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Film / I'll Be Seeing You

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I’ll Be Seeing You (1944) is romantic drama directed by William Dietrele, starring Ginger Rogers, Joseph Cotten, and Shirley Temple.

Two lonely-hearts, Mary Marshall (Rogers) and Zachary Morgan (Cotton) meet on a train and seek each other out. The only problem is that Zachary is suffering from his experiences in the Pacific Theatre while Mary has only 10 days until she returns to jail. Zachery fears his PTSD end his will to live while Mary believes her jailbird status will hinder her chances at finding love and a home.

Their friendship soon becomes love, but both are uncertain on how to proceed in their precarious situations.


This film shows the following tropes:

  • Dark Secret: Zachary hides his PTSD for a while, but he can’t keep the secret from Mary very long. Mary, on the other hand, can barely touch the subject around him.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Barbara Marshall is pretty spoiled and treats Mary like she’s infectious, but once Mary explains why she went to jail, Barbara is much more considerate.
  • Broken Bird: Mary’s experiences have left her rather frail.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Both Mary’s parents died, leaving her as easy prey to men.
  • Flashback: When Mary recollects how she accidently killed her boss, it’s all told in flashbacks.
  • I Will Wait for You: The film ends with Zachery promising Mary that he’ll wait for her.
  • Manslaughter Provocation: The reason Mary is serving a 6-year sentence: her former boss invited her up to his apartment and assaulted her. She fought to defend herself, but an open window sent her boss tumbling 14 stories down.
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  • New Year Has Come: The Marshalls and Zachery all go to the YMCA New Year’s ball where Zachery and Mary share a romantic kiss and get a bit tipsy.
  • Oh, Crap!: Barbara when she realizes that she wasn’t supposed to tell Zachery about Mary’s imprisonment.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Anxiety attacks, trouble speaking, thinking and acting slowly – all of this can be attributed to Zachery’s PTSD.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man:
  • Stalker with a Crush: whatshisface confesses to whatsherface that he got off the train at Pinehill to get to know her better.
  • Titled After the Song: The eponymous Sammy Fain-Irving Kahal standard predates the film by several years.
  • Train-Station Goodbye: Zachery changes completely when Mary is sending him off, and she only realizes what’s the matter when he’s already on the train: Barbara spilled the beans about the stint in jail.
  • Trauma Button:
    Zachary: Mary, I want to tell you why I got mad at that guy in the coffee shop last night, and why I walked away from you after I threw that rock at the lamppost and missed it.
    Mary: I knew there must be some reason, but you don't have to tell me.
    Zachary: Look, I was brought up in a home, an orphan's home.
    Mary: That's nothing to be ashamed of.
    Zachary: I'm not. It's not like being in prison, or anything like that.
    Mary: No.
    Zachary: Well, in the home there was a janitor. This fellow had been in the last war. A young guy. He was a shell shock case. Whenever we could get our hands on any firecrackers, we'd bang them off and laugh at him when he jumped. Well, that fellow in the coffee shop reminded me of the janitor, and they both made me think of myself and what I'd be like in a few years. Only difference is, that now in the hospital, they have a fancy name for it: neuropsychiatric.
    Mary: The doctors must know a lot more about it now than they did during the last war.
    Zachary: Maybe. They don't know something about me that I know. You see, before I became an engineer, I was an athlete, a pretty good one. I know what my timing used to be, they don't, and it's gone, Mary. Before this happened to me, I could have hit that lamppost all day. I don't know why I'm bothering you with all this. Yes, I do. I know why I'm bothering you. Because I feel so much better when I talk to you. I like to be with you.


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