Since You Went Away (1944) - Rotten Tomatoes

Since You Went Away (1944)

Since You Went Away (1944)

Since You Went Away




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

David O. Selznick's first production since 1940's Rebecca, Since You Went Away, based on Margaret Buell Wilder's bestselling novel, is a long but rewarding paean to the World War 2 "home front". Claudette Colbert plays the wife of a businessman who, though well past draft age, volunteered to serve his country as an officer (though the husband is never seen, he is "played"-via a photograph-by Neil Hamilton). Fighting back her own fears and anxieties, Colbert does her best to maintain a normal, stable household for the sake of her growing daughters Jennifer Jones and Shirley Temple. She is offered moral support by cynical-but-kindly boarder Monty Woolley, by maid Hattie McDaniel (who willing foregoes her salary "for the duration") and by Navy man and friend-of-the-family Joseph Cotten, whose relationship with Claudette remains staunchly platonic. The harsh realities of war hit home several times throughout the film, first when it seems as though Colbert's husband is missing in action, and later when Jennifer's young boyfriend, GI Robert Walker, is killed in combat. From the vantage point of the 1990s, it is easy to see why Since You Went Away scored with its wartime audiences. Though the leading characters are slightly more financially secure than most of the moviegoers of 1944, the various vignettes presented throughout-complaints about rationing and priorities, shoulder-to-shoulder sacrifices, the weekly escape to the local movie house, tender partings, joyous reunions, the returning wounded, the dreaded wire from the war department-all had the ring of truth and topicality. Even today, the film's emotional highlights, particularly the much-imitated farewell scene at the railroad station, are sufficient to bring tears to the eyes of the most jaded viewer. Enhancing the film's heartstring tugging tenfold is Max Steiner's Oscar-winning musical score. If you can remain objective while watching Since You Went Away (it isn't easy), see if you can spot Ruth Roman, Guy Madison and John Derek, making their screen debuts in microscopic rolesmore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: David O. Selznick
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 19, 2004
United Artists


Claudette Colbert
as Anne Hilton
Shirley Temple
as Bridget Hilton
Joseph Cotten
as Lt. Anthony Willett
Monty Woolley
as Col. Smollett
Robert Walker
as Cpl. William G. Smol...
Hattie McDaniel
as Emily Hawkin
Agnes Moorehead
as Emily Hawkin
Craig Stevens
as Danny Williams
Guy Madison
as Harold Smith
Gordon Oliver
as Marine officer
Keenan Wynn
as Lt. Solomon
Albert Basserman
as Dr. Sigmund Gottlieb...
Alla Nazimova
as Zosia Koslowska
Lloyd Corrigan
as Mr. Mahoney
Jackie Moran
as Marine Officer
Jane Devlin
as Gladys Brown
Ann Gillis
as Becky Anderson
Byron Foulger
as Principal
Edwin Maxwell
as Businessman
Florence Bates
as Hungry Woman
Doodles Weaver
as Convalescent
Warren Hymer
as Convalescent
Jonathan Hale
as Conductor
Eilene Janssen
as Sergeant's Child
Ruth Roman
as Envious Girl
Andrew V. McLaglen
as Former Plowboy
Jill Warren
as Waitress
Terry Moore
as Refugee child
Bobby Johnson
as Black Officer
Dorothy Dandridge
as Black Officer's Wife
Irving Bacon
as Bartender
Addison Richards
as Maj. Atkins
Harry Hayden
as Conductor
Jimmy Clemons
as Boy Caroler
Charles Williams
as Man in Cocktail Loun...
Neil Hart
as Minor Role
Robert Anderson
as Patron at Bar
Shelby Bacon
as Black Couple's Son
Aileen Pringle
as Woman at Cocktail Lo...
Wallis Clark
as Man at Cocktail Loun...
Rob Johnson
as Black Officer
James Carlisle
as Sugar's Officer Frie...
Leo Mostovoy
as Headwaiter at Steak ...
Joyce Horn
as Swenson's Girl Frien...
John A. James
as Friendly Sergeant at...
Mary Anne Durkin
as Frightened Girl at D...
Richard C. Wood
as Man in Cocktail Loun...
Ruth Valmy
as Tony's Friend
Grady Sutton
as Soldier Hunting for ...
Buddy Gorman
as Short Private on Dan...
Tom Dawson
as Tough Bronx Soldier
George Lloyd
as Motorcycle Policeman
Russell Hoyt
as One-Armed Sailor
Loudie Claar
as Young Mother
Conrad Binyon
as Page Boy
Jimmie Dodd
as Train Passenger
Christopher Adams
as Train Passenger
Martha Outlaw
as Train Passenger
Verna Knopf
as Train Passenger
Robert Cherry
as Train Passenger
Kirk Barron
as Minor Role
Earl Jacobs
as One-Armed Boy
Cecil Ballerino
as Patient at Potters W...
Jack Gardner
as Patient in Wheelchai...
James Westerfield
as Convalescent on Reha...
Ralph Reed
as Convalescent
Neil Hamilton
as Tim Hilton - photogr...
Paul Esberg
as Convalescent
Dorothy Mann
as Marine's Girl Friend
Peggy Maley
as Marine's Second Girl...
Eddie Hall
as Eager Sailor
Warren Barr
as Minor Role
Betsy Howard
as Friend of Envious Gi...
Terry Revell
as Foreman
Steve Wayne
as Bearded Sailor
Walter S. Baldwin
as Train Station Gatema...
Marilyn Hare
as Merchant Marine's Wi...
Eric Sinclair
as Voice in Convalescen...
Lela Bliss
as Gabby Woman on Telep...
Harlan Miller
as Military Policeman
Mrs. Roy Feldman
as Soldier's Grandmothe...
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News & Interviews for Since You Went Away

Critic Reviews for Since You Went Away

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | July 23, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Colbert is too good, and the script (though bloated) too full of lovely details about small town American life in the '40s to reject it outright.

Full Review… | June 17, 2014
Antagony & Ecstasy

In a vital period of film history, war films ran the gamut of topics, none more fascinating or heart-wrenching as those of the lives of the people left behind at home.

Full Review… | December 15, 2013
Cinema Sight

Audience Reviews for Since You Went Away


Selnick's slick paean to an idealized life at the homefront while Dad's away fighting the war shows an upper middle class family "roughing it" through. American propaganda, sure, but well done nonetheless, with the cast delivering on all counts. The music score, indeed the film itself, includes healthy doses of "I'll Be Home For Christmas" which was popular during filming. A dog steals the film though with comic bits leavening the drama throughout.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Nice 40's drama reflecting the "war at home" during the height of WWII. Superb performances from Claudette Colbert and Lionel Barrymore. The knock on this one is it's length (three hours!) and it's occasionally forced sentimentality.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

long and at times a little heavy on the corn but also very touching with beautiful cinematography and fine performances.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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