Louisa (1940): Alexander Hall’s Family Comedy, Starring Ronald Reagan, Charles Coburn, Ruth Hussey, Edmund Gwenn and Spring Byington

Alexander Hall directed Louisa, a modest family comedy, starring Ronald Reagan, Charles Coburn, Ruth Hussey, Edmund Gwenn and Spring Byington.

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Character actress Spring Byington plays Grandma Louisa, an older widow of ten years, who begins dating grocer Henry Hammond (Edmund Gwenn), much to the disgust of her son Hal (Ronald Reagan) and the rest of the family.  Hal keeps comparing the grocer to his classier father, and he cannot understand his mom’s need for companionship so soon (a whole decade) after his death.

To make matters worse–or more complicated–Hal’s boss, Mr. Burnside (Charles Coburn), also becomes a rival for Louisa’s affections.

Oscar Context

It was nominated for the Best Sound (Leslie I. Carey) Oscar, but did not win.

Ronald Reagan as Hal Norton
Charles Coburn as Abel Burnside
Ruth Hussey as Meg Norton
Edmund Gwenn as Henry Hammond
Spring Byington as Louisa Norton
Piper Laurie as Cathy Norton
Scotty Beckett as Jimmy Blake
Jimmy Hunt as Chris Norton
Connie Gilchrist as Housekeeper Gladys
Willard Waterman as Dick Stewart
Marjorie Crossland as Lil Stewart
Martin Milner as Bob Stewart
Terry Frost as Stacy Walker
Dave Willock as Joe Collins


Directed by Alexander Hall
Produced by Robert Arthur
Screenplay by Stanley Roberts
Music by Frank Skinner
Cinematography Maury Gertsman
Edited by Milton Carruth

Produced and distributed by Universal Pictures

Release date: May 31, 1950

Running time: 90 minutes


TCM showed this movie on July 16, 2020.