powered by AFI
A judge forces a divorcing couple to think back on the problems that drove them apart.
In the New York Court of Domestic Relations, Judge Anna Carroll presides over the divorce hearing of Florence and Chet Keefer, whose lawyers insist their clients' marriage is over. As it is late, the judge calls a recess, then summons the Keefers to her chambers, where she asks them how they met. Chet hesitates, then relates the early days of their marriage: In Central Park, Chet and his friend and fellow postal worker, George Bastian, introduce themselves to two attractive young women and soon they begin double dating. Chet and Florence marry shortly thereafter and honeymoon in Atlantic City before setting up house in a tiny apartment with very little furniture. Florence complains about Chet's long hours, while at the post office, his work buddies kid him about his marriage. Chet confides in George that he has great aspirations to make something of himself. Back in the judge's chamber, Judge Carroll asks Florence and Chet when the first sign of trouble appeared in their relationship. Florence explains that Chet began placing his ambitions and other people before her and he was always envious of his sister Joan's husband, Howard Shipley, a successful businessman. Florence takes up their story: Chet is uncomfortable about attending a formal party thrown by Joan and Howard, celebrating their trip to Europe. Delayed repeatedly at work, Chet is late picking Florence up and at the party, he feels like the excluded "poor relation." To Florence's annoyance, Chet drinks too much and rumbas enthusiastically with a voluptuous guest. Later that night, Chet and Florence argue about his behavior and she pushes him off her bed. That night, Chet has a nightmare that at work his carelessness with loose ball bearings causes the Postmaster General injury. When Florence awakens him, however, he gets a flash of insight and feverishly begins designing a pair of ball bearing sliders, similar to roller skates. Chet has the sliders built and takes them to Howard to get his financial backing. Florence talks Howard into trying on the sliders, but when he falls down, Joan furiously orders Florence and Chet out. A few days later, Florence and Chet each discover a magazine report about an identical invention of sliders introduced by a former champion skater, and Florence comforts the despondent Chet. After Florence's disclosure, Judge Carroll asks the Keefers why there is no hope for their marriage. Florence claims they never got a break, and Chet declares that everything would have been fine had his slider invention worked. When Judge Carroll presses Florence to explain what she expected from marriage, she laments that she feels lonely even when she is in the same room with Chet. He protests that even if he was not always thinking of her, he was thinking of their marriage and that he always loved her. Chet resumes the Keefers' story: Florence frets over Chet's concern about expenses when taking their children, Joey and Ellen, camping. At home one evening, Florence and Chet are stunned when a radio broadcaster announces that Florence has been selected to answer their $2,600 question. When the station telephones her and plays a bit of music for her to identify, she names the tune, but Chet disagrees and she gives the station his answer, which is incorrect. Sometime later, the Keefers attend a Decoration Day picnic with their children, and Joey accidentally drowns, leaving Florence and Chet desolate. Lost in thought over his son one day, Chet is hit by a truck while crossing the street, requiring extensive hospitalization and then time in a convalescent home, where Florence and Ellen constantly visit. While there, Chet grudgingly admits Florence must go back to work to help meet their expenses. Resuming work at the post office, Chet receives a promotion, but the news is dulled when Florence gets a letter informing her that her former boss has died and left her $1,284. Chet demands to know what she did to be left so much money, but Florence has no idea. Chet stews about the money, then finally gives Florence permission to accept it. When she tells him that she already has, he explodes in anger and threatens to walk out, but Florence leaves instead. All the Keefers' friends offer advice on how to patch up their marriage and even the discovery that Florence's boss left all his employees money does not help. At the end of their story, Judge Carroll points out to the Keefers that they have had good times and bad times and that wrong headedness does not mean their marriage is over. She then bids the Keefers goodnight and in the hallway tells the bailiff she does not believe the Keefers will be in court the following day. In the judge's chambers, Chet says he may not be able to change his delusions of grandeur, but he can try, and Florence agrees to try too. The Keefers leave the office arm in arm.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 13 Mar 1952|
|Release Date:||1952||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Columbia Pictures Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Columbia Pictures Corp.|
Leonard Maltin Ratings & Review
LEONARD MALTIN MOVIE RATING
LEONARD MALTIN MOVIE REVIEW:
User Ratings & Review
This title has not been reviewed. Be the FIRST to write a review by CLICKING HERE >
User Ratings & Review
Similarities with "Penny Serenade"
disinterested spectator 2014-07-08
The plot of this movie is similar to "Penny Serenade," produced eleven years earlier. In both movies, a husband and wife decide to separate. ...
The Marrying Kind
A wonderful movie! Judy Holliday and Aldo Ray (what a Hunk!) make you feel as if you are right there watching a couple you care about. All so believable...
I loved it!
The film was exceptional. The whole story felt so... real. I felt like I was literally witnessing the fights between the two, and like I was really in the...