6.6/10
336
10 user 2 critic

Close to My Heart (1951)

Not Rated | | Drama | October 1951 (USA)
Gene Tierney and Ray Milland play the Sheridans, a married couple unable to have a biological child. They visit an adoption agency to make inquiries and start the ball rolling. Then, they ... See full summary »

Director:

William Keighley

Writers:

James R. Webb (novel), James R. Webb (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ray Milland ... Brad Sheridan
Gene Tierney ... Midge Sheridan
Fay Bainter ... Mrs. Morrow
Howard St. John ... I.O. Frost
Mary Beth Hughes ... Arlene
Ann Morrison Ann Morrison ... Mrs. Barker
James Seay ... Everett C. Heilner / Edward C. Hewitt
Baby John Winslow Baby John Winslow ... Baby Danny (as Baby John)
Eddie Marr Eddie Marr ... Taxi Driver Dunne
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Storyline

Gene Tierney and Ray Milland play the Sheridans, a married couple unable to have a biological child. They visit an adoption agency to make inquiries and start the ball rolling. Then, they learn of a child abandoned at a local police station. The loving and very lovely Midge (Tierney) is determined to adopt the young boy, no questions asked; Brad (Milland) insists on learning about the boy's heredity and his parentage. The Sheridans learn the boy's father may be a murderer. Will there be a baby for Midge? (The film is based on a novel by James R. Webb, entitled "A Baby for Midge.") Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Baby for Midge See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Sheridan's car is a 1951 Ford Custom Deluxe convertible coupe. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A sentimental journey through nurture versus nature
15 March 2017 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

I remembered this movie from years ago, and somehow I had it stuck in my mind that James Stewart played the husband - it was the kind of role he was good at, especially the emotional closing scenes, but instead it is Ray Milland as journalist Brad Sheridan and Gene Tierney as Midge Sheridan. The opening scene shows a doctor telling Midge that she will never be able to have a child. She takes the news hard, but then she and her husband of four years begin looking for a baby.

They go to an adoption agency - actually Midge does - and is told there is a two year waiting list by the sympathetic head of the agency, Mrs. Morrow (Fay Bainter). But they get a tip about a foundling left at a police station, and Midge goes to visit him. She goes to visit every day at the orphanage, bathes him, cares for him, brings him dolls. Eventually the Sheridans get permission to take him home with them in hopes it will lead to adoption. They name the child "Danny" in the meantime.

Midge doesn't care who his parents are, but Brad is not so sure, especially when he finds out about an adopted boy who became a criminal in spite of being brought up in a good adoptive home. Mrs. Morrow is worried that if Brad finds out his parentage is "bad" that he will never treat Danny like a true blank slate. However, part worry over the possible mental heritage of Danny, part the natural curiosity of a blood-hound reporter has him chasing leads to find out how Danny came to be abandoned and who did the abandoning. What does he find out? Watch and find out.

This really is a sentimental journey, and you have to leave your modern sensibilities on hold to enjoy this little story from 66 years ago. How can a middling journalist afford a house that looks like a bank president's on one salary? Why does Midge go to the doctor to learn of her infertility AND to the adoption agency alone? Why does Midge dress to the nines to clean house and handle the baby? Doesn't Mrs. Morrow have anything better to do than to follow Brad's search for Danny's parents? You are just going to have to forget about these questions.

The acting here is quite good, and Ray Milland shows a side of his acting chops as a normal family man that he seldom got to do over at his home studio of Paramount. As usual, Max Steiner's score sets just the right mood. Do note that not everybody in the 50s agreed with what this film was trying to say about criminology here. For an alternate view watch 1956's "Bad Seed".


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