All Mine to Give
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All Mine to Give (1957) was based on a popular short story called "The Day They Gave Babies Away" by Katherine Eunson, which first appeared in the December 1946 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine. A year later, the story would be published as a book with the same title. Eunson and her husband Dale also went on to co-write the screenplay for the movie adaptation, and as the opening credits of All Mine To Give reveal, Eunson's story was based on a real life account: "this is a true story, told the way it happened in a mid-western American village - a little more than one hundred years ago."
Several memorable child actors are featured in All Mine to Give, many of whom had later success on television or hit it big with a major movie role. For example, Patty McCormack, who plays eldest daughter Annabella, earned a Best Supporting Oscar nomination for her chillingly evil brat in The Bad Seed (1956). Rex Thompson, who appears as the oldest son Robbie, stole scenes the previous year as Deborah Kerr's son in The King and I (1956). And the young Bobbie is played by Jon Provost, who went on to TV fame as Timmy Martin on the series Lassie from 1957 to 1964.
There are also some wonderful character actors on display in All Mine to Give, particularly Alan Hale, Jr. and Hope Emerson. Hale, whose father was a popular supporting player during the 30's and 40's (usually as a sidekick to leads like Errol Flynn), was also kept busy with character parts, mainly for television; the most famous being his role of the Skipper on Gilligan's Island. Emerson, a six-foot-two 230-pound actress, made unforgettable appearances in Caged (1950) as a prison matron and as a circus strongwoman in Adam's Rib (1949).
But probably the most distinguished performer in All Mine to Give is British actress Glynis Johns, the daughter of English stage actor Mervyn Johns. She made her mark in such movies as The Sundowners (1960) for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress and as Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins (1964). Johns just missed becoming MGM's resident British actress in the 40's when she was being considered as a contract player by studio head Louis B. Mayer. But when the movie mogul screened the 1945 Robert Donat comedy Perfect Strangers, that featured both Johns and Deborah Kerr, Mayer ended up offering the contract to Kerr instead.
Johns nonetheless relocated from England to Hollywood, continuing to make movies and having great success on TV and Broadway. She had her own sitcom in the '60s, Glynis, a comic detective series which was like I Love Lucy meets Murder She Wrote. She also popped up as Diane Chambers' mother on Cheers and won the 1973 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for A Little Night Music. Even today, Johns is still active in Hollywood and her most recent movies include roles in The Ref (1994), While You Were Sleeping (1995) and Superstar (1999).
Producer: Sam Wiesenthal
Director: Allen Reisner
Screenplay: Katherine Eunson, Dale Eunson
Art Direction: Albert S. D'gostino, Frank T. Smith Cinematography: William Skall
Editing: Alan Crosland, Jr.
Music: Max Steiner
Cast: Glynis Johns (Mamie), Cameron Mitchell (Robert), Rex Thompson (Robbie), Patty McCormack (Annabella), Ernest Truex (Dr. Delbert), Hope Emerson (Mrs. Pugmire), Alan Hale, Jr. (Tom Cullen), Royal Dano (Howard Tyler), Reta Shaw (Mrs. Runyon), Ellen Corby (Mrs. Raiden).
C-103m. Closed captioning. Descriptive Video.
by Stephanie Thames