My Foolish Heart (1949)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, War Romance  |   Run Time - 98 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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My Foolish Heart is often cited by fans of J. D. Salinger (who wrote the story on which the movie is based) as the reason why none of the author's other works will ever be filmed, as he apparently hated what the creators of Heart did to his story. However, if viewed simply as a film and not as an adaptation, Heart is an above average and enjoyable little "weepie." Sure, it's soap opera, but it's an engaging enough soaper, especially for people who are fans of the genre. The script, for the most part, is pretty standard stuff, but it does deserve some special mention for its ending, which is a bit of a surprise and which doesn't go all out for tears as one might rightfully expect. Heart also benefits from one of Susan Hayward's best performances. Hayward excelled at playing tough broads who may or may not have had a tender side to them; indeed, at times, she played the tough so well that even when there was supposed to be a tender side, it was hard to see. But she plays both sides of the character very well in Heart, and her work here is exceptional. As her true love, Dana Andrews is adequate but no more; however, as Hayward's father, Robert Keith turns in a very finely-tuned, carefully nuanced performance that deserves special mention. There's also some very affecting father-daughter chemistry between Keith and Hayward. Mark Robson's direction is good, if not outstanding, and Heart also boasts a title tune that is quite memorable.