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The Guilt of Janet Ames

The Guilt of Janet Ames(1947)

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The Guilt of Janet Ames A hard-drinking reporter tries... MORE > $18.95
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Janet Ames, a distraught war widow, wanders through city streets in a daze, carrying her husband's Congressional Medal of Honor and searching for five men who were in her husband's regiment. While crossing a busy street, Janet is struck by an automobile and taken to a hospital, where her case is listed as a possible attempted suicide. As Janet lies unconscious in the hospital, the police try to determine her identity by questioning the men listed on a piece of paper found in her possession. The first to be questioned is an unemployed and disillusioned reporter, Smithfield "Smitty" Cobb. Smitty introduces himself to the recovering Janet as a friend of her husband David but does not reveal that he is one of the men she is seeking. Instead, Smitty listens as Janet explains that she wants to meet the five men whose lives David saved on a battlefield when he threw himself on a live grenade. She tells him that she wants to meet them to confirm her suspicions that her husband died in vain, sacrificing his life for five worthless men. Offended by her objective, Smitty responds angrily and tells her that she is full of self-pity. He then recalls the lesson of George du Maurier's novel Peter Ibbetson and decides to change Janet's perception of her husband's sacrifice by hypnotizing her and taking her on an imaginary journey into the lives of each of the men on her list: The first destination on Janet's journey is a visit with Joe Burton and his girl friend Katie, who show her their plans to build a house. Their plans are constructed from a deck of playing cards, which Janet blows down to illustrate the foolishness of their aspirations. When Smitty brings Janet out of her hypnotic state, he analyzes her journey and asks her if David had plans to build a house before he died. Smitty next takes Janet on a journey to the desert, where Edgar Pierson works as a scientist and lives in a shack with his wife Susie. Janet observes a scene in which Susie's father drives by in a chauffeured car and criticizes her husband's lifestyle and his lack of interest in the corporate world. Janet responds to her observation of the scene by saying that David would never have made such sacrifices. Janet's next journey is to Frank Merino's walled garden in Glendale, California, where Janet talks with his young daughter Emmy about her dolls and child rearing. Janet quickly becomes defensive, insisting that David was too sensible to have children. Smitty then takes Janet to the fourth man on the list, comedian Sammy Weaver, who, while performing at a nightclub, thanks Janet for saving his life. By the end of her last journey, Janet confesses to Smitty that she knew his true identity all along. She then kisses Smitty and thanks him for showing her that she alone is to blame for the fact that David did not realize his dreams of building a house, having a child and getting a better job. As soon as Janet realizes this, she finds the key to her paralysis and suddenly regains the use of her legs. She then helps Smitty regain his self-respect by coaxing him to confess that he gave David the command to dive onto the grenade. Janet forgives David and, having fallen in love with Smitty, suggests they conjure up hypnotic images of their happy future together.