Ginger Rogers was very popular, both within the Hollywood community, and with the moviegoing public. With two strong performances in 1940, she took home the Oscar despite strong competition. Rogers perfectly captured the dilema of every American girl who worked for a living. Her portrayel of a young woman having to decide between a young woman's daydream of what love would be like and the real thing is flawless. Sam Wood directed this very entertaining film based on Christopher Morley's popular book.
Ginger is Kitty Foyle, a career girl from Philadelphia who falls for her boss, Wyn Strafford (Dennis Morgan), in what she thinks is everything she's dreamed about all her life. Wood used a snowglobe as a transitional device to Kitty's flashbacks of their romance, just as George Stevens had used a phonograph in Penny Serenade the previous year. Kitty and Wyn are no longer together, their brief marriage ending in divorce when it finally becomes clear to Kitty that her Irish American moxie can not overcome Wyn's old-money family in their Darby Mill--Griscom Street romance.
Kitty has moved on and has a chance for something real with a young but poor doctor portrayed by James Craig. But it is a down to earth and more practical love, and when Wyn suddenly appears to take her away once more, but not as his wife, she must decide which path to choose. As she packs to run away with Wyn, she argues with her conscience and remembers.
Ernest Cossart is very good as Kitty's pop, trying to steer her in the right direction. He may have been born four drinks below par, as Kitty affectionately teases him, but he is wise enough to see Wyn's weak character, which will never allow him to break from his society family and make a real life with his daughter. Kitty will face two tragedies simultaneously in this warm and sentimental story of an American working girl trying to have it all.
Rogers did deserve the Oscar because she is everything in this film. She may have been the only actress around who could have so readily been accepted to represent an entire generation of young women during the 1940's. They viewed her as one of their own, even though the glamour of Hollywood was part of her story as well. She was the American girl made good, and her performance here is flawless.
A fine ending showed not only Kitty's Irish American moxie, but her growth and maturity as well. This is a fine film with a terrific performance from Ginger Rogers that is very much a product of the era it was made. A fine score from Roy Webb adds to this gentle story of letting the dream of love go in favor of the real thing. A must own for Ginger's fans and a good one for film buffs to add to their collection.