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Close to My Heart

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Close to My Heart
Directed byWilliam Keighley
Screenplay byJames R. Webb
Based onBaby for Midge
1950 story in Good Housekeeping
by James R. Webb
Produced byWilliam Jacobs
StarringGene Tierney
Ray Milland
CinematographyRobert Burks
Edited byClarence Kolster
Music byMax Steiner
Warner Bros.
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • October 1951 (1951-10)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States

Close to My Heart is a 1951 American drama film directed by William Keighley, written by James R. Webb (based on his novel A Baby for Midge), and starring Ray Milland and Gene Tierney.[1][2]

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Brad Sheridan (Milland), a newspaper columnist, and wife, Midge Sheridan (Tierney), cannot have children of their own; and, they decide to adopt. The adoption agency tells Midge the waiting list is long; however, Midge learns of an abandoned child left at the police station. The police tell Midge the child, a boy named Danny, is a ward of the juvenile court. Brad and Midge visit the child under the ruse of Midge being Brad's secretary. Brad thinks their chances to adopt Danny are slim if the child is placed with the adoption agency because of the long wait. Midge continues to visit Danny and becomes attached. Brad, not wanting to become too emotionally involved, writes a column disclosing the child's abandonment, angering Midge. Mrs. Morrow, from the adoption agency, inspects the Sheridan's home, but warns them that adopting Danny is risky due to the child's un-investigated background. Danny is not wanted by other prospective adoptive parents because he is a "foundling," which clears a path for the Sheridans to adopt him. Brad is told of a well-known local couple's adopted son becoming an adult criminal, with his adoptive parents only then discovering he came from an irreputable background.

Brad's investigation leads him to an apartment and a woman named Arlene who tells Brad that Danny's mother, named Martha, died giving birth at the apartment building. Arlene lied to authorities that the child's father took the baby, and she took the child herself. She gives Brad a ring belonging to Martha. Without Midge's knowledge, Brad begins an investigation of Martha's history. The operator of a boarding house where Martha stayed, gives Brad a sweater that belonged to Martha. Brad tells Midge of his efforts to investigate Danny's background. Mrs. Morrow from the adoption agency warns Midge that Brad should stop his investigation; and, the agency cannot go forward with the adoption unless he does. Meanwhile, Brad discovers Martha was a reputable schoolteacher who was keeping company with a man, named Edward Hewitt, who Brad suspects accompanied Martha to Reno to marry her. Brad directs a photo of Hewitt be published for identification. Mrs. Morrow recognizes Hewitt's photo, informs Midge that Hewitt is incarcerated for murder, and tells her the adoption cannot go forward.

Brad visits Hewitt at San Quentin State Prison. Brad tells Hewitt, whose real name is Everett Heilner, that he has a son and Martha died giving birth. A callous Hewitt says there was no place in his life for a child and tells Brad the boy will "never be a cop." Brad returns home and learns from an embittered Midge the agency took Danny in order to protect Danny from Brad. Brad rushes out to retrieve the child but is stopped by the court's probation officer. Brad convinces Mrs. Morrow to approve the adoption after disclosing Danny's real father, now dead, was actually Heilner's brother according to the prison warden; and, that nurturing a child is more important than the nature of the child's background.



Ray Milland and Gene Tierney were loaned out to star in this Warner Bros.' film.[citation needed]

Gene Tierney was still trying to cope with the personal tragedy of giving birth to a severely disabled daughter.[citation needed]

Radio adaptation

Close to My Heart was presented on Lux Radio Theatre March 2, 1953. The one-hour adaptation starred Milland and Phyllis Thaxter.[3]


  1. ^ Variety film review; October 10, 1951, page 6.
  2. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; October 13, 1951, page 163.
  3. ^ Kirby, Walter (March 1, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 46. Retrieved June 23, 2015 – via open access

External links

This page was last edited on 3 June 2023, at 01:11
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