We gave it a B+
Let’s not waffle here: There’s plenty of syrup in Since You Went Away, David O. Selznick’s tribute to Americans on the home front in World War II. Claudette Colbert is Anne Hilton, whose adman husband has gone to fight, leaving her to raise daughters Jane and Bridget (Jennifer Jones and Shirley Temple). With victory gardens and ration points, there’s a nifty sense of period (you can guess busybody Agnes Moorehead is bad because she’s divorced) and of the transitory, openhearted encounters of wartime. Anne takes in Monty Woolley’s crusty lodger to make ends meet, and in a lovely sequence, Jane and her soldier beau (Robert Walker) befriend a sailor passing through. Count on being choked up by the characters rather than by the flag-waving recitations and Emma Lazarus’ poem about the huddled masses.