My Reputation (1946): Curtis Bernhard’s Melodrama, Starring Stanwyck as Young Widow in Love

my reputation stanwyck 1German born director Curtis Bernhard made this melodrama starring Barbara Stanwyck as a young widow, 33, and mother of two, struggling to rebuild her life after the recent death of her husband.

Living in a small town, she becomes the victim of rumors and gossip. With her sons away at school, Jessica Drummond is lonely, but she is uninterested in the potential suitors her mother, Mrs. Kimball (Lucile Watson), chooses for her.

Jessica joins her close friend Ginna Abbott (Eve Arden) on a skiing trip and meets Maj. Scott Landis (George Brent), a handsome man who is attracted to her.

Jessica makes it clear that she has no interest in a short-term fling, and upon returning home, she meets Frank Everett (Warner Anderson), a gentle but boring man whom she begins dating. Frank is willing to marry Jessica, but by chance she meets Scott again.

my reputation stanwyck 2While she’s not willing to be seduced by him, she finds him more exciting and alluring than Frank.

However, as Jessica debates the merits of passion vs. security, she becomes the subject of mean-spirited gossipmongers who speculate that her relationship with Scott is inappropriately intimate for a new widow.

My Reputation was shot in 1944, but it wasn’t released until 1946, as the studio believed that it would be better received after the end of WWII.