Wait till the Sun Shines, Nellie (film)

Wait till the Sun Shines, Nellie is a 1952 film drama directed by Henry King, sharing the name of a popular song. Starring Jean Peters and David Wayne,[2] it charts the life of an Illinois family between the 1890s and 1920s.

Wait till the Sun Shines, Nellie
Directed byHenry King
Produced byGeorge Jessel
Written byMaxwell Shane
Allan Scott (adaptation)
Based onI Hear Them Sing
by Ferdinand Reyher
StarringJean Peters
Music byAlfred Newman
CinematographyLeon Shamroy
Edited byBarbara McLean
Distributed byTwentieth Century Fox
Release date
July 1952
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.25 million (US rentals)[1]


Expecting to honeymoon in Chicago and live there, newlywed Nellie is disappointed when she and Ben Halper disembark from their train at a small town in Illinois, where he has chosen to live and run a barber shop.

Ben lies to his wife, claiming the shop is only rented and likewise their home, when actually he has purchased both. Nellie gives birth to their two children, but wants so much to see Chicago that when Ben is away, she accepts an offer from Ed Jordan, a hardware store owner, to visit the big city together. In a train wreck, Nellie is killed.

The thought that his wife might have been unfaithful haunts Ben over the coming years. His children grow up, and Ben Jr. decides against his father's wishes to go to Chicago as a dancer in a vaudeville act.

Ben becomes a grandfather and his son serves in World War I, where he is injured and can no longer dance. Ben Jr. takes a job with a Chicago racketeer named Kava, to his father's shame. One day, both Ben Jr. and his boss are gunned down by machine guns.

An elderly Ben Halper looks back on his life with regret, his greatest remaining pleasure being that his granddaughter, Nellie, grows up to exactly resemble the woman he long ago married.



  1. 'Top Box-Office Hits of 1952', Variety, January 7, 1953
  2. "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie (1952) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast - AllMovie". AllMovie.
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