UNSUNG HEROES – ALL MINE TO GIVE – 1957

Unsung Heroes — We all have our semi-secret, less-known personal favorites — a great B-side, an early work by an artist that later became famous, an obscure (but delicious) family recipe. Share one of your unsung heroes with us — how did you discover it? Why has it stayed off everyone’s radar?


all mine to giveI have quite a few favorite obscure movies (and Garry has many more), but this one is particularly appropriate since it is, after all, nearly Christmas.

All Mine to Give (British title: The Day They Gave Babies Away) is a 1957 film starring Glynis Johns and Cameron Mitchell that’s a four hankie special.

I crossed paths with it sometime in the pre-dawn hours during the late spring of 1969 while I was nursing my son and the television was playing late night movies. I was deeply hormonal at the time and though I’d missed the beginning, I watched it to the end.


The Story

Robert and Mamie Eunson (Cameron Mitchell and Glynis Johns) are Scots who have just landed in America (the year is 1856). Mamie is heavily pregnant upon their reaching Eureka; she delivers baby Robbie (Rex Thompson) soon after the cabin is completed. Robert eventually starts a successful boat building business and Mamie gives birth to five more children.

The Eunsons are doing well and happy — until little Kirk is diagnosed with diphtheria. Mamie and Kirk are quarantined while Robert takes the other children away. The boy recovers, but the goodbye kiss Kirk gave his Dadda before his departure proves fatal, and Robert succumbs.

Mamie takes to working as a seamstress and Robbie becomes the man of the house. Things stabilize, but only briefly: tired and work-worn, Mamie contracts typhoid. Knowing she will not survive, she charges Robbie, her eldest, with finding good homes for his siblings.

After Mamie’s death, Robbie places his brothers and sisters with townsfolk as Christmas approaches. Baby Jane is the last to be handed over — Robbie stands at the door of a house and asks the woman who answers, “Please, ma’am, I was wondering if you’d care to have my sister.”

The Rest of the Story

It would be 30 years before I found out the name of the movie. When I described it, Garry knew it immediately. Garry always knows. He’s the Movie Maven.

We watched it the other day. He saw it was on and recorded in on our DVR. What would we do without Turner Classic Movies? Surprisingly, it was still good. Still gave me the sniffles. Because now we have Google and all that implies, I looked it up and discovered the story is based on real events. The movie was made from a book written by one of the kids (grandkids?) of the children portrayed in the movie. If you are up for a good cry, this is an excellent choice.

This is definitely a Christmas story. I’m not sure if you would call it inspiring. I’d have to ponder the definition of inspiring. Touching, for sure.



Categories: Christmas, Daily Prompt, film, Movies

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. Hi Marilyn. I just noticed your comments about the wonderfu super central hub which no-one wants. I made my cynical comment on this announcement too afterwards see that you had made yours as well. Great minds think alike, but I wonder if it will be noticed.

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    • At least they are acknowledging that not everyone will want the new version. That’s an improvement over just saying “screw you” which is what they’ve done the last couple of times. Of course, that’s now. Who know how long their “benign” attitude will last. Could be minutes from changing their minds. And THIS is why I am not optimistic about reappearance of pingbacks and prompts. I don’t see that there’s any room in their Brave New WordPress World for our little blogging circle. They are shooting for the big spenders, the high rollers, not individual bloggers. That central hub is designed for businesses, not personal blogs. WordPress is moving in a new direction and we are not part of their business plan. What we do about it is another matter and I’m not sure if there IS anything to be done.

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      • I went through this once before with Multiply. They began with opening a sort of store where people, mostly in the far east, were selling their pyjamas, shirts or whatever and you could buy. Then the owner of Multiply, moved the company to Indonesia and the social side of Multiply continued until one fine day he told everyone we are closing and only open for trading. We were not happy, we were a group of people that had found each other. It was a good site. We left and the site was closed. After two months the owner went bankrupt and had to close it down for good. He deserved it and perhaps this is the way WordPress are going, although not so radical. They will close down the social bits and stick to business where the money is. In the meanwhile I will continued, but keep an eye on it. One thing is sure, I discovered when searching for a Multiply replacement, I found none. I eventually found a corner of WordPress and was happy. And now? Who knows?

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        • We are all searching for a new home and I think it is a wise thing to do. We need to keep our eyes open — I expect some company will jump into the breach. It would not take much for Google to improve Blogger and make it more friendly … they already have the infrastructure.

          I don’t think we are going to get tossed off WordPress soon, but I think our long term relationship isn’t looking great. I’m hoping a solution will present itself. We have an awful lot invested in this. Not just money. Time, effort, relationships, everything and I’m really sad at the way it’s going.

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  2. Great story and I must look out for this movie. 😀

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  3. I can give it a try for sure 🙂

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  4. I don’t know the film at all. I cannot even remember the last time I had soggy tissues

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve seen this…long, long ago.

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