Trouble Along the Way

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Trouble Along the Way
TroubleAlongtheWay.jpg
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Produced by Melville Shavelson
Written by Robert Hardy Andrews (story)
Douglas Morrow (story)
Jack Rose
Melvill Shavelson
James Edward Grant (uncredited)
Starring John Wayne
Donna Reed
Charles Coburn
Music by Max Steiner
Cinematography Archie Stout
Edited by Owen Marks
Distributed by Warner Brothers
Release dates
  • April 4, 1953 (1953-04-04)
Running time 110 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $2.45 million (US)[1]

Trouble Along the Way is a 1953 film starring John Wayne and Donna Reed, with a supporting cast including Charles Coburn and Marie Windsor. The movie was directed by Michael Curtiz, director of Casablanca. The black-and-white comedy was released by Warner Bros. with an aspect ratio of 1.37:1.

Synopsis[edit]

Small, obscure St. Anthony’s college, run by the Catholic church, is in financial straits and about to be closed. To save it, and himself from forced retirement, elderly rector Father Burke (Charles Coburn) hires a down and out former big time football coach, Steve Williams (John Wayne), in hopes of building a lucrative sports program. First turning down the job, Williams accepts it when he learns that his former wife, Anne (Marie Windsor), now remarried, complained to Social Services that he is an unfit father and she plans to sue for custody of his 11 year old daughter, Carole (Sherry Jackson). Anne’s actual aim is not to gain custody of Carole, in whom she has no interest, but rather to pressure Steve into rekindling an affair with her. Social Services worker Alice Singleton (Donna Reed), coldly prejudiced against Steve, is preparing a report in Anne’s favor. Steve, in the meanwhile, attempts to charm Alice and win her over. Desperate to have the football program pay off, Father Burke uses his church connections to schedule St. Anthony’s against high profile Catholic colleges--Villanova, Notre Dame, etc.--in the upcoming season. Faced with small, weak players, Steve, unbeknownst to Father Burke, uses chicanery to enroll beefy star athletes as freshmen, giving St. Anthony’s a winning team. Father Burke subsequently learns of Steve’s dishonest methods and, after chiding him, disbands the sports program, thereby causing St. Anthony’s to be closed. But Burke is at peace with this, since the students would be taken care of elsewhere and he realized his motive for keeping the college open had been self-serving, to evade retirement. Alice submits a report unfavorable to Steve, but subsequently, in her testimony in the court custody hearing, recants it after having recognized her bias, and that she is falling in love with Steve. The judge nonetheless removes Carole from Steve’s custody, putting her in the State's care, until matters can be sorted out. The film ends with Carole, accompanied by Alice, walking away from Steve, but with the implied understanding that Steve and Alice would later marry and the three would be together as a family.

Cast[edit]

James Dean appears as an uncredited extra in the film, during a scene in the college chapel.

Production[edit]

Portions of the film were shot at Pomona College, and various Los Angeles high schools, including Loyola. Max Steiner provided the music.[2]

Reception[edit]

The New York Times gave it a favorable review, citing "spirited and contemporary" dialogue.[3]

Saying that Wayne was "completely at home" in the role, Variety also found the lines, "a principal factor" in carrying the film.[2] Craig Butler found the film predictable yet heart warming.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]