Young Widow

Young Widow is a 1946 drama film directed by Edwin L. Marin and starring Jane Russell and Louis Hayward.[2] It focuses on Joan Kenwood, a young journalist who cannot get over her husband's death in World War II. Kenwood is reminded in large ways and small of her late husband during every one of her assignments. With The Outlaw still being withheld from general release, Young Widow was Jane Russell's debut.

Young Widow
Theatrical release poster
Directed byEdwin L. Marin
Produced byHunt Stromberg
Screenplay byRichard Macaulay
Based onYoung Widow
by Clarissa Fairchild Cushman
Music byCarmen Dragon
CinematographyLee Garmes
Edited byJohn M. Foley
Hunt Stromberg Productions
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • March 1, 1946 (1946-03-01)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.5 million[1]


Set during World War II, journalist Joan Kenwood (Jane Russell), whose Air Corps photographer husband was killed on an air mission, returns to New York City from England. The managing editor of the newspaper for which she worked, Peter Waring (Kent Taylor), offers Joan work, but she despondently rejects it and instead stays with two aunts on their farm in Virginia. Unable to stop thinking about the death, however, she decides to return to New York.

On the train, young bomber pilot Lt. Jim Cameron (Louis Hayward) persistently tries to charm her, but Joan rebuffs him. In New York, both are unable to find vacant hotel rooms, but Joan calls her friend, Peg Martin (Penny Singleton), whose baseball player husband is serving on a submarine, for a place to stay. Peg shares her apartment with Mac (Marie Wilson), a show girl who has just returned from entertaining the troops. A number of military men drop in on the apartment as Joan arrives, all invited by the scatter-brained Mac. Jim learns where Joan is staying, shows up too, and sees opportunity in the situation. Later, everyone goes out to a café. While Jim and Joan are dancing, her husband’s favorite song is played, and a distraught Joan leaves. Jim follows and takes her home. When he bluntly suggests that she get over the man she is in love with, Joan explains that the man is her husband, who was killed over Berlin. Ashamed, Jim returns to his base at Mitchel Field on Long Island, where he is awaiting orders for the Pacific.

The next day, as Joan is leaving the apartment, she encounters a remorseful Jim. After she accepts his apology, Jim accompanies her to the subway. While waiting for the train, Jim saves the life of an elderly woman who falls on the tracks. Joan's reporter instincts take over, and she investigates the story and offers it to the paper. Delighted, Peter promptly puts her on the payroll. She and Jim pursue an easy-going courtship when he receives a 72-hour pass.

Jim receives a telegram ordering him to report for cholera shots. He proposes to Joan, but still haunted by her husband, she rejects him saying that "it will always be this way." A few days later, Peg’s husband returns after losing his leg in combat, and moved by seeing them together, Joan decides to tell Jim that she will wait for him. Peter drives her to the airfield, but Jim's outfit is already taking off. She waves frantically at him from outside the gate as he takes off, and as he passes by, mouths the words that she loves him and will wait for him.



The film was originally directed by William Dieterle who left after filming began. He was replaced by Andre de Toth who then left reportedly due to a case of strep throat. He was replaced in turn by Edwin L. Marin.[3]

The film went over budget by $600,000 and was a box office failure.[4]


Young Widow was released March 1, 1946.[5]


  2. "Young Widow". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  3. 'Tracy' Cast Gathers; Warners Seek 'Widow' Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 24 May 1945: A2.
  4. Balio, Tino (2009). United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-23004-3. p203
  5. "Young Widow". American Film Institute. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
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