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When the Bough Breaks (1947)

| Drama | 1948 (Austria)
Emotional strains of adoption. A young mother hands over her baby to foster parents, but struggles to let go emotionally. Her obsession affects the lives of those around her, including the child.


Moie Charles (story), Peter Rogers (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Patricia Roc ... Lily Bates
Rosamund John ... Frances Norman
Bill Owen ... Bill Collins
Brenda Bruce ... Ruby Chapman
Patrick Holt ... Robert Norman
Cavan Malone Cavan Malone ... Jimmy
Leslie Dwyer Leslie Dwyer ... George
Sonia Holm ... Nurse
Torin Thatcher ... Adams
Catherine Lacey ... Almoner
Edith Sharpe Edith Sharpe ... Matron
Muriel George ... 1st Landlady
Ada Reeve ... 2nd Landlady
Joan Haythorne Joan Haythorne ... Miss Brent
Edie Martin ... Customer


Emotional strains of adoption. A young mother hands over her baby to foster parents, but struggles to let go emotionally. Her obsession affects the lives of those around her, including the child.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mother | adoption | See All (2) »




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Release Date:

1948 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

Kampf um Jimmy See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

B.A.F. Sound System

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Two advertising posters for Patricia Roc films can be seen under the window of the outside of Bill's shop. The first at around 45 minutes in is for "The Brothers" (1947). The second is just over an hour into the film & is for "Jassy" (1947). See more »


Frances Norman: I told you - he thinks I'm his mother!
Lily Bates: But you're not, are you?
See more »


References Jassy (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

Great - Another Rosamund John film for my collection
20 May 2016 | by howardmorleySee all my reviews

Rosamund John has always been one of my film heroines.My collection of her films includes "Green for Danger" (1946), "The Way to the Stars" (1944), "The First of the Few" (1942), "The Upturned Glass" (1947) & "The Lamp Still Burns (1943).In each she plays stoic British heroines often with a background of WWII.In "When The Bough Breaks (1947) she plays a woman who works in a day care home for children while their mothers are at work.She cannot have children herself although she desperately yearns for one.

Along comes Pat Roc with her little Jimmy whose father is a bigamist and who we never see.Holding down a job in a departmental store and being a mother proves too much for Pat Roc and she agrees informally without legal documents that middle class Rosamund and her husband can adopt little Jimmy until such time as she can stand on her feet financially.She has a best friend (Brenda Bruce) who works at the same big store as her, who is married to Leslie Dwyer with four children. Going to a dance Pat meets Bill Owen when friendship gradually turns to affection and then love.

The nub of the film examines the emotional drama between the natural mother (Pat Roc) and the adoptive mother (Rosamund John) and how this affects Jimmy who after 8 years has to live with his natural mother despite loving his adoptive parents.I won't divulge the final scene, suffice it to say things turn out happily for all concerned.I've been waiting for this movie to be uploaded by someone for some time and am glad this is a new addition to the YouTube.com stable of vintage 1940s movies seen today 20/5/16

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