Appellate Judge James A. Stewart wants to know if any of those post-World War II trailers are still around.
"My hopes are your hopes now, Peggy."
The GI Bill sent a lot of soldiers to school after World War II ended. The cramped campus trailer that Peggy (Jeanne Crain, Belles on their Toes) and Jason (William Holden, The Moon is Blue), the young married couple in Apartment for Peggy, share at the start of the movie probably was typical. Even as Faith Baldwin's melodrama unfolds on the scene, glimpses of the actual financial and everyday concerns of the returning soldiers in the classroom pop up, adding a touch of reality to the story.
The story begins when Peggy, who has a baby on the way, meets a retired philosophy professor, Dr. Henry Barnes (Edmund Gwenn, Miracle on 34th Street), who's preparing to end it all. He's even set a date: March 1st. Soon, a friend of Barnes sends Peggy to the prof's house to check out his unfurnished but cluttered attic. He's reluctant—or would be, if Peggy could stop talking long enough to hear "no" as his answer.
At first, the couple's presence is annoying to Barnes; immediately, they cause a power outage at his home. Soon, though, he's impressed with what they've done with his attic, and starting to become accustomed to having people in the house.
Edmund Gwenn lets viewers into Barnes' sad world; he's widowed, and he lost his son in the war, too. You'll feel his sadness through his expression and voice as he recalls his late wife. There's also another side to Barnes, which comes out when Peggy ropes him into giving a lecture for war wives; he's an engaging and dedicated teacher. He also bonds with Jason as they build a crib for Peggy's baby.
Jeanne Crain makes a good Peggy, always playing what she calls "mental leapfrog," all the while showing a keen mind and good heart. William Holden doesn't do badly, but his role as Jason is a bit on the cardboard side.
The 1.33:1 standard def black-and-white transfer doesn't exhibit have major flaws, nor does the Dolby 2.0 Mono track. Just keep in mind this is another Fox made-on-demand DVD, so it might not work on recordable players. There are no subtitles or bonus features.
Apartment for Peggy is often a cliched predictable melodrama, but some good performances give it the quality of a fine A Christmas Carol retelling.
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