Ever in My Heart
|Ever in My Heart|
theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Archie Mayo|
|Produced by||Hal B. Wallis|
|Screenplay by||Bertram Millhauser|
|Music by||Bernard Kaun|
|Cinematography||Arthur L. Todd|
|Edited by||Owen Marks|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
In 1909 in Archedale, Mary Archer (Barbara Stanwyck), an American girl from the prominent Archer family, meets Hugo Wilbrandt (Otto Kruger), a German chemist who knows her childhood friend, Jeff (Ralph Bellamy). It had been assumed for years that Mary and Jeff would eventually get married, but Mary falls in love with Hugo and he with her. They soon marry and start a family.
Hugo enthustically adopts his new country and becomes an American citizen on the eve of World War I. Allied propaganda soon promotes anti-German sentiment which eventually costs Hugo his University professorship. Hard times fall on the family and the Wilbrandt's young son Teddy (Ronnie Cosby) dies. Hugo convinces Mary to return to her parents home with a promise that he'll soon follow. Hugo later sends Mary a letter stating that although he is a citizen, he is not being accepted as an American. He ends the letter saying that he is sailing to fight for his people. Mary is devastated and divorces Hugo.
Mary volunteers her time in a USO-like organization supporting the American war effort. Mary goes to France where she meets two new arrivals, Martha Sewell (Nella Walker) and Serena Honeywell (Virginia Howell), who are petrified that they will be taken prisoner and ravished by the Germans. Martha even brings along a pistol for protection and poison pills to take if she is captured. Mary quickly confiscates them. The American Army is just about to kick off their Meuse-Argonne Offensive but there are rumors of a German spy who is collecting information. In a canteen, Mary recognizes Hugo dressed in a US Army uniform and urges him to escape because she realizes she still loves him. Hugo leaves just as Jeff arrives looking for the spy. Knowing that Jeff would immediately recognize Hugo, Mary diverts Jeff's attention long enough for Hugo to get away.
Upon returning to her room, Mary finds Hugo there and they share a night together. As Hugo prepares to leave, Mary is torn between her love for Hugo and her duty to protect the lives of hundreds of American soldiers. She asks Hugo to delay his departure until dawn and to have a glass of wine with her before he goes. Mary prepares two glasses of wine but secretly drops poison pills in each. They toast their love for each other while the troops march off outside.
Star Barbara Stanwyck did not look back with favor on the five films she made under contract to Warner Bros., which were generally referred to as "women's programmers" or "weepers", although it has been noted that "[s]ome of Stanwyck's finest performances come from [those] early pictures."
Beulah Marie Dix, who co-wrote the story Ever in My Heart was based on, and whose career as a screenwriter bridged the silent and sound eras, founded the screenplay department of the Famous Players-Lasky studio with Cecil B. DeMille's brother William DeMille.