Guest Review: Betty Hutton and Dana Andrews Have a “Spring Reunion”

Spring Reunion

In today’s guest post, Constance Metzinger shares her thoughts on the 1957 drama Spring Reunion:

Maggie Brewster (Betty Hutton) has been looking forward to the fifteenth reunion of her high school class for weeks. It is the day of the big event and Maggie has a full schedule of things to do, one of which is going to the beauty parlor with her best friend Barnie (Jean Hagen), but before she does, she has to see a prospective client who is interested in buying a property her real estate firm has been trying to unload for years. It belongs to Fred Davis (Dana Andrews), once considered “The Boy Most Likely to Succeed” in Maggie’s class.

When she arrives at the property she is surprised to find Fred there. He tells her that a wave of nostalgia overcame him and he wants to cancel the sale. Her disappointment is short-lived when she realizes that Fred is as handsome as ever, single, and has an eye for her. Maggie’s school friends are all married with children and, with her reunion coming up, she is beginning to wonder what she has made of her life. Fred is pondering the same question and the night of the spring reunion sparks off a romance between them.

Spring Reunion is a delightful 1950s melodrama ideal to watch during springtime. The film addresses the concerns most people have when a school reunion approaches. We all see it as a mid-life assessment report – What Have You Done With Your Life?

“Maybe I’m the one who never measured up, Dad.” – Maggie

Jack Frazer (Gordon Jones) begins to realize that he may no longer be the physically fit football hero he was. Barnie thinks there may be more exciting things in life than being a mother to four children. Fred is tired of traveling across America, always searching for a better job. He wants to settle down and putter with his sailboat again. Maggie is tired of hearing her father say she is still “the prettiest, smartest and most popular girl” when she feels herself quickly heading towards spinsterhood. She wonders what became of the “Girl Most Likely”. Both her and Fred’s motives for a relationship are based on fear of future loneliness rather than love, but they seem to have a fighting chance for lasting happiness.

Betty Hutton was well-established as a dramatic actress by the time she made Spring Reunion, but even though she matured she still adds a touch of that old light-hearted playfulness to her character. Gordon Jones and Jean Hagen provide more of the comedy relief, as do the character actors which include Irene Ryan, Florence Sundstrom, and Herbert Anderson. Also in the cast is James Gleason, Robert F. Simon, and Laura La Plante.

The movie has a sparkling script by Elick Moll and Robert Pirosh (A Day at the RacesI Married a Witch) and is just overall entertaining to watch. Unlike a high school reunion, it is something that you can enjoy every spring.

Constance Metzinger runs the website Silver Scenes, “a blog for classic film lovers.”