I’ll Be Seeing You…Leonard Maltin describes this movie as ‘schmaltz’ I have to disagree. I have a tendency to compare this movie with the Barbara Stanwyck and Fred McMurray 1940 Christmas movie Remember the Night. The Ginger Rogers, Joseph Cotten, Shirley Temple movie made in 1944 is more thought-provoking. As in the opening scene Ginger’s character asks to buy gum or chocolate at the train station (if she hadn’t been in prison for three years she would have known you couldn’t just go out and buy those items, there was a war going on). Who knew that prisoners were let out for special furloughs over the Holiday season?
We see that there is just a little something off with Joseph Cotten’s character. He seems a little slow, hesitant, wants to buy a magazine for the train ride, and has difficulty deciding which magazine to buy pays for it then walks off with the wrong magazine. The magazine he accidently picks up features an article about the ‘Problem of the Neuro Psychiatric Soldier’ PTSD is what we call it now a days and Cotten is also on furlough from the hospital for the Holiday to see how he can handle his emotions in the civilian world.
Sixteen year old Shirley Temple plays a typical teenager of the time. Her cousin played by Ginger treats her as an adult while her parents, Spring Byington and Tom Tully still treat her like a clueless child which leads to some major faux pas on her part. When scolded by her father for wearing a dress with a low neckline to the New Year’s Eve dance she impudently tells him ‘It’s a morale booster’.
This movie isn’t your typical Ginger, Joseph, Shirley movie which is why I like it. It conveys the sentiments of the season, with the aunt and uncle opening their home to their niece and the soldier she meets on the train. And it ends just like I like a good movie to end… With a feeling of hope, a kiss and a catchy number one song that won’t stop playing in your head once you have heard it.