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When a lonely woman''''s wartime lover dies, her loneliness threatens her life.
In New York City in 1942, secretary Ruth Wood lives quietly with her ailing mother Agnes. Ruth's co-workers at Excelsior Shoe Manufacturing Co. are Grace Ullman and Millie Kranz, a young blonde who is having an affair with her married boss, Stephen Jalonik. Also in the office is Monty, a young shipping clerk classified by the draft as 4-F, who monitors the war's campaigns on a world map pinned to the wall. One evening after work, when a cloudburst forces Ruth and other pedestrians to take shelter in the vestibule of an office building, Arthur Hugenon, a cheerful, talkative G.I. stationed in the area, surprises the shy Ruth by starting a conversation. When he invites her to dinner, she declines, saying that her housebound mother is expecting her. Undeterred, Art buys food for three at a delicatessen and accompanies Ruth home. Agnes, who has distrusted men since her husband Harry left her for another woman ten years earlier, receives Art with little enthusiasm. During the meal, Art, who grew up on a Tennessee farm, captivates Ruth with his stories and afterward entertains them by playing the piano. Upon finding the manuscript of an unfinished song Harry composed, Art asks permission to take it back to camp, where he and an Army buddy will write lyrics for it. On the weekend, Art takes Ruth and Grace to a matinee. On their way to a restaurant, they stop at an auction and Ruth impulsively bids on an antique Roman coin, which she gives to Art for good luck. At the Café Normandy, where they have dinner, Ruth is unaware that the piano player is her father, whom she has not seen since he left Agnes. However, Harry recognizes Ruth and confides to the bartender that he has been too ashamed to return to his family. Later, Ruth tells Art that Agnes tried to kill herself after Harry left and still hopes for his return. On their next date, Art sings for Ruth "I'll Always Believe in You," the lyrics he and his friend have written for Harry's song. As Ruth and Art walk through Central Park, Ruth voices her fears about the war and Art tells her she must have faith. They then encounter Sgt. Gil Parker, while he takes snapshots of his new bride, Arleene Witchy, who works as a striptease dancer. Gil asks Art to take their picture and then offers to photograph Art and Ruth. In private, Gil warns Art that his division will soon be shipped overseas, but Art refuses to believe the rumor. At the lagoon, where children are sailing toy boats, Art recognizes the name of an elderly man, Commodore Eli B. Windgate. "Windy," as he is now called, is a former yacht owner who owned many of the surrounding buildings before losing his fortune. Art, who hopes to be a reporter after the war, senses a good feature story and interviews Windy on the spot. He then takes Ruth to the New York Times Building and convinces the city editor to let him write the story. Instead of taking payment, Art asks to be considered for a reporting job after the war. On their next date, Art arrives late riding on a truck filled with other soldiers. Having only a few minutes before he will be shipped out, he asks Ruth to marry him when he returns and, to allay her fears, says he still has the lucky Roman coin. For three months, Ruth writes Art every day, but receives no letters in return. Finally, a specially delivered letter arrives, informing her that Art died on the battlefield and that his dying wish was that she be told he still loves her. Ruth despairs, although her friends and co-workers try to console her. Millie, moved by Ruth's misfortune, drops Jalonik as her lover and takes another job. Grace finds Ruth mourning in Central Park and takes her to St. Patrick's Cathedral, where Ruth lights candles under the statue of St. Andrew. Jalonik, hoping Ruth will fill the void left by Millie in his personal life, takes her to the Café Normandy to cheer her up, but Ruth is too grief-stricken to pay attention to him. Art's friend Dixie publishes Harry's song under his own name, and when Harry hears it on the radio, he calls Agnes to ask her what happened to his manuscript. When Agnes answers the phone, he loses his nerve and hangs up. Although he has written several letters to Agnes, Harry always loses courage and tears them up. Ruth returns often to the statue of St. Andrew and talks to the young priest there. Losing interest in life, she ignores a cold, which turns into pneumonia. Mrs. Hammer, the upstairs neighbor who has often helped Ruth care for Agnes, now helps Agnes nurse Ruth. One rainy night, the feverish Ruth leaves the apartment while her mother dozes off, just before Harry, having mustered his courage, goes there to apologize to Agnes for leaving. Ruth's parents realize Ruth is missing just as Grace telephones. Hearing the Ruth has gone, Graces realizes that Ruth must have gone to the cathedral. Ruth is climbing the cathedral steps when she hears Art calling to her. In her delirium, she sees Art come to her and tell her that love never dies. Because he no longer needs the Roman coin, Art gives it to Ruth. Soon after, the priest finds Ruth passed out on the steps. Graces arrives a moment later. When the priest finds the coin clasped in Rth's hand, he shows it to Grace, who recognizes it and realizes that, for a brief time, Art returned to Ruth.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 31 Mar 1956|
|Release Date:||1956||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.|
|Sound:||Mono (RCA Sound System)||Production Co:||Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.|
|Duration(mins):||107 or 110||Country:||United States|
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