Aug 24, 2009
Wise Girl

Miriam Hopkins, shown above, plays a rich girl who is trying to get custody of her nieces from an artist, played by a very young Ray Milland.

We get the usual raffish crowd of bohemians who inhabit Greenwich village, and the usual anti-establishment artistic type in Ray Milland’s artist. Interestingly, he is home-schooling the children, who seem to be smarter than their adult inquisitors, in an era when home-schooling was not as popular as it is today. The criticism of public education voiced in the film was valid then, and is valid today.

Prior to looking Miriam Hopkins up on IMDB I thought I’d never seen her in anything before. I was wrong. Back in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s David Susskind did a program called The Play of the Week. She appeared with Dane Clark in an adaptation of Sartre’s No Exit. I think that it was that show that got me reading the French Existentialists as a teen. (Okay, I’ve admitted to being bookish. I spent a lot of time reading when I was a teenager.)

The film is enjoyable froth, but is not available on DVD, so you’ll have to wait for it to show again on TCM.