Synopsis by Hal Erickson
A bit treacly at times, Tender Comrade is nonetheless a fascinating distillation of the American mindset during WW2. Ginger Rogers is at her noblest and most self-sacrificial as Jo, whose husband Chris (Robert Ryan) is off fighting the war. Though pregnant, Jo finds a job at Douglas Aircraft, saving her money by living in a group home with several of her female co-workers. Delivering lines like "Share and share alike, that's democracy", Jo and her friends pool their salaries and divvy up responsibilities, as wait for news from the Front about their husbands and sweethearts. When news arrives that Chris has been killed, Jo delivers an impassioned cheer-up speech to her infant son, which will either leave the viewer in tears or in giggles, depending upon one's frame of mind. The "collectivism" implicit in Tender Comrade (not to mention its politically chancy title!) would later cause a lot of trouble for screenwriter Dalton Trumbo and director Edward Dmytrk during the HUAC "Communist witchhunt" era. In 1943, however, audiences didn't worry about such things, and the film posted a huge profit for RKO Radio.
commune, love, slice-of-life, war, wife, woman