None But the Lonely Heart


A picture of England before the war, and a British picture for all that it was directed by an American in Hollywood.

This was greatly confusing to Variety, not at all to Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, who admired the picture greatly (Geoff Andrew in Time Out Film Guide finds it “dissatisfying”).

The second film that Odets directed is absolutely identical but for the change of perspective.

War when it finally comes is almost welcome after the bath of crime one has taken in the months and years leading up to it, the view is from the East End with a petty gangster on the make.


The Story on Page One


The American perspective on the events described in None But the Lonely Heart, the same and different.

Not a gangster but a drunken cop, the mother not ill requiring care but domineering and baneful.

The war is seen as homicidal menace turned against itself fatally, nothing more.

Odets presents the counterview at a murder trial, there was a plan cunningly arranged to kill this man for his insurance, etc. This is convincingly argued in court, there is no evidence of it, a construction upon events.

And so, fifteen years after None But the Lonely Heart, the lovers are united at last.

Crowther, who had so highly praised the earlier film without understanding it, dismissed this one as “trite”.