Mary Marshall, serving a six year term for accidental manslaughter, is given a Christmas furlough from prison to visit her closest relatives, her uncle and his family in a small Midwestern town. On the train she meets Zach Morgan, a troubled army sergeant on leave for the holidays from a military hospital. Although his physical wounds have healed, he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and is subject to panic attacks. The pair are attracted to one another and in the warm atmosphere of the Christmas season friendship blossoms into romance, but Mary is reluctant to tell him of her past and that she must shortly return to prison to serve the remainder of her sentence.Written by
A bit offbeat is this story of a girl on prison furlough (Ginger Rogers) who meets a shell-shocked soldier (Joseph Cotten), each keeping their past secret. She invites him to spend some holiday time with her family during the Christmas season and gradually the romance begins. Nice to see Shirley Temple in a pivotal role doing a nice job as the selfish Barbara who unintentionally reveals Ginger's secret. Spring Byington and Tom Tully are fine in supporting roles and John Derek (then called John Harris) makes a brief appearance as Shirley's date. A bit dated and rather slow moving, but worthwhile because of the fine performances of the leads.
Interesting tidbits: Ginger Rogers was not the first choice for the leading role--it was originally offered to Joan Fontaine who disliked the script and was having contract troubles with Selznick and turned it down. Ginger was said to be against using Temple in the movie and wanted her removed since she had a clause in her contract re cast approval. Nevertheless, wiser heads prevailed and Shirley received excellent reviews for her contribution. Shirley documents this in her book, "Child Star"--for some reason Ginger took an instant dislike to her.
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