My Reputation (1946) Poster

(1946)

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7/10
Mourning doesn't become Jessica
jotix10012 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A young widow, in an affluent Chicago suburb, learns right away how much her life is about to change. Jessica Drummond, who has just lost her husband, discovers, early on, what is expected of her. Her mother, Mary Kimball, a society matron, has worn her mourning clothes for quite a long time, something she takes for granted her own daughter will do.

As it's usually the case, some surviving spouses are conveniently dropped from their social circles once their partners have died. Jessica finds out, soon enough, even she becomes an attractive proposition for George Van Orman, one of her closest friends, who wants to take advantage of a vulnerable Jessica. To make matters worse, her two sons go away to boarding school leaving her alone in a large house with not much to do.

That situation changes as Ginna Abbott, a kind friend, invites to join her and her husband for a vacation in California, near Lake Tahoe. Jessica, who is a poor skier, gets stranded as she doesn't know her way back to the Abbotts. When she spots Scott Landis, she asks for help. That meeting proves to be the pivoting point in her life. As a matter of fact, it will also be her downfall, at least in the eyes of her friends back home.

When Maj. Landis gets transferred to Chicago, he meets Jessica by chance. It's clear Jessica has fallen for him, yet, she plays a guarded role, while continuing to see him. Her mother's best friend catches her as she comes to visit Scott, and it's not too soon when Mrs. Kimball learns about it. Her own children get an inkling of what is being rumored about Jessica and Maj. Landis in the worst way. Jessica, who has been planning to go away with Scott, has to think hard about her duty to her sons and her own happiness.

Curtis Bernhardt directed the melodrama which makes for engrossing viewing. It helps that Max Steiner was on board to create the background music, one of the best things in the picture. The camera work of James Wong Howe, a man who knew how to capture it all, created the crisp black and white photography that has kept well even after more than sixty years after it went into production.

Barbara Stanwyck is tremendously appealing as Jessica. She was a consummate professional who made this role one of her best creations. George Brent projected a virile figure in his pictures, and he does a wonderful job to portray Scott Landis as a man torn between what he felt for Jessica and her world. The magnificent Lucile Watson is seen as Mrs. Kimball. Jerome Cowan, Eve Arden, Leona Mariele, play some of the supporting roles with flair.

"My Reputation" was one of Ms. Stanwyck's favorite films. It's clear why she thought so.
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8/10
A grade, m'dear Barbara.
ptb-820 October 2007
This is a terrific film; lushly produced at WB in 1943 and with a performance by Stanwyck that I am still thinking about days later. I am puzzled at some of the negative comments and reviews as I went completely with this film and her performance; not once did I consider it a 'weepie' or felt it was a Crawford or Davis cast off. ... although it did remind me that it could have been almost a sequel to NOW VOYAGER (see both and you will recognize what I mean). MY REPUTATION deals in a very adult and modern manner with the perils of gossip and perceived social status and the mental straight-jacket that entraps the vulnerable. It also deals with a woman's sexuality post widowhood and the effect it has on her teenage sons. The sequence late in the film where she explains this to the boys is one of the great scenes in 40s cinema. The use of shadow (James Wong Howe photography) is ideal. Barbra Stanwyck is breathtakingly beautiful all through this very humane intelligent film; with a supporting cast of strong humorous characters led by the gargoyle Mother played by stone-faced Lucile Watson... giving Gladys Cooper (VOYAGER) a run for her money, or Laura Hope Crewes from the genuinely shocking SILVER CORD from 1932. I had never heard of this title so I was genuinely enthralled and thrilled at MY REPUTATION. It appears the release was botched in 1946 leaving this 3 year old film on the shelf until then which made certain parts of the romance irrelevant to post war audiences. MY REPUTATION is an excellent film, with beautiful sets and art direction, hilarious whimsy and very strong adult themes. Even the Max Steiner score is lovely. Do not be put off by any carping about any aspect of this well intentioned drama... MY REPUTATION is intact (which is more than I can personally say for me today).
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6/10
Irresistible suds, fine Stanwyck
hildacrane10 December 2005
"My Reputation" is a good example of a certain kind of vintage Hollywood product: it's glossy, yet carries certain real truths. In beautifully modeled black and white, set in a tony upper-class milieu, and with one of Max Steiner's creamiest scores, it examines a young matron's search for autonomy, when her husband dies after a long illness. Set in 1942, it makes numerous references to the war, so possibly this post-war film was meant to allude to the loss that many wives suffered due to the war (or it was one of those films made during the war but not released for several years).

I think Barbara Stanwyck was incapable of giving a bad performance. Whatever the material, she shone and was absolutely "there." Early in the film there is a scene in which she reads a letter that her late husband had written in the knowledge that it would be read after his death, and she is devastating. There's a kind of bookend scene at the film's end when she tries to explain to her children the nature of her love for a man who has come into her life after their father's death, and again she breaks your heart. In much of that scene she is in shadow as she speaks, so that her voice alone carries the emotion.
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7/10
Sudser with Stanwyck as a widow
blanche-211 September 2006
A young widow is criticized for trying to build a new life in "My Reputation," a 1946 film starring Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Lucile Watson, and Eve Arden. Some time after Stanwyck's husband dies from a protracted illness, the lonely and devastated woman goes on a skiing trip and meets an army major, played by George Brent. She falls in love with him, but gossip circulates about her and affects two sons.

The film is dated, but Stanwyck is wonderful in an emotional role of a woman who all her life was cowed by her mother's ideas of convention and always afraid to stand up for herself. Brent is okay as her leading man, but if he was supposed to be this love 'em and leave 'em type, he didn't pull it off. He seems too staid. Eve Arden has a small role that perhaps was cut down - she has very little to do and disappears for the last half of the film. It's strange because she seemed to be encouraging the relationship, but why isn't she present to come to Jessica's defense? It's the same crowd of friends, so it's odd that she's missing.

This is an entertaining film with an excellent performance by Stanwyck.
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10/10
Barbara shines
tday-122 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Surprisingly,this film has never been set up as a woman's lib type film which it certainly is. Barbara follows all the conventional rules,marriage,children,then it all falls apart. Her husband dies,her two boys are leaving for boarding school,everything is all arranged but what is Barbara to do. Her mother wants her to be in permanent mourning like she has for 25 years and be her companion. Barbara tries to fill her life with volunteer work and fending off advances from her friends' husbands,who all seem to think she's accessible since she's a widow. The entry of George Brent as a new man on the scene wakes her up and makes the neighbors gossip/ Barbara has done nothing wrong but the rule of the day is she causing a scandal,even her sons are mad at her. Her pal Eve Arden talks her into a skiing trip where she finds romance with Brent. The director said Max Steiner's score was one of his less pompous ones and it's used well through the film,serving as a love song,triumphant march when Barbara goes to Brent's apartment and a beautiful farewell scene at train station. I loved the part where Barbra enters Brent's apartment and exclaims its' beauty when all of a sudden she sees the bedroom and the music stops with a thump. Definitely a movie to see,not on tape or DVD unfortunately,wish it were. By the way,the Max Steiner score was reused for The McConnel Story starring Alan Ladd and June Allyson.
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8/10
Miss Stanwyck's favorite
jjnxn-130 April 2013
Barbara Stanwyck's self proclaimed favorite amongst her films this classy soap opera is uniformly well acted and well appointed. It would seem after viewing the film that she was so fond of it because it afforded her the opportunity for many shades of emotion as a recent widow struggling with conflicting feelings. First there are the responsibilities to her young sons who are still recovering from the loss of their father something that is being constantly pointed out by her shrew of a mother, the great Lucile Watson. At first she seems resigned to basically being a professional widow sacrificing any life of her own for her duties and then suddenly George Brent enters the picture and she starts to realize that perhaps there might be a chance for something of her own again, an idea supported by her good friend Eve Arden but then her judgmental mother and false friends make her question her right to happiness. Good stuff movingly enacted.
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8/10
Emotionally intense and pertinent, and gorgeously filmed
secondtake5 June 2014
My Reputation (1946)

This comes at the real peak of Barbara Stanwyck's career, a couple of years after her now most famous film, "Double Indemnity." And she's terrific, playing from the first minute a widow who now has to put her life back together, all with the equally terrific Lucile Watson as her strong willed mother. There is also the dependable Eve Arden as a sidekick, not so different than Joan Crawford's in "Mildred Pierce," and the perfectly cast Jerome Cowan as a suitor who moves in on her before she has quite realized she's a widow. Eventually the stellar cast is filled in by George Brent, ever stable and likable…with his inevitable appeal to the main character.

So this is a great 1940s drama, filled with deep sentiments, tight friendships, distraught characters who need more than they can ever get, and rays of hope. It fits the needs of an audience which was filled with women recently widowed, either literally or figuratively with men returning from the war not ready to be the men they were before going away. It is 1946, after all, a giant tipping point in American social life.

Do you want more reasons to love this movie? The music is by the legendary Max Steiner (who scored "Gone with the Wind" for starters). And the cinematography is by the superb James Wong Howe (who shot the stunning "Sweet Smell of Success").

What slows the film down at all is plain old chemistry—Brent is not a convincing leading man, for me, and he and Stanwyck don't seem capable of really smoking on screen. The plot does imply a formality at first, and so it makes sense as far as that goes. But eventually we are meant to feel both characters in their loneliness, and their longing for each other. The war literally comes into play, and it must of struck painful chords in many.

One of the more interesting aspects is the problem of a widow dating a new man with the eyes of her friends and neighbors watching, and disapproving of, her every move, reaching the point of scandal for no reason. I'm sure the point of the movie is partly to push that point, so the world would be be more understanding. There is a huge scene at a party, just before the new couple rushes to Chicago for a dramatic New Year's Eve.

So imagine a vividly photographed, highly emotional drama that fit into the needs of the times perfectly. Does the movie rise to its intentions—quite well, very intelligently, yes. I say see it, and you'll find many things to love.
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Special note about Release
16mmRay15 March 2004
MY REPUTATION was one of several pictures produced by Warner Bros. during World War II and then held back for release. Others included THE ADVENTURES OF MARK TWAIN (filmed in 41, released in 44) and ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (filmed in 41, released in 44). MY REPUTATION was filmed in 1943 and released for military use in 1944. The Tower Books photoplay edition of the original novel, "Instruct My Sorrow," was published in 1945. The film was finally released to the public in 1946. The military prints and theatrical release prints carry two completely different sets of main titles. There is no difference in footage or scenes between the two release versions.
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7/10
Keeping Babs out of her ivory tower.
mark.waltz16 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Let's here it for Barbara Stanwyck! The former Stella Dallas gets her grove back as Jessica Drummond in this war era women's picture about a lovely widow who wakes up to discover that she still has it. Having been dominated by her old school mama (Lucille Watson) and pampered by her late husband, she has to wake up and smell the martinis, which she admits, like anchovies, are an acquired taste. All of a sudden after a liberating skiing trip with pal Eve Arden and her husband (John Ridgely), she meets Army officer George Brent on the slopes. Bashful with eyes avoiding the bedroom, Stanwyck slowly wakes up, after spending the holidays with Brent and friends until pesky Watson interrupts. Stanwyck must discover herself in spite of the regulation of her café society past and stand up for what she really wants while keeping her self-respect, if not her old reputation.

Stanwyck was at the height of her leading lady status when she made this in 1944 (held back for two years, although it was shown to men in the military) and the highest paid woman in America. This is also one of her most subtle performances, sweet yet honest about herself, devoted to her two sons, and tired of all the B.S. of society. Brent, a frequent Stanwyck leading man, goes well with her like butter does with bread, and is, as always, likable even if pain in the butt mother Watson thinks he's of the devil. The highlight of the film are the scenes between Stanwyck and Arden (their only film together!) which really shows what a real female friendship should be about.

A bedroom scene with Arden and Ridgely (no double beds for this one) somehow slipped past the censors and features some amusing pillow talk. It's not just the bitter old ladies like Watson and her uppity friend Cecil Cunningham who gossip, but Stanwyck's supposed friends as well, which results in a scene with the strong Stanwyck we all have come to expect to finally explode. The conclusion between Stanwyck and her sons is appropriate for the time of war, if not satisfactorily in the romantic sense, it still holds promise and hope, and considering America was still at war when this was made, that is conclusion enough.
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7/10
A Good Drama
Uriah4324 January 2013
Having just lost her husband after an extended illness, "Jessica Drummond" (Barbara Stanwyck) has two boys and a controlling mother to contend with while she becomes increasingly lonely. The constant pressure on her to conform in the manner that a widow is expected to act in the early 40's begins to wear on her terribly. So, when it all gets too much she decides to accept the advise of a close friend named "Ginna Abbott" (Eve Arden) to accompany her husband "Cary Abbott" (John Ridgely) and her to Lake Tahoe for a winter vacation. While there she meets an army major by the name of "Scott Landis" (George Brent) who suddenly makes her feel alive again after such a long time. Unfortunately for her, the high society in which she has lived all her life doesn't accept the fact that she has begun seeing another man even though she hasn't done anything wrong. At any rate, rather than divulge the entire story I will just say that this is a good drama about social pressures during the period of time when America had just entered World War II. There is some moralizing here but the film also gives another point-of-view at the same time as well. A pretty good movie all things considered.
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7/10
Very pleasant and well-acted film that is not as taboo as the title sounds Warning: Spoilers
Perhaps it's because of the presence of George Brent, but in some ways this reminds me of a Bette Davis vehicle. Perhaps not as strong as some of Davis' pics, but in the same vein. But as I watched the film, I realized that Davis would not have been quite right -- Barbara Stanwyck, however, was perfect.

There really is some excellent acting here, even aside from Stanwyck. George Brent is a somewhat forgotten actor, but he turns in strong performances in the vast majority of the films he was in, and this movie is no exception. Lucile Watson is a noted character actress, and I always enjoy her performances, even when -- as here -- she's not playing in a totally sympathetic role. The two other performances of note here are Eve Arden as the friend...a bit subdued here...but very good. And, young Scotty Beckett as the younger son. Beckett may very well have been the most talented of the child actors of that era, but unfortunately died at 38 after living an adult life that was quite tragic.

It's difficult to find anything not to like in this film. The story is not as suggestive as the title makes it sound. Stanwyck's husband has died and eventually she falls in love with George Brent...a little too soon for everyone else's taste...including her own sons. But, she becomes a bit liberated, and at the end of the film there is promise that her relationship with Brent will lead to marriage. Enjoy! This is a good one!
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5/10
Barbara Stanwyck as a war widow facing emotional crisis...
Doylenf11 September 2006
The plot of MY REPUTATION seems a lot like a forerunner of ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS--the Douglas Sirk sudser that had Jane Wyman as a widow whose children disapprove of her choice of a new mate. Here, the children are younger (Scotty Beckett is the youngest boy), and the war widow theme probably rang a bell with audiences that this was intended to appeal to during World War II.

But the hitch is, Warners released it in 1946, three years after it was filmed, when the war was over, which made it dated even then. BARBARA STANWYCK is the widow who's afraid that gossip is going to destroy any chance she has of finding romance with another man.

A trivia note about billing: Warners, it seems, had a backlog of films to be released in the early forties and did the same with DEVOTION (filmed in '43) starring Olivia de Havilland and Ida Lupino. It was released three years after de Havilland left Warner Bros. and won a legal suit against them. As punishment, she was taken off top billing and given third place behind Paul Henried. Jack Warner did the same with GEORGE BRENT. He was no longer with Warners by the time MY REPUTATION was released and Jack Warner saw to it that Brent's name was reduced in all the ads so that Stanwyck had the spotlight to herself. Those were the billing practices then. (I'm surprised Brent didn't care enough to sue over this infraction by the studio).

Frankly, Barbara deserved solo spotlight in MY REPUTATION because never have I seen a more stolid, colorless performance from Brent. Bette Davis often referred to him as "wooden" and that certainly applies here. Stanwyck's scenes might just as well have been played opposite a mannequin wearing a Captain's uniform.

Sharp witted EVE ARDEN's role is practically written out of the story toward the end and she has less punch lines than usual. Yet, all in all, the old-fashioned story itself has enough cozy type of holiday scenes to give it a somewhat softer glow than it otherwise would retain.

Helping to keep the romance warm and believable is Max Steiner's score, particularly one theme that sounds strikingly similar to the kind of music he wrote for SINCE YOU WENT AWAY, especially in that final farewell railroad scene between Stanwyck and Brent.

If you're a Stanwyck fan, this is good for a rainy day, but it's not one of her strongest roles and it's really just passable as drama.
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Satisfying High-Class Weepie
rfkeser25 June 2000
An ideal script for Douglas Sirk, charting the emotional liberation of a widow, but filmed without Douglas Sirk. Instead, Curtis Bernhardt commands a lush postwar production: the $5000 limits on set construction were lifted, and it shows. Extras crowd the screen, even in modest scenes, plus James Wong Howe contributes rich low-key lighting, Max Steiner produces an expressive [if undistinctive] score, and Edith Head whips up tasteful costumes. Bernhardt works best in the big scenes, but misjudges some of the lighter moments and cannot light a fire under his leading man, George Brent at his most stolid. Still, there's much to enjoy here: thoughtful dialogue, the stylized upper-crust social milieu, and expert performances, including an unusually sensitive one from Barbara Stanwyck. However, that slight [but crucial] ironic distance of Sirk is sorely missed.
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Wonderful with excellent moments
jarrodmcdonald-14 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This was Stanwyck's personal favorite of all the films she made during her long motion picture career. And I think the reason this was the actress' favorite (merely speculating) is the great scene where she tells off the snooty society woman at the New Year's party. Wow--it has all the toughness that Stanwyck does so well in her best roles. I wanted to stand up and applaud her when that scene finished playing. I am sure she enjoyed filming that, because she is truly on fire like only Stanwyck can be.

With regards to the rest of the cast: Lucile Watson turns up as the "cranky old-school mother" with her own definition of mourning. Trying to tell her daughter how to grieve is one of the high points, and makes her the arch villain of the piece. And she plays it perfectly.

As for the kids-- a little too baby-faced, but in a way it shows how they are still vulnerable and still need their mother and grandmother. The scene where the women see the boys off at the train station earlier in the picture was poignant and heartbreaking without going over the top.

Eve Arden is stellar in her supporting role as the best friend. I also like Warner Anderson's underplayed lawyer that should logically be the man Stanwyck turns to after the husband's death. And of course, Esther Dale, as Anna the housekeeper. The part where Jessica (Stanwyck) asks Anna to have dinner with her was another touching scene. This is a wonderful film with so many excellent moments.
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7/10
Stanwyck is fantastic
Panamint12 September 2006
Barbara Stanwyck gets a "10" vote for her performance. She is incredibly skilled and she delivers beyond description.

The cinematography is wonderful (esp. firelight scenes). It rates a "10". The classy, orchestrated musical score doesn't rate a "10" but is perfect for this movie.

Fine supporting acting. The old actress who portrays Stanwyck's mom is terrific in a very unsympathetic role. Her stodginess provides a rock-hard theme throughout the film. Even the child actors are all very good. Eve Arden- excellent.

Brent is a problem. I can't figure out how he can do such a poor job in a role that he practically patented. Who better to hire for the "George Brent" role than THE George Brent? For some reason he just seems uninterested in this film project. The ending of the film is also problematic. It includes a well-staged interior scene with her sons and beautifully filmed train station scenes, but the script at this point becomes truncated and slapdash.

This movie is definitely on my "recommend" list due to Stanwyck's outstanding work. It has many good qualities that make it watchable, but is dragged down to an overall "7" due to only two negatives- Brent's lack of effort, and the unsatisfying ending.
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9/10
My Reputation Hits A Controversial Theme ****
edwagreen18 March 2006
Barbara Stanwyck's husband dies after a 2 year illness and she is left with sons 12 and 14.

Her mother, placed excellently by Lucile Watson, wants her to wear black and continue to mourn. Within 2 scenes, mother is suggesting that she become more friendly with a family friend- a banker. Watson insists upon wearing black clothes. She marches on screen as if she is Queen Victoria. The best part is that her husband has been dead for 25 years. It is only at the end of the film that Watson offers excellent advice to her daughter and again shows the wonderful character actress traits that made her such a good thespian.

Eve Arden, as a friend of Stanwyck, is given little to do here other than comforting her and getting her to go on vacation with her and her husband only to have George Brent, as Col. Landis, enter the picture. Arden has only one wise-crack remark in this film and that is unusual for her.

Vicious gossip ensues in the town as romance buds. The boys, naturally, are adversely affected by the gossip that will invariably lead to an appropriate ending.

Despite the flaws I mentioned, the film is a good one as it deals with a problem of widowhood and children. The solution given here was quite adequate and with a fine cast, the picture rises above any criticism depicted.
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7/10
Before "All That Heaven Allows," there was...
marcslope16 January 2013
Wartime soap-romance with Stanwyck, and she's excellent even by her own lofty standards, as a young Chicago widow with children whom the Lake Shore Drive set doesn't know what to do with. Her pompous mama, an amusing Lucille Watson, and her two sensible sons want her to be a conventional widow. Then she meets George Brent... The mid-century problem of what role a woman without a man is supposed to play is dealt with with some insight, and it must have resonated mightily in 1946, with so many women thrust into this unfamiliar territory. Brent, so handsome in his youth, was by this time puffy and artificial-looking, and isn't an ideal love object. Nor is Eve Arden given enough to do in a conventional best-pal role. But Stanwyck's so graceful and sturdy, and the Warners production so assured, that you stick with it and root for the pair to triumph over their gossipy milieu. It ends pretty abruptly and not altogether convincingly, but there are many good scenes along the way, and we sure do love Babs.
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8/10
departure role for Stanwyck
hyson23 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I have an insatiable schwarm for Barbara Stanwyck. I love the way she looks, the way she speaks, her whole presence on screen. But one of my favorite things about her is that she consistently played women who, unlike the female leads in many of the films of her time, go toe to toe with their men in wit and resourcefulness. As a rule, a man playing opposite Stanwyck spends most of the film looking utterly gobsmacked -- or, as one played by Henry Fonda once put it, "cockeyed." She proved that even in the 1940's a woman could be warm and lovable, as well as sexy, without having to repent of having been a card sharper, a gangster's moll, a shoplifter, or a burlesque striptease artist.

That's why I was so surprised to see My Reputation, in which Stanwyck plays a woman who has been sheltered all her life, and is not only conventional but meek and timid. I was also delighted to find that she does it quite well, keeping her voice soft and her smile restrained, and not overdoing the crying scenes, of which there are several.

The film is also worthwhile for the look it offers at old money in the Chicago suburbs in the 1940's. The Stanwyck character's mother is a dragon, but not all bad; the members of the elite little social circle range from ill-natured prigs to good-natured bores to genuine friends. Most fascinating of all are the central character's two sons, ages twelve and fourteen. They are far more convincing and likable than a lot of child characters in classic Hollywood films, and in keeping with their upbringing and milieu, they are more innocent but also far, far more socially poised than children that age tend to be today.

As enjoyable as this film is, however, it does have one serious false note -- spoilers coming -- and that's the love story. Yes, this is another one of those films which is billed as a love story in which the object of the central character's affections is, well, unlovable. They start him off as one of those conceited, swaggering alpha males whose version of sex appeal is to tell the woman -- since she can't apparently be expected to figure it out for herself -- what's wrong with her, when she wants to be kissed, and why he knows what's best for her better than she does (think Clark Gable in It Happened One Night or Robert Mitchum in The Grass is Greener). As tiresome as that is, when My Reputation's male lead finally starts being a little more gentle and respectful towards Stanwyck's character, it's not that much of an improvement. At that point he's merely a rather ordinary man with a regrettable mustache. The viewer is left wondering what she sees in him, especially since a supporting character named Frank -- a family friend as well as her financial adviser in her widowhood -- moons after her the whole time, thinks the world of her, and, from some angles, bears a resemblance to George Clooney.

This may not be Barbara Stanwyck's best film, but it's pleasant to watch, and no weepier than it needs to be.
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9/10
I loved it
CarolT220 August 2017
I have never been a Barbara Stanwyck fan, I have tried watching her highest rated films. I caught some of My Reputation last Sunday, and was interested in it. I'm at the end of watching it on TCM On Demand. It's now one of my favorite films.

I suggest you watch it if it is available. Today is the last day for my cable system's on demand feature,
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10/10
ptb-8 Had it Right
White Cloud22 June 2015
The review by ptb-8 (Australia) had it right. A couple of things I could add - the direction was not so great - where is John Ford when one really needs him. The US lost about half a million US citizens during WWII, which made for a lot of widows. This movie speaks to (and was intended to speak to, I believe)widowhood, and one woman's recovery from loss. In that context, the social message is clear. Enjoy Barbara Stanwyck at her best. P.S. Some of us enjoy seeing Eve Arden, who was mostly a radio show celebrity. The "propaganda," Jessica uses precious meat-food stamps to buy ham and sausage to have a picnic with her boys - what a dedicated mother; talk of walking, taking a bus, sharing rides - gas was tightly rationed (8 mpg for the limo). Jerome Cowan was the only wastrel of gas. Why not released in 1943: Because '43 and '44 were peak fatality years - too dark a subject, and that ending - with 8 million men in uniform (US Population 130 million), the pain and anxiety of that ending would be too real for millions of wives, sweethearts, and moms.
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6/10
a lot of promise,...it just fails to deliver
MartinHafer9 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is, at times, an excellent romance and it's nice to see Ms. Stanwyck playing a more mature role as a widow who is raising her children on her own. Her husband just recently died after a long illness and her two sons are off to boarding school. Initially she acts like everything's fine, but it's all a facade. Eventually, though, she meets and falls for a very charming George Brent. At this point, the film is GREAT as it brings up a lot of interesting points about re-marriage and social conventions. It seems that instead of everyone being happy that she has found this man and a potential new father for her kids, people begin gossiping and fault-finding--implying she was sleeping with him. However, how this is eventually resolved is very confusing and sends a lot of mixed messages. At times the feel seems to imply Stanwyck should just tell everyone to get lost and live a happy new life. At others she appears foolish chasing after a man who told her he wants no commitments. Still later, after her mother appeared to be a horrid and meddling old biddy through most of the film, she realizes Mom might be right. And finally in the end, even though he firmly stated he wanted to remain a bachelor, Brent announces he's coming back to marry her after all the hubbub has subsided. This confusing ending surely betrays that there was a lot of ambivalence with the writers and the studio about how to end the picture. The greatest evidence for this was that the movie sat on the shelf for a few years before it was released! It's sad though, as there is a lot of good acting and excellent writing here--it just presents a pretty jumbled and confusing conclusion that just doesn't satisfy.

Thanks, by the way to "blanche-2" for suggestions and input about this film.
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A movie fan of movies made 1939-1949 and beyond
maureenseftchick1 July 2004
Although a film made during the war and not released until later,the film does touch on some of the problems that are part of life in war and peace. The young people are depicted as probably as they were. The children went away to their father's old school. The grandmother was still in mourning after 25 years. The acting of Eve Arden brought some light into a sometimes dark production. A young widow( her husband didn't die in the war but of a long illness) trying to adjust to her new life and cope with her sons being away. Her romance, a fling on his part, makes her and the production lighter and more carefree. One of the lighter moments was the skiing and the first meeting with George Brent. The other was when Barbara goes to his hotel room. As the movie progresses it becomes more of a study of the spirit of a woman. The end although predictable it is still Barbara's movie.
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9/10
I love this movie!
JohnHowardReid14 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Copyright 26 January 1946 by Warner Brothers Pictures, Inc. A Warner Brothers-First National Picture. New York opening at the Strand: 25 January 1946. U.S. release: 26 January 1946. U.K. release: 12 August 1946. Australian release: 15 August 1946. 8,478 feet. 94 minutes. (Available on an excellent Warner Home Video).

SYNOPSIS: Much ado about nothing. - Bosley Crowther in The New York Times.

NOTES: Completed in early 1944, the film was shelved until the end of the war when the market was judged to be more receptive. Wise thinking, as it happened.

COMMENT: A beautifully-made woman's picture that is almost always (except when the obnoxious Scotty Beckett is on-screen, which fortunately is not too often) a pleasure to watch, so attractive is its lighting, sets and costumes and so likable are its principals (even Brent comes across quite charmingly). The situation has a pathos making the Stanwyck character sympathetic, and though she moves in an unrealistic high-class atmosphere, the conflict with Lucile Watson is well contrived. There's also a beguiling Steiner score and Bernhardt's direction seems more smooth and fluid than his usual stodgy efforts. In all, a supremely polished example of Hollywood craftsmanship at its best. Production values are lavish.
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9/10
Missy strays over into Joan territory and does herself proud!
dish5515 July 2015
Barbara Stanwyck, sometimes underrated as an actress (four Oscar nominations and no wins) and always undervalued as a star, shows why she lasted so long - she could do anything. Usually cast as a mobster's tough tart or a hard-luck dame and everything in between, here she plays a first-class lady, a widowed mother of two, a fine upstanding citizen who lives in that Never-Never Land called the Upper Middle Class laughingly depicted by Hollywood as a place where women belong to country clubs, constantly appear dressed in mink and evening gowns, are constantly making grand entrances and exits and are forever worrying what the neighbors will think. Joan Crawford fit right into this nonsensical neighborhood once she joined Warner Bros. and may well have been offered this script but thankfully Stanwyck took the part and created from the ground up another unforgettable performance in a forgettable (but very popular in its day) film. The story is nothing special but oh! how Barbara dominates every scene she's in, and does it without really trying (or so it seems). While Davis and Crawford had a tendency to remind audiences that they were acting, Stanwyck just rolled up her sleeves and got the job done. Such truth in her work! Watching her is an electric experience, she connects with an audience like few stars had or have before or since. Splendid!
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6/10
When Barbara Stanwyck wants to get something off her chest, nobody does it better!
moonspinner5515 July 2012
Barbara Stanwyck as a widowed socialite in her early 30s--naturally expected by her two boys, her mother and her friends to grieve her husband's death for a lengthy period of time--who instead meets and falls for for a randy, masculine soldier who clearly informs her he's not the marrying kind. Although she isn't quite the motherly type, Stanwyck gives yet another of her sterling performances in the lead. Whether standing up to the gossipy biddies in town or trying to explain her definition of love to her sons, Stanwyck never hits a false note. Warner Bros. apparently had little faith in the film's appeal, keeping it on the shelf for two years, and yet it's a solid example of the "woman's picture", a classy nosegay with one of those beautiful Hollywood finales at the train station. **1/2 from ****
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