Come to the Stable (1949), starring Loretta Young, Celeste Holm, Hugh Marlowe, Elsa Lanchester, Thomas Gomez
Synopsis of Come to the Stable
In Come to the Stable, a pair of French nuns fulfill their promise to God. By moving to New England to found a children’s hospital. A pleasingly warm movie based on a story by Clare Boothe Luce.
Review of Come to the Stable
Come to the Stable is a surprisingly enjoyable movie. Two nuns travel from France to America, to fulfill a vow to God. To build a children’s hospital. With only $14 between them. They’re either crazy, or on a mission from God. The interesting thing is, every time they seem to see an impossible roadblock, something happens. Over, and over again. It’s a sweet movie, with many comedic moments. I strongly recommend Come to the Stable. It clearly deserved it’s seven Oscar nominations.
Cast of characters in Come to the Stable
- Sister Margaret (Loretta Young, The Stranger). Originally from America, she’s been serving overseas during World War II. She pleads with an American General to not bomb the children’s hospital she’s serving in. Even though the Nazis are using it as an observation post. He agrees, at the cost of American lives. And she vows to God to build a children’s hospital in America.
- Sister Scholastica (Celeste Holm, All About Eve). Margaret’s friend and companion, who is fluent in French, and less so in English. Together, they have total faith in God to provide what they need, when they need it. There’s a wonderful scene later in the movie, where they need $500 to pay their mortgage. And they don’t have it. So Scholastica volunteers to help win a tennis match. In her nun habit. And nearly does so – having been on an Olympic team in her “previous life”.
- Bob Mason (Hugh Marlowe, Earth vs. The Flying Saucers). A young, successful composer, who first meets the sisters while walking his dog early one morning. At first, he’s quite helpful – even when they keep rousing him from sleep. But his doesn’t want his idyllic home to be disturbed by a hospital, and changes his tune. Until he finds out that the nuns were stationed in Normandy, where he served.
- Miss Potts (Elsa Lanchester, Bride of Frankenstein). A very nice, sweet artist, who rents her house from Bob. And after the nuns learn of her little town of Bethlehem, from a postcard made from one of her paintings, she invites them to stay. And then eleven more nuns arrive … A very good performance, by a very good actress.
- Luigi Rossi (Thomas Gomez, Key Largo). The man who initially owns the land where the nuns want to build their hospital. He turns out to be a gangster, gambler, and more. Who doesn’t intend to donate the land. Until, at the end of the conversation, when they find out that he’s a widower – whose son died in World War II, near where they were stationed. And he agrees to donate it – on the condition that one of the hospital’s stained glass windows bears the name of his son. A very good performance.
- Anthony James (Dooley Wilson, Casablanca). Bob’s right-hand man who first meets the sisters by offering them a ride into town. And regrets letting Sister Margaret drive. But over time, despite not being Catholic, he becomes an advocate for them.