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Film / To Each His Own

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To Each His Own (1946) is a melodrama about the love and losses of Jody Norris, who becomes an unwed mother during the early twentieth century. Mitchell Leisen directs and Olivia de Havilland stars in the film that won her her first Academy Award for Best Actress.

Meeting ace pilot Captain Cogsrove (John Lund) during World War One and falling in love, Jody (de Havilland) gets pregnant and hides this disgrace to protect her reputation and her son’s. With the help of her father, she contrives a plan to make her son a foundling in the eyes of her small town. However, her plan fails and a former beau, Alex (Roland Culver) and his wife, Corinne (Mary Anderson), take Jody’s son as their own.

Jody’s heartbroken since Corinne will never give Gregory (or Grisgly, as they nickname him) back to her. So, she becomes a successful business woman, hoping that one day she’ll be called "Mom".

To Each His Own demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Jody immediately falls for the Captain and gives him one while he was just trying to put the moves on her.
  • The Casanova: Captain Cosgrove but he falls for Jody.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: Subverted. It first looks as if the film is going to play it straight (Jody has a disease that will make carrying a child dangerous), but she later decides to have the baby and it's considered a miracle.
  • Disappeared Dad: Cosgrove gets shot down over France, never to return.
  • Doorstop Baby: The Norris’ leave Greg at a friend’s doorstep to protect their reputation but the plan turns against them.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Greg is told that Jody is his "aunt" that’s close to his family.
  • Flashback: Jody remembers her story while waiting for Greg to arrive in London. She begins telling some of it to Lord Dashem as well.
  • Happy Ending: Jody finally gets the recognition she fought to get but failed.
  • Identical Grandson: John Lund plays both the father and the son.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Jody gets pregnant the first and one time she has sex.
  • The Lost Lenore: After Cosgrove’s death, Jody never remarries or has another romantic relationship. However, it’s implied that she might have something with Lord Dashem.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: Jody has Greg out of wedlock and must hide this fact from her community. She does this by going to New York and pretend that Greg is a foundling. It doesn’t work, however.
  • Rich Bitch: Corinne since she's jealous of Alex still harbouring feelings for Jody.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: The irony here is that Jody can’t even call her son her own.
  • Stigmatic Pregnancy Euphemism: Jody is visiting an old friend in New York.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Captain Cosgrove was a flyer in WWI and his son is one in World War II.