Very Thought of You, The (1944): Delmer Daves’ Romantic War Drama, Starring Eleanor Parker and Dennis Morgan

From Our Vaults:

Delmer Daves directed The Very Thought of You, a romantic war drama, starring Dennis Morgan, Eleanor Parker and Dane Clark.

The screenplay concerns an American soldier on a short leave during World War II who falls in love with and marries a woman.

Away for a year and a half serving their country, Army Sergeants Dave (Dennis Morgan) and “Fixit” (Dane Clark) spend a three-day pass in Pasadena, also visiting Dave’s alma mater, Caltech.

They meet two women who work in a parachute factory. Cora (Faye Emerson) quickly catches Fixit’s eye, while Janet (Eleanor Parker) remembers Dave from school days.

Upon realizing that Dave has no family nearby, Janet invites him home for Thanksgiving dinner, but her family does not treat him kindly. Janet’s mother does not approve of getting involved with a military man who’s away all the time.

Janet is contrasted with her sister Molly (Andrea King), who is married to a sailor but seeing other men behind his back. Janet’s brother, classified 4-F, is rude to Dave as well. Only her father and younger sister Ellie make him feel welcome.

Ellie notices the attraction between Janet and Dave and secretly arranges a date on Thanksgiving morning between Dave and Janet.

Dave must report for duty in San Diego, but deep in love, he marries Janet, enjoying a brief honeymoon. Molly disapproves and intercepts Dave’s letters to Janet, leading to Janet’s decision to move out and live in Cora’s apartment.

She and Dave (with Fixit’s help) have a quick rendezvous in San Diego, sleeping on a beach, because all the hotels and trailer parks are full. Shortly after this, Janet learns she’s pregnant, which leads to more acrimony between her and Molly.

When news comes that Dave and Fixit have been wounded, Janet’s entire family finally relents. Molly begs husband Fred (William Prince) for forgiveness and they reconcile.

The movie ends on a happy note: Months later, Dave finally returns to rejoin his wife and meet their new baby boy.

Dealing with a timely issue, and released during the war, the film was a commercial success, earning $1,933,000 domestically and $581,000 in foreign countries.

The Very Thought of You
The Very Thought of You (film).jpg

Dennis Morgan as Sergeant David Stewart
Eleanor Parker as Janet Wheeler
Dane Clark as Sergeant “Fixit” Gilman
Faye Emerson as Cora Colton
Beulah Bondi as Harriet Wheeler
Henry Travers as Pop Wheeler
William Prince as Fred
Andrea King as Molly Wheeler
John Alvin as Cal Wheeler
Marianne O’Brien as Bernice
Georgia Lee Settle as Ellie Wheeler
Richard Erdman as Soda Jerk


Directed by Delmer Daves
Screenplay by Alvah Bessie, Delmer Daves, based on an original story by Lionel Wiggam
Produced by Jerry Wald
Cinematography Bert Glennon
Edited by Alan Crosland Jr.
Music by Franz Waxman
Distributed by Warner Bros.

Release date: October 20, 1944

Running time: 99 minutes
Budget $408,000
Box office $2,514,000