Kitty Foyle

Kitty Foyle

The Natural History of A Woman

DVD - 2013
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Kitty, a working-class girl, endures the rejection of Philadelphia society, makes her own way as a single woman, and ultimately chooses between an unmarried arrangement with Main Line scion Wynnewood Strafford VI or marriage to a struggling physician.


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May 07, 2017

Kitty Foyle was made at a time when Ginger Rogers was transforming her image from wised-up, working class gal to right wing cutsie boots. As such, it is tough for a 21st century audience to love this soap opera about a poor Irish girl torn between two frankly boring but upwardly mobile men. It does deal with controversial themes for its time, and IMO that is why Rogers won a Best Actress Oscar for it (against Joan Fontaine, Katherine Hepburn and Bette Davis, at the peak of their careers!) But that's the case for Oscar bait-y films, before and since. And it has dialogue by Dalton Trumbo, no less, when he was still able to sign his own name on scripts.

Feb 01, 2017

Even though it was extensively sanitized by the Hay’s Office, this screen adaptation of Christopher Morley’s racy novel, penned by the great Dalton Trumbo, is still entertaining and a curious example of Hollywood’s reaction to nascent feminism. With Trumbo’s eloquent script, Roger’s offhand naturalism, and director Sam Wood’s keen sense of time and space (a swirling snow globe divides the film into discreet chapters while providing an apt metaphor) what could have been a soapy chick flick turns into something quite compelling. Although the sex and a few other unmentionables were toned way down, or else deleted entirely, this is still a brave film for 1940 featuring a strong female lead and men who are somehow incomplete: while one lacks moral resolve, the other covers his insecurities with male bravado. Skirting issues of class distinction, sexual politics, and even a bit of racism (“I’m free, white, and twenty-one…”, states a newly unemployed Kitty in an effort to assuage her boyfriend's concerns) "Kitty Foyle" bravely goes where very few previous films dared, and considering when it was made it still manages to hold its own.


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