6.7/10
271
15 user 3 critic

Happy Land (1943)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 10 November 1943 (USA)
In a typical American Midwestern city, Hartfield, Iowa, Lew Marsh (Don Ameche) is the owner of a drugstore. Everyone knows Lew and knew his grandfather, old "Gramp" Marsh (Harry Carey), who... See full summary »

Director:

Irving Pichel

Writers:

Kathryn Scola (screenplay), Julien Josephson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Credited cast:
Don Ameche ... Lew Marsh
Frances Dee ... Agnes Marsh
Harry Carey ... Gramp
Ann Rutherford ... Lenore Prentiss
Cara Williams ... Gretchen Barry
Richard Crane ... Russell 'Rusty' Marsh
Harry Morgan ... Anton 'Tony' Cavrek (as Henry Morgan)
Minor Watson ... Judge Colvin
Dickie Moore ... Peter Orcutt
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
June Preston June Preston ... Mrs. Prentiss daughter
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Storyline

In a typical American Midwestern city, Hartfield, Iowa, Lew Marsh (Don Ameche) is the owner of a drugstore. Everyone knows Lew and knew his grandfather, old "Gramp" Marsh (Harry Carey), who had passed on. One evening, Lew and his wife, Agnes (Frances Dee), reminisce lovingly about their son, "Rusty" (Richard Crane), when a telegram arrives from the Navy Department informing them that "Rusty" had been killed in action. Lew becomes bitter, avoids people, refuses to go near the family drugstore. "Gramp" appears before Lew and takes him in hand and together, they revisit the past: Lew's childhood; "Gramp" as a Civil War veteran; Lew's courtship of Agnes; the birth of "Rusty"; Lew as a WWI soldier; Rusty's boyhood days and into his attempt to decide between Lenore Prentiss and Gretchen Barry, and how Lenore becomes his girl just before he joins the Navy. This excursion into the past takes away Lew's bitterness and he now sees what America means. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Filho Querido See more »

Filming Locations:

Healdsburg, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on April 10, 1944 with Don Ameche and Frances Dee reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

Right before Rusty's shipmate, Tony, arrives at Mr. Marsh's Pharmacy, it is near closing time, and dark outside. When Mr. Marsh takes Tony home to meet Mrs. Marsh, she says she was just getting ready to fix lunch, although it is night time. See more »

Quotes

Gramp: You know, Lew, that's one thing God intended in America forever - kids have got to play Indian. Bows and arrows, war clubs, Daniel Boone, Sittin' Bull... nobody must be allowed to make them stop.
See more »


Soundtracks

Smiles
(uncredited)
Music by Lee S. Roberts
Played when Lew goes back to the shop to work
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lew Marsh gets a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past...I mean, his father.
3 August 2016 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

When Randy Marsh is killed in action during WWII, his father, Lew (Don Ameche), takes it very hard. He is depressed and wonders if the loss was worth it. Fortunately, God takes pity on him and sends Lew's dead father (Harry Carey) back to help him through the death. Magically, dead dad transforms Lew back in time and they view Lew's life as well as Randy as he grows to manhood. It's all very nostalgic as well as highly reminiscent of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"--and that is a fundamental weakness of the film. It IS derivative and it also puts forth a strange message that the boy's death wasn't so bad after all. Clearly the film was intended as propaganda in order to try to get the public to accept the necessity of their sons' deaths fighting the Axis powers. Fortunately, following this weird ghostly meeting, the film works very well when one of Randy's pals (Harry Morgan) arrives to visit with the Marsh family. Overall, while I wasn't thrilled by the style of the film (i.e., the ghost story element), the film worked very well because of the great acting and the lovely way the film was directed. Worth seeing even if by today's standards it's a bit old fashioned.


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