Never to Love (1940)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Family Drama, Melodrama, Tragedy  |   Run Time - 69 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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A creaky remake of the 1932 film of the same name, Bill of Divorcement tells of the effect an emotionally disturbed father's homecoming has on this household. Adolphe Menjou, a longtime mental patient, is released after 20 years' confinement and returns home. Only vaguely aware of the time lapse, Menjou meets his daughter (Maureen O'Hara), and attempts a reunion with his wife (Fay Bainter), who is on the verge of divorcing her long-absent husband and remarrying. Thanks to undue pressure from friends and family, the wife very nearly takes her husband back, much against her will. But the daughter steps in and volunteers to sacrifice her own future to take care of her father, thereby allowing mother to chart her own course of happiness. Incredibly dated in its attitudes toward divorce and insanity, Bill of Divorcement worked somewhat better in its 1932 version, thanks to the charisma and chemistry of John Barrymore as the father and newcomer Katharine Hepburn as the daughter. For many years, the 1940 Bill of Divorcement was retitled Never to Love when shown on TV.




daughter, family, love, mental-illness, father, divorce, homecoming, sacrifice, mother, disturbance, institution