6.7/10
288
8 user 4 critic

The War Against Mrs. Hadley (1942)

A Washington official courts a society matron who is trying to ignore the effects of World War II.

Director:

Harold S. Bucquet

Writer:

George Oppenheimer (original screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Arnold ... Elliott Fulton
Fay Bainter ... Stella Hadley
Richard Ney ... Theodore Hadley
Jean Rogers ... Patricia Hadley
Sara Allgood ... Mrs. Michael Fitzpatrick
Spring Byington ... Cecilia Talbot
Van Johnson ... Michael Fitzpatrick
Isobel Elsom ... Mrs. Laura Winters
Frances Rafferty ... Sally
Dorothy Morris ... Millie
Halliwell Hobbes ... Bennett
Connie Gilchrist ... Cook
Stephen McNally ... Peters (as Horace McNally)
Miles Mander ... Dr. Leonard V. Meecham
Rags Ragland ... Louie (as 'Rags' Ragland)
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Storyline

A Washington official courts a society matron who is trying to ignore the effects of World War II.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 March 1943 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Aço da Mesma Têmpera See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$307,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

MGM arranged that the world premier at the Lowe's Capitol Theatre in Washington, DC in September, 1942 would be a War Bond drive, with better seats going to those that bought more bonds. The effort raised $1,822,675 ($27.24M in 2017). See more »

Goofs

When Mrs. Hadley, Mr. Fulton and Mrs. Fitzgerald leave at the end, they walk out of the house (closing the door behind them) twice. See more »

Quotes

Cecilia Talbot: [to Stella] I just wanted to know what stand I should take about cherry trees. They're so decorative - but they are Japanese.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Personalities (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64
(1888) (uncredited)
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Played during the opening credits
Hummed a bit by Spring Byington
Second movement played extensively on the radio
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An All-star Cast of Character Actors
1 January 2005 | by HandlinghandelSee all my reviews

This begins in an elegant manner and is a serious film. It has a fantastic cast, almost entirely made up of character actors. Edward Arnold could be the only one ho ever starred in A pictures, though Fay Bainter, in the title role here, could have been said to also.

Bainter's character lives in a bubble. She's a rich widow in Washington, DC, who refuses to pay attention to the sounds of W.W.II, right up through Pearl Harbor. Her daughter (Jean Rogers, not quite believable as a child of privilege) meets a military man, the young Van Johnson. Her alcoholic son is sent off to war by influential Arnold, rather than disgrace Bainter, whom he loves.

Etc.

It works well, even to the end, though it becomes less plausible as it moves toward its resolution. Would patrician Bainter/Hadley really embrace the working class mother-in-law of her daughter to such a degree? Seems unlikely.

There are strange overtones of homosexuality in this movie. At its start we see a bouquet being delivered to Bainter. It evolves that the woman who cuts her hair sent it. Everyone wonders why. Her friend Spring Byington says, "Maybe she's musical!" and all laugh. My understanding from older friends is that this was a code for gay/lesbian in the 1940s.

This could be my imagination, but the bouquet is never explained and w never again hear about, let alone see, the hair stylist.

Regardless, it's an elegant movie that, with a bigger budget, could have been a very fine one.


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