Rendezvous with Annie

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Rendezvous with Annie
Allan Dwan, 1946
USA | Format: 35mm | 80 minutes

Corporal Jeffrey Dolan (Eddie Albert), stationed in London with the US Army Air Transport Command during World War II, badly misses his wife Annie (Faye Marlowe), whom he left Stateside. Taking pity, two buddies fly him, AWOL, on their assigned mission to the United States, facilitating a secret, overnight, anniversary visit. At the war’s end, when Jeff returns home legitimately, he is surprised to learn that Annie has just given birth to a new son, raising uncomfortable questions of family honor among the local citizenry. Complications are compounded when Jeff learns that his legal heir is due a large inheritance, raising the question: how will he establish his son’s claim? A comedy of errors ensues, in which Army buddies, a foreign diplomat and nightclub singer “Dolores Starr” (a delightfully droll Gail Patrick) all pull together to put things right.
 
With this charming picture, Allan Dwan, a prolific director since the days of silent film, began a productive period at Republic directing B-pictures. In particular, he evokes an impressive performance from Eddie Albert, as a tender-hearted husband who might otherwise have seemed a mere plot contrivance. Co-screenwriters Mary Loos (niece of screenwriter Anita Loos) and Richard Sale adapted the scenario from their previously-published magazine story, and despite some logical leaps and a surfeit of plot twists, their narrative deals tastefully with its potentially discomfiting theme of marital infidelity and manages some affecting and memorable moments. Released a year after the end of World War II, the film adeptly struck well-worn, sentimental notes about the recent conflict. But with the United States still widely deployed across the globe (especially in light of mounting post- war tensions with the Soviet Union) it can be understood as a caution to servicemen and other Americans to remain vigilant. Tellingly, as Jeff Dolan relates his tale of woe to Dolores, he states, “then the war ended,” to her immediate response, “says you.”
—Shannon Kelly, UCLA Film & Television Archive

Series: UCLA Festival of Preservation

Venue: Walter Reade Theater

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