H.M. Pulham, Esq.
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Sunday, August 7, 2022
A middle-aged, blue-blooded businessman looks back on his life with regret in Vidor’s 1941 drama, an overlooked gem that spans three decades to examine the American soul and interrogate quintessentially American notions of what constitutes success and a life well-led. Bostonian Harry Pulham (Robert Young) has settled into an all-too-predictable, conservative lifestyle alongside his wife, Kay (Ruth Hussey), with whom he shares a passionless marriage. But when Harry is tasked with organizing his 25-year college reunion, it occasions him to reflect on the road he has traveled to get here, starting with a job at a New York ad agency (courtesy of old Harvard buddy Van Heflin), where he falls in love with a more progressive coworker (Hedy Lamarr) who manages to drag the cautious Harry out of his shell.