My Foolish Heart – J.D. Salinger’s Authorized Film of His Written Work

The black and white images were crisp and clear . . . as was the story and the characters.

Director: Mark Robson

Writers: Julius J. Epstein (screen play) – Philip G. Epstein (screen play) based on the J.D. Salinger story “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut”

Ed Selden Carpet One

My Foolish Heart was a Samuel Goldwyn MGM production from 1949. The black and white images were crisp and clear . . . as was the story and the characters.

I was flipping through the Prime Channel when I came to this classic. I probably wouldn’t have bothered with the film, except my eyes wandered back to the screen as I snuggled into bed, just in time to see that author J.D. Salinger was involved. I read his acclaimed novel of teenage angst, “Catcher in the Rye,” in 1961 as a Clover Park HS sophomore in study hall. I have never seen any film with the name Salinger connected to it. I later read his other novels and short stories.

Salinger fought in Europe during World War II, from Utah Beach on D-Day, to the Battle of the Bulge, and the Battle of Hürtgen Forest. In addition to English, Salinger spoke French and German, so became an interrogator of prisoners of war. He visited Kaufering IV and Dachau concentration camps. His experiences in the war affected him emotionally. He had written stories before the war and continued writing after the war. Salinger wrote just the one novel, but also wrote short story collections: Nine Stories (1953); Franny and Zooey (1961); and three novellas. The film My Foolish Heart was based on the short story “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut” from his collection Nine Stories. MGM bought the film rights of Uncle Wiggily and changed the title to My Foolish Heart. Salinger hated the production so much, he refused to ever sell the film rights of any of his other written works.

Tacoma Community College

Eloise, played by Susan Hayward (left), and Mary Jane, played by Lois Wheeler (right) dance the thin line between friends and rivals.


“After a long absence, Mary Jane visits her schoolfriend Eloise, and Eloise’s daughter Ramona. Eloise drinks too much and is unhappily married to Lew Wengler. Eloise falls asleep and remembers her time with her true love, Walt Dreiser, at the beginning of the Second World War. She recalls the events that led up to her split with Mary Jane, and how Lew married Eloise rather than Mary Jane.” — Will Gilbert

Eloise, played by Susan Hayward, and Mary Jane, played by Lois Wheeler, dance the thin line between friends and rivals. They were both at the top of their game and leave the viewer wanting to make them both happy.

Head over Heals at Lakewood Playhouse

Robert Keith (left) plays Eloise’s father and Dana Andrews (right) plays the young soldier who doesn’t return. The husband Lew is played by Kent Smith. Although all the major characters are struggling you still want them to mend their broken hearts . . .foolish or not.

Robert Keith (left) plays Eloise’s father and Dana Andrews (right) plays the young soldier who doesn’t return.

I actually enjoyed the production. The MGM trademarks of artistic camera work, story telling and excellent acting all worked well. The song My Foolish Heart played in the background and in two nightclub scenes. The haunting music was written by Victor Young and Ned Washington.

I love this combination of Bill Evans playing the piano and Tony Bennet singing

User/Reader Review from IMDB:
My Foolish Heart- Susan Hayward Triumphs Again ****
When I saw Susan Hayward in “My Foolish Heart,” I immediately thought back to her other successes “With A Song in My Heart,” and “I’ll Cry Tomorrow.” There are so many similarities in her acting, especially at the beginning of Foolish Heart. She even brushed her hair the same way as in “Tomorrow.”

Head over Heals at Lakewood Playhouse

As always, Susan Hayward got the role of the troubled woman. She evokes such sympathy in this particular role as Eloise, a woman who recounts a tragic love affair at the start of World War II. Dana Andrews, a very fine actor, is perfect for the part of her ill-fated lover. Special acting kudos should also go to Robert Keith for his portrayal of her understanding father. Keith was quite a good actor. He really was in top-notch films. Besides this gem, he was Barney Loomas in “Love Me or Leave Me” and the doomed father to Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone in “Written on the Wind.”

Notice that the term pregnancy is not used in the film. I guess that in 1949 people didn’t talk of women being pregnant while not being married. Unfortunately, this movie would probably be regarded as corny today but 1949 was such a different world in movie and living history.
There were 36 Reviews of this movie at

Head over Heals at Lakewood Playhouse

As with many banned books, those who read them know they should be shared, not banned. As I mentioned, I read the book Catcher in the Rye as a sophomore in study hall. A senior in the classroom had seen me reading numerous books there. He stopped at my desk and gave me a copy of Catcher n the Rye. I thanked him, and a week later thanked him again when I had completed it.

4 Reasons The Catcher in The Rye Was Banned

  1. Offensive Language. One of the main reasons people have banned The Catcher in The Rye is because it contains foul language.
  2. Sexual Content. The sexual content presented in The Catcher in The Rye infuriates many, including teachers and parents.
  3. Violence.
  4. Drug and Alcohol Abuse.

More information about the 4 Reasons –

Source: The Suburban Times