Movie Diary 1/12/2022

Never Fear (Ida Lupino, 1950). Story about a dancer (Sally Forrest) who contracts polio, and her partner-fiance (Keefe Brasselle) who remains loyal. Brasselle is a real drag on things, but the semi-documentary use of hospitals and polio patients provides some interest. There’s something peering out from the film about an overbearing partner who dominates a relationship – when Forrest is on her sickbed, she talks about her relief at not having to go to rehearsals and work on the dance routine; yes, she has polio, but at least she’s getting a break from her taskmaster/future husband. Lupino had polio herself in her youth. Film debut of Hugh O’Brian, who has a large supporting role as a patient who befriends Forrest in the hospital, a place where doctors routinely light up cigarettes for the patients.

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