Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Distantly related to Frederick Lewis Allen's non-fiction book of the same name, Only Yesterday uses fictional characters to trace the years between 1917 and 1929. Wealthy New Yorker John Boles recalls a long-ago affair with southern belle Margaret Sullavan. She gave birth to his child without ever naming the father, then moved to New York herself and set up a dress shop. As the stock-market crash of 1929 wipes out his life savings, Boles becomes remorseful over how he's forgotten Sullavan, who is now dying. He acknowledges that he is the father of her child, and promises to make a good life for the boy despite his dire financial situation. Only Yesterday opens with a remarkable montage sequence showing the devastating effects of the Depression; after that, it never quite gains momentum despite the superb performance of Margaret Sullavan (in her film debut).
business, Great-Depression, illegitimate-child, Southern-belle, terminal-illness, responsibility