TCM’s star of the day is Glenn Ford, and my film pick for the actor is Dear Heart, which airs today at 2:00 P.M. (EST).
Evie Jackson (Geraldine Page) is visiting New York City for a postmasters’ convention when she crosses paths with greeting card salesman Harry Mork (Glenn Ford). Though a self-sufficient woman, Evie is a little lonely and yearns for love, and begins to fall for Harry. He is, however, engaged to Phyllis (Angela Lansbury), a widow with a teenage son. But soon, Evie’s bubbly personality starts to grow on him, and Harry begins to get a better sense of what he wants for his future.
This film was Geraldine Page’s first solo leading lady role. Prior to Dear Heart, she had made four films but had already earned Oscar nominations for three of them. In her previous films, she had more secondary roles, but here she had an equal amount of screen time with co-star Glenn Ford. Though the film didn’t garner too much attention upon its release, it proved to be another great role for the actress, and she earned her fourth Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Drama, a category in which she was previously nominated three times, winning two of them. Over the course of her career, Page would end up receiving nine Golden Globe nominations, and eight Academy Award nominations, winning the coveted award on her last Oscar nomination for 1985’s The Trip to Bountiful.
By 1964, Glenn Ford was very much a well-established actor, having started making movies in the late 1930s. While not one of the more acclaimed actors of his era, Ford was a versatile star, with films that spanned various genres, from film noir to westerns, and dramas and comedies. In a lot of his more famous films, his leading lady is often more remembered than he is, but it shows how great Ford was at letting his scene partner shine, even if he got top billing on a film as he does here in Dear Heart. Ford’s talent as an actor didn’t go fully unappreciated though, as he received three Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical, winning once for 1961’s Pocketful of Miracles.
Along with endearing chemistry between Glenn Ford and Geraldine Page, both of whom balance each other very well, the musical score by the great Henry Mancini helps elevate this little-known romantic film. Originally titled The Out-of-Towners, the title was changed to Dear Heart after the film’s producer heard the theme song Mancini composed for the film, and the song ended up earning the film its only Oscar nomination. Overall, Dear Heart is a nice, underrated film within the expansive careers of all involved. It’s the first film I saw Page in (who I instantly became a fan of after watching this), and it also made me appreciate Ford’s talents as an actor even more than before.
I wrote this as a part of the 2017 TCM Summer Under the Stars Blogathon, where bloggers are celebrating the channel’s honorees and movies playing throughout the month. Click the banner below to read more posts!