The Gift of Love
|The Gift of Love|
|Directed by||Jean Negulesco|
|Produced by||Charles Brackett|
|Written by||Luther Davis|
|Based on||The Little Horse
1944 Good Housekeeping
by Nelia Gardner White
|Music by||Cyril J. Mockridge
|Cinematography||Milton R. Krasner|
|Edited by||Hugh S. Fowler|
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century-Fox|
|February 11, 1958|
The film's screenplay was based on the short story "The Little Horse" by Nelia Gardner White, originally published in a 1944 issue of Good Housekeeping, and previously made into the film Sentimental Journey (1946), with John Payne and Maureen O'Hara.
A brilliant scientist, Bill Beck (Stack), ends up happily married to Julie (Lauren Bacall), his doctor's receptionist. Five years after their wedding, the same doctor treats Julie for a heart condition that she decides to keep secret from her husband, who is doing serious work as a physicist developing guided missiles.
Not wishing him to be left alone if she dies, Julie suggests they adopt a child. An orphan called Hitty (Evelyn Rudie) has been rejected many times, but Julie takes a shine to her. Bill, a pragmatist, does not understand the little girl's fantasy world, and he is angered when Hitty, meaning well, erases a chalkboard, wiping out hours of Bill's hard work.
Bill's superior at work, Grant Allan (Lorne Greene), urges him to give the girl more patience and time, but the Becks believe it could be best that Hitty be returned to the orphanage. Julie's heart gives out. After her death, Hitty tries to win over her heartbroken foster father, but Bill is inconsolable.
Hitty is returned to the orphanage. She goes missing one night and is caught in a storm. Bill and Grant hurry there to assist in a search, and when they find Hitty and save her, Bill realizes he never wants to be apart from her again.
- Lauren Bacall as Julie Beck
- Robert Stack as William "Bill" Beck
- Evelyn Rudie as Hitty
- Lorne Greene as Grant Allan
- Anne Seymour as Miss McMasters
- Edward Platt as Dr. Jim Miller
- Joseph Kearns as Mr. Rynicker
- Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p251