Claudia (1943): Goulding’s Melodrama, with Dorothy McGuire Reprising Stage Role

Dorothy McGuire recreates her stage role in Claudia, Edmund Goulding’s version of Rose Franken’s 1941 Broadway hit, adapted to the screen by Morrie Riskind.

McGuire plays child bride Claudia Naughton has made life difficult for her husband David (Robert Young) because she can’t stand living far away from her mother.

She’s also afraid her husband doesn’t find her desirable enough. To remedy both situations, she sells their farm to an opera singer so they’ll have to move back to the city near her mother, and she tries to make her husband jealous by flirting with a neighbor.

Eventually, Claudia is forced to mature, when she discovers that she’s about to become a mother and that her own mother is gravely ill.

McGuire is well cast as a woman who begins as a naïve, childish bride, and slowly has to adapt to married life.  It’s sort of a social serio-comedy with a message: Claudia receives lessons regarding household maintenance, dealing with sexual urges, impending childbirth, and death of loved ones.

Among the supporting cast members is stage legend Ina Claire, as the heroine’s witty, sprightly, doomed mother.

Released by Fox  on November 4, 1942, the movie was popular the box-office, touching a nerve with many newly wed wives and young mothers, left alone during WWII.


Running time: 81 minutes.

Directed by Edmund Goulding

Written By: Morrie Ryskind

Camera (b/w): Leon Shamroy

Music: Alfred Newman

Released by 20th Century Fox

Dorothy McGuire as Claudia Naughton
Robert Young as David Naughton
Ina Claire as Mrs. Brown
Reginald Gardiner as Jerry Seymour
Olga Baclanova as Madame Daruschka
Jean Howard as Julia
Frank Tweddell as Fritz
Elsa Janssen as Bertha