Jul 12, 2009
Kitty Foyle

This is another film written by Dalton Trumbo. I had harsh words to say about Trumbo in an earlier post. Trumbo had a novel by Christopher Morley as source material. Kitty is a middle class girl who falls in love with a rich guy, and finds that the class division drives them apart. She then falls in love with a NYC doctor. There is one scene where the doctor looks at a poor kid in the subway, and expresses standard liberal sentiment about helping the poor. If someone wants to help the poor, that’s fine, but don’t make your compassion an excuse for taking my money. I have a problem with the idea that it’s inherently more virtuous to work among the poor than it is to work among the middle class or the rich. The doctor makes a comment about Park Avenue neurotics. The same belief was in I Take This Woman. Middle class and rich people get hypertension, diabetes, and cancer, just like poor people, and they die just like poor people. The capitalist ethic, and yes there is one, says that you treat all patients. Ethics and religion may suggest that you charge based on ability to pay, or types of service, but the capitalist ethic was best expressed by the undertaker in The Magnificent Seven, that every man is just a potential future customer.

Fortunately, aside from the underlying theme of class differences, which the film is not strident about, there is less Marxism than in some of Trumbo’s other films.