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I’ll Be Seeing You

I’ll Be Seeing You (1944) starring Joseph Cotton, Ginger Rogers, Shirley Temple

buy-from-amazon In short, I‘ll Be Seeing You is a wonderful film, set towards the end of World War II, where a veteran (played very well by Joseph Cotton) is suffering from what we would now call PTSD — he’s jumping at any sound, and thinks that he’s likely to be attacked at any moment. His doctors at the VA are letting him out from the psych ward, to see how well he’s able to function in normal society. On his train ride, he meets a beautiful young lady (played very well by Ginger Rogers), a lady who’s also out on furlough — from prison.

I'll Be Seeing You, starring Joseph Cotton and Ginger Rogers, with Shirley TempleShe committed accidental manslaughter, fighting off a rapist (told in flashback when she’s telling the story of how she went to prison to her younger cousin, played by a teenage Shirley Temple), and due to her good behavior she’s been given a 10-day furlough at Christmas to visit her relatives. One thing leads to another, and she invites the vet to stay at her uncle’s house — and he accepts.

The normal family life does them both a lot of good, with several other threads weaving together — the happy marriage between the aunt and uncle, the teenage cousin doing her part for the war effort by dancing with young GI’s at USO functions, and the awkward courtship between Joseph Cotton and Ginger Rogers — with Ginger hiding the truth about her situation.

Things come to a head later on, after a New Year’s Eve dance … and an attack by a guard dog as they’re walking home, and Joseph Cotton’s character fights against a panic attack — and then Ginger Rogers’ character has to return to prison, and still is trying to hide the truth from the man that she’s fallen in love with … until Shirley Temple unwittingly spills the beans.

I’ll Be Seeing You is a truly wonderful movie, highly recommended, with great acting by the entire cast — I rate it 5 stars.

Editorial review of I’ll Be Seeing You courtesy of Amazon.com

Over-eager World War I veteran Chill Wills almost causes Joseph Cotton to suffer a flashback, as he's out with Ginger Rogers

Over-eager World War I veteran Chill Wills almost causes Joseph Cotton to suffer a flashback, as he’s out with Ginger Rogers

Ginger Rogers gives a dramatic performance in this moving romantic drama in which a woman named Mary Marshall, who was convicted of manslaughter (she defended herself when her lecherous boss attempted to rape her and she accidentally killed him), is granted a ten-day furlough for Christmas to visit relatives. Once out, she encounters a shell-shocked vet (Joseph Cotten) on leave from the VA psych ward on a train. The unstable vet has been allowed out by his doctors to see if he is ready to function in normal society. At first, the vet is nervous around Mary, but something clicks and she invites him to stay at her house during their respective breaks. Together they attempt to have a happy Christmas while dealing with the vet’s problems. At first Mary keeps her own past and troubles to herself, but as they begin falling in love, she decides to tell him the whole story. In this way, the two reconcile their pasts and move closer toward forming a relationship.