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Saturday's Children

Saturday's Children(1940)

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Saturday's Children (1940)

Stars John Garfield and Anne Shirley looked back fondly on this third adaptation of Maxwell Anderson's hit play. The comedy-drama about a young woman tricking her sweetheart into marriage only to face a life of economic hardships had originally starred Ruth Gordon when it debuted on Broadway in 1927. First National bought the rights and filmed it with Corinne Griffith and Grant Withers starring under Gregory La Cava's direction. First National remade it as Maybe It's Love (1935) with Gloria Stuart and Ross Alexander. Though this was the third version of the story in 11 years, the studio gave it an A production, with a screenplay by Julius J. and Philip G. Epstein, direction by up-and-coming Vincent Sherman and cinematography by James Wong Howe. They also gave the production a strong supporting cast, with Claude Rains as Shirley's father, Lee Patrick as her scheming sister and Roscoe Karns as her wisecracking brother-in-law. The studio had hoped to borrow James Stewart from MGM for the lead, but that fell through, giving Garfield one of his favorite roles. Julius Epstein would later say the part of dreamy inventor was the closest Garfield ever came to playing himself.

By Frank Miller

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