Webb adds to this gentle story of letting the dream of love go in favor of the real thing. A must own for Ginger's fans and a good one for film buffs to add to their collection."
Ginger's victory all the way
Steven L. Katz | Newton, MA United States | 06/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Any best actress oscar winner of 1940 would have been controversial. I think Ginger deserved it as well as any of the others. She is wonderful in this drama, and she portrays KItty with a certain realness. watch her facial expressions. I believe that Ginger had the most expressive and beautiful eyes in hollywood history. after losing her baby in childbirth, kitty's look on her face whenever she sees a child afterwards is devestating. the whole cast is fine, and you could cut Gin and Dennis Morgan's chemistry with a knife. Ginger had a strange power to bring out so much chemistry from all her leading men. In the early scenes, she is adorable as little kitty. I don't believe that this is a soap opera, because the situations are NOT ridiculous and the characters are very real, but nevertheless it is a heavier type of drama, so don't expect a SWING TIME-like experience, and keep the tissues handy. I highly recommend this film, not only for Ginger's performance, but for the movie as a whole."
Ginger Rogers in a working girl dilemma
Simon Davis | 06/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ginger Rogers really came into her own as the dramatic heroine of RKO's drama "Kitty Foyle" after her legendary collaborations with fred Astaire during the 1930's. Despite being almost solely regarded as Astaire's dancing partner Ginger Rogers had done a large number of films of a non dancing nature and by 1939 with their teamings coming to an end was anxious to develop her very fine comic and dramatic abilities. As seen in the previous years classic "Bachelor Mother", with David Niven she proved to be totally up to the task and this was followed in 1940 by the Sam Wood directed "Kitty Foyle", for which Rogers was awarded the Academy Award as Best Actress."Kitty Foyle" tells the quite simple story of a modern White Collar working girl who finds herself in the position of being courted by two entirely different men from different stations in life. Wyn Strafford (Dennis Morgan) offers Kitty the glamour of Philadelphia society in a lifestyle of priveldge, position and very set social values, while struggling intern Mark Eisen (James Craig) has only himself and his dreams to offer her. Growing up in the poor part of town Kitty as a child dreamt of the sort of life that Wyn represents, beautiful clothes, nice cars and appearances at all the society events like Philadephia's Assembly evening. Meeting and falling in love with Wyn Kitty thinks that all those earlier dreams have come true and soon she finds herself being swept off her feet into marriage with one of Philadelphia's best families. Meeting his family however finds Kitty being made only too aware of her humble beginnings and this clash of two different levels of society results in Kitty divorcing Wyn only to discover that she is carrying Wyn's child which she later loses in childbirth. Happily reciprocating Mark's uncomplicated love for her that involves no standards for her to be meeting, Kitty becomes engaged to him. Then as if by magic Wyn returns to her life yet again and momentarily arouses all those old passionate feelings she still has for him that she never really feels for Mark. With an offer to go away with him to South America, Kitty is for a moment prepared to abandon all to live this dream with Wyn again when her conscience reminds her of just what type of position she is placing herself in with the still married Wyn. Kitty begins to realise what a fine person Mark is and that he is a man who really loves her for herself and is waiting to marry her and give her the type of loving existence she really craves. Back to her senses Kitty decides to go ahead and marry Mark and have the loving marriage she has always wanted where she is appreciated for what she is, not who.Vintage soap opera it is indeed but "Kitty Foyle", shines with real characters and emotions that we can all identify with. Dennis Morgan does wonderful work as the besotted Wyn, the victim of family background and expectations and his screen chemistry with Ginger Rogers is magical and very romantic. James Craig as the humble doctor has the less flashy role of the two men but his simple playing and sincere dialogue really hits the right note in playing a character that has nothing but love to offer his beloved. There was alot of controversy in 1940 about whether Ginger Rogers really deserved the Oscar over the quite formidable competiton that year from Katherine Hepburn in "The Philadelphia Story", and especially Joan Fontaine in "Rebecca". The jury will always be out on that one I guess but Rogers playing of Kitty is wonderful and she has her best scene in her confrontation with Wyn's mother (Gladys Cooper in a small but wonderful performance). For that scene alone where she drives home a few truths about their family and the rules they live by, some award should have been forecoming.Nominated for a total of five Academy Awards "Kitty Foyle",could never be regarded as one of Hollywood's unforgettable classics. Ginger Rogers helps lift what is basically a soap opera to a higher level with her assured playing of the typical working girl who is both romantic and practical. It's a joy to see her in a dramatic role and it led the way for some other great dramatic performances by Rogers through the 1940's decade. Take a look at the ultimate working girl saga in the Sam Wood directed "Kitty Foyle"."
Heart Rending Depiction of Class and Gender
David Baldwin | Philadelphia,PA USA | 08/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Kitty Foyle" is a provocative depiction of class and gender politics during the era preceding World War II in America. The film bluntly displays how your happiness could be impeded by your station in life and if you are a woman it's that much harder. There are no real villains in the piece other than the archaic mores set down for generations. Interesting, though based on a novel by Christopher Morley, the script was adapted by Dalton Trumbo who would later be blacklisted. Ginger Rogers, in a performance of great strength and nuance, more than earned her Oscar for her work here. Those who would dismiss her as Fred Astaire's dance partner should check out her work in films like "42nd Street" and "Stage Door"."
January Lim | Boston, MA | 12/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After loving her in all 10 Astaire & Rogers films PLUS enjoying her performance in "Stage Door," I could not get enough of that sassy blonde who couldn't stop from spitting out one wisecrack after another.
Lo and behold, she can do more than just sing, dance, and act like a tough-street-smart gal.... she can convincingly portray an entire range of human emotions known to man. and do it well.
I am not biased when I say that Ginger Rogers' performance in this film is flawless. The story is now a bit old-fashioned for the modern-day-audience but in her quiet and loud "Judas Priest" moments are filled with motivation and meaning. There were moments where she could bring me to absolute tears. and during the entire duration of the film, I was constantly empathizing with Kitty.
The only problem I had was maybe seeing her playing Kitty as a 15 year old. In all honesty, it was not believable that a woman with such mature looks could be an early teen.
But no matter no matter... Ginger was out to prove something when she took on this role and by Judas Priest, she truly did. On an important sidenote, Dennis Morgan is absolutely beautiful as the idealistic and romantic Wynn.
(I suggest, if you haven't already, watching "Stage Door"... a more flashy role and yet, another subtle, believable performance!)"