Journey for Margaret (1942) - Plot Summary - IMDb
Journey for Margaret (1942) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 1940. For the better part of the war thus far, New York news correspondent John Davis and his wife Nora Davis have been in the hot spots of western Europe, including Rotterdam and much of France, which has just fallen to the Nazis. The war has taken a toll on John professionally, as he has closed himself off emotionally in his writing solely to be able to cope. They have decided to move to London where they consider a safer place to start their family, but still within the war zone for John to do his work. A tragic event results in Nora too closing herself off from the war happening around them, she and John who ultimately decide to move back to Connecticut. With Nora having left and John having one more story left to write, things change when that story deeply effects John. That story is about Riswick Children's House run by caring Trudy Strauss, it which takes in children displaced by the war, especially those that have faced some sort of trauma. He especially connects with two children, Margaret and Peter who each has a different history which brought them to Riswick. In that care for the two of them, John may have to make the most difficult decision in his life concerning both their futures with the enemy bombs a constant occurrence now in London.

  • An American newspaperman and his wife, caught in the London blitz, lose their unborn child in an air raid. Outraged, they visit a shelter for homeless children where they fall in love with orphans Margaret and her brother Peter. They eventaully adopt the children and bring them to America.

  • When his wife is traumatized by a miscarriage during a London bombing, American journalist John Davis, decides to set out on his assignment in England. His wife tries to mourn her loss with sports and social events, while John is sent to write an ariticle about the orphans homes in the heart of London. There he meets Margaret White, a little girl who deals with the blitz by carrying around a toy bomb. Also among the children is little Peter Humphreys, who Margaret treats as a little brother. The two claim John Davis as theirs and the man begins to write about them to his wife, which slowly brings her out of her shock. The couple want desperately to adopt Margaret and Peter, however, circumstances beyond thier control may force John to decide between the pair.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • It wasn't "they" who went to a children's home and fell in love with the two children. After Nora lost her unborn child, she went home and her husband was on his own in London. They both had kind of lost themselves, and the wife later said that she was not really her true self for a long time. At one point, during an air raid, Robert Young's character asks God to show him what to do. He did meet the little boy on the night his wife was injured, and later meets the boy, Peter, again in the home, where he also gets to know Margaret. His relationship with the two children seems natural, at times he gets frustrated, and the children aren't easy or angels, Margaret has been scarred by the war, and embarrasses him in front of other adults. Any parent, and parents of children who are dealing with difficulties, can relate to this, and it was nice to have this kind of realism shown in a 40's film. I've liked Robert Young in other movies, but wondered if this, in part, led him later to be cast as an iconic TV Father. I really liked this movie, it was moving, and gave you an idea of the things that adults and children went through during the London bombings; it did not whitewash the hardships, as some WWII films do. Right now, I'm thinking of my young child's fears and hard times just seeing (on TV) 911, and mistakenly thinking that it might have meant the loss of a family member...what we dealt with was nothing compared to Brits in the 30's and 40's. I'd never heard of this movie - definitely worth seeing.

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