No Sad Songs for Me

In her last film, Margaret Sullavan plays a housewife diagnosed as suffering from terminal cancer. Keeping the news from her husband (Corey), at first because she is panicky, later because he is at a crucial stage in his career as a surveyor, she gradually starts putting her house in order: teaching her small daughter (Wood) to be self-reliant, and befriending her husband's assistant (Lindfors) - whom he has hovered on the brink of falling in love with while working together - in the hope that the gap she leaves behind will soon be filled. Despite the soapy scenario, and a cosmetic illness that allows Sullavan to fade out as gracefully as the Lady of the Camellias, this is a much better film than it sounds. Howard Koch's script is a miracle of delicacy, psychological insight and quiet humour; the performances are superb; and Maté's precise, perfectly controlled direction obstinately refuses to indulge any slush.

By: TM

Release details

Duration: 89 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Rudolph Maté
Screenwriter: Howard Koch
Cast: Margaret Sullavan
Wendell Corey
Viveca Lindfors
Natalie Wood
John McIntire
Ann Doran
Richard Quine
Jeanette Nolan
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