Cast & Crew
While hauling his crying sister on a small sled through the freezing snow, young Robbie Eunson recalls how their situation came about: In September 1856, Robbie's father Robert and his pregnant wife Mamie arrive in backwoods Wisconsin from the Shetland Islands in Scotland. Shocked to discover that Mamie's uncle, who had invited them, died in a fire three weeks earlier, the couple is deeply touched when their neighbors take them in and then help them to build a cabin on the site of the burned home. Robbie is born on 12 October, the day on which, as proud father Rob exclaims, Columbus "discovered America for us." On that same night, Rob, whose money is now exhausted, walks to a logging camp located twenty-five miles from the cabin. The Irish-American boss, Tom Cullen, gives Rob a job as a cutter, but when Cullen calls him a "Nordsky," Rob replies that although the Scandinavians are a fine race, he happens to be Scottish. Rob visits Mamie and the baby when he can, but Cullen, who continues to call him "Nordsky," rarely allows him to go home. Exasperated with Cullen's insults, Rob finally challenges his boss to a fight. When Rob defeats Cullen, the Irishman laughs, begins calling him "Scotty" and becomes his fast friend. Rob returns to his own trade of boatbuilding following the birth of his son Jimmie. Mamie, who has noticed that most of the ladies in the nearby village of Eureka know how to read, attends school with little Robbie. During the next few years, she and Rob have four more children--Kirk, Annabelle, Elizabeth and Jane. One day, Dr. Delbert informs the Eunsons that Kirk has contracted diphtheria. While Rob and the other children stay in an abandoned cabin in the woods, Mamie nurses Kirk. Robbie, now eleven, tells his worried father that when he is a man, he hopes to be just like him, and soon afterward, Mamie tells Rob that Kirk has recovered. At this news, Rob breaks down and weeps. When Rob and the children return home, the family happily reunites, but to Mamie's distress, Rob begins coughing almost immediately. Mamie tenderly cares for Rob until his death and then takes in sewing to support her family. Robbie offers to quit school and work for Cullen, but Mamie insists that he complete his education. Winter comes, and Mamie, exhausted, contracts typhoid fever. Robbie takes charge of the household, but several days before Christmas, Mamie calls him to her side and asks him to find good homes for the children. After praising her son for having truly been the man of the house, Mamie dies. During her funeral, the haughty Mrs. Runyon loudly asks what the villagers are to do with six orphans. Robbie asks that the children be allowed to spend Christmas together before being sent to the state orphanage, and Dr. Delbert consents to the request. After the smaller children have fallen asleep, Robbie and Jimmie make plans for distributing the children among the village families, and on Christmas Day, Robbie visits each of the chosen families. The Tylers, just sitting down to Christmas dinner, happily agree to take Annabelle, but because the family Robbie has chosen for Lizzie is away, he offers her to the childless couple who teach in the village school. Back at the cabin, Robbie and Jimmie are distressed to see Mrs. Runyon trying to leave with little Jane. The brothers bar the door, but Mrs. Runyon threatens to return for Jane after speaking with "the council." Explaining that there is now no time to send Kirk to the family he had in mind, Robbie gruffly orders the tearful boy to report to another family. Tired and sad, Robbie collapses, but he soon regains his composure and bids Jimmie farewell. As Jimmie knocks on the door of Mrs. Raiden, whose daughters have always considered him "cute," Robbie bundles Jane into a small sled and hauls her through the darkness to Berlin, ten miles away. A kindly woman agrees to take Jane, inviting Robbie to come and visit her sometime. Robbie hesitates for a moment and then continues through the snow to Cullen's logging camp.
Alan Hale [jr.]
Terry Ann Ross
Gloria Elaine Harris
Darleen Marie Harris
Karen D. Hartman
Vicki L. Hartman
Alan Crosland Jr.
Albert S. D'agostino
Harry Maret Jr.
Frank T. Smith
James S. Thompson
All Mine to Give
Several memorable child actors are featured in All Mine to Give, many of whom had later success on television or hit it big with a major movie role. For example, Patty McCormack, who plays eldest daughter Annabella, earned a Best Supporting Oscar nomination for her chillingly evil brat in The Bad Seed (1956). Rex Thompson, who appears as the oldest son Robbie, stole scenes the previous year as Deborah Kerr's son in The King and I (1956). And the young Bobbie is played by Jon Provost, who went on to TV fame as Timmy Martin on the series Lassie from 1957 to 1964.
There are also some wonderful character actors on display in All Mine to Give, particularly Alan Hale, Jr. and Hope Emerson. Hale, whose father was a popular supporting player during the 30's and 40's (usually as a sidekick to leads like Errol Flynn), was also kept busy with character parts, mainly for television; the most famous being his role of the Skipper on Gilligan's Island. Emerson, a six-foot-two 230-pound actress, made unforgettable appearances in Caged (1950) as a prison matron and as a circus strongwoman in Adam's Rib (1949).
But probably the most distinguished performer in All Mine to Give is British actress Glynis Johns, the daughter of English stage actor Mervyn Johns. She made her mark in such movies as The Sundowners (1960) for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress and as Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins (1964). Johns just missed becoming MGM's resident British actress in the 40's when she was being considered as a contract player by studio head Louis B. Mayer. But when the movie mogul screened the 1945 Robert Donat comedy Perfect Strangers, that featured both Johns and Deborah Kerr, Mayer ended up offering the contract to Kerr instead.
Johns nonetheless relocated from England to Hollywood, continuing to make movies and having great success on TV and Broadway. She had her own sitcom in the '60s, Glynis, a comic detective series which was like I Love Lucy meets Murder She Wrote. She also popped up as Diane Chambers' mother on Cheers and won the 1973 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for A Little Night Music. Even today, Johns is still active in Hollywood and her most recent movies include roles in The Ref (1994), While You Were Sleeping (1995) and Superstar (1999).
Producer: Sam Wiesenthal
Director: Allen Reisner
Screenplay: Katherine Eunson, Dale Eunson
Art Direction: Albert S. D'gostino, Frank T. Smith Cinematography: William Skall
Editing: Alan Crosland, Jr.
Music: Max Steiner
Cast: Glynis Johns (Mamie), Cameron Mitchell (Robert), Rex Thompson (Robbie), Patty McCormack (Annabella), Ernest Truex (Dr. Delbert), Hope Emerson (Mrs. Pugmire), Alan Hale, Jr. (Tom Cullen), Royal Dano (Howard Tyler), Reta Shaw (Mrs. Runyon), Ellen Corby (Mrs. Raiden).
C-103m. Closed captioning. Descriptive Video.
by Stephanie Thames
All Mine to Give
The working title of this film was The Day They Gave Babies Away. The Motion Picture Herald Prod Digest review notes that the film was based on incidents derived from the family background of writer Dale Eunson, who wrote the original story and collaborated with his wife Katherine on the screenplay. According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter, RKO bought the property in 1950, at which time Edmund Grainger was slated to produce and Valentine Davies was being considered to write the screenplay.
As noted in a March 15, 1951 Hollywood Reporter article, Grainger completed pre-production shooting of exteriors in Big Bear, CA, with a cast and crew consisting of Johnny Murphy, Robert Walker and cameraman Robert DeGrasse. Murphy and Waker did not appear in the completed film, and it is unlikely that and of DeGrasse's photography was retained in the produced picture. On May 7, 1951, however, Hollywood Reporter reported that Grainger was postponing the film "in order to give... his full attention to" the 1952 RKO film One Minute to Zero (see below). On March 5, 1956, Hollywood Reporter announced that William Dozier had assigned the film to Walter Wanger, but the extent of his contribution, if any, to the final film is not known.
According to studio press materials, portions of the film were shot on location in Mt. Hood, OR, and Idyllwild, CA. Although the film had its premiere in Great Britain in April 1957, it was not generally released in the United States until January 1958. The distribution of this film was taken over by Universal after the demise of RKO. All Mine to Give marked television director Allen Reisner's debut as a feature film director. On December 24, 1951, a radio version of Eunson's story was broadcast on NBC's Cavalcade of America program, starring Bobby Driscoll.