Never Fear (1949)

Never Fear (AKA “Young Lovers”) Never_Fear_AKA_The_Young_Lovers-805714047-large
Directed by Ida Lupino
Written by Ida Lupino and Collier Young
1949/USA
The Filmmakers
First viewing/Amazon Prime

 

When I was about 9, I had polio, and people were very frightened for their children, so you tended to be isolated. I was paralyzed for a while, so I watched television. — Francis Ford Coppola

Ida Lupino makes a nice solid little picture her first time in the director’s chair.

Carol Williams (Sally Forrest) and Guy Richards (Keefe Brasselle) are an aspiring dance duo and madly in love.  Their nightclub act looks ready to make the big time so he proposes. Just when their act is booked and bringing in enough money to afford an engagement ring, she develops a fever.  It’s polio.  She is looking at months of rehabilitation.

the-young-lovers-never-fear

Carol spends much of her time in the hospital feeling sorry for herself, crying, and depressing all the other patients.  She finally picks up and starts to work on learning to walk again but it’s going much too slow for her taste.  She keeps picking fights with Guy, who has gotten himself a job selling real estate rather than looking for another partner.

Just as Carol is released, now walking with a cane, Guy finally gives up and starts another partnership and act.  Carol tries to start a spark with another patient who has been kind to her but it’s no go.  Is she going to have any support in starting over again?

young lovers

I thought this was a sensitive look at the courage it takes to overcome a disability and the emotional obstacles patients face.  It’s nothing great, about on the level of a good Lifetime movie, but very watchable.  Apparently Lupino made an uncredited contribution to the screenplay.

Clip – Guy looks for a little TLC

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