Saturday’s Children (1940): Vincent Sherman’s Melodrama, Starring John Garfield and Anne Shirley

Vincent Sherman directed Saturday’s Children, a melodrama starring John Garfield, Anne Shirley, and Claude Rains.

Saturday’s Children

It is a third remake of the Maxwell Anderson play; the previous version was released in 1935 under the title Maybe It’s Love.

Bobby Halevy (Anne Shirley) falls in love with her fellow employee, Rims Rosson (John Garfield), an idealistic dreamer and would-be inventor whose get-rich scheme is going off to Manila to turn hemp into silk.

Their romance flourishes until Bobby is talked into tricking Rims into marriage.

Living poor and on the verge of breaking up, the couple realizes there is more to life than having a lot of money.

Warners originally cast Priscilla Lane in the lead, then Olicia De Havilland, but Garfield used his influence to get the studio to borrow Shirley from RKO.

Julius Epstein thought Garfield’s performance reflected closely his real self. Garfield, usually dissatisfied with being typecast by the studio, was proud of his restrained characterization.

John Garfield as Rims Rosson
Anne Shirley as Bobby Halevy
Claude Rains as Mr. Halevy
Lee Patrick as Florrie Sands
George Tobias as Herbie Smith
Roscoe Karns as Willie Sands
Dennie Moore as Gertrude Mills
Elizabeth Risdon as Mrs. Halevy
Berton Churchill as Mr. Norman

Directed by Vincent Sherman
Produced by Hal B. Wallis
Written by Julius J. Epstein and Philip Epstein, based on Saturday’s Children
1927 play by Maxwell Anderson
Music by Leo F. Forbstein, Adolph Deutsch
Cinematography James Wong Howe
Edited by Owen Marks
Distributed by Warner Bros.

Running time: 103 minutes

TCM showed the movie on Feb 16, 2021.