GenreDrama ScreenplayIda Lupino, Collier Young LanguageEnglish
WriterIda Lupino, Collier Young Release date29 December 1949 CastSally Forrest (Carol Williams), Keefe Brasselle (Guy Richards), Hugh O'Brian (Len Randall), Eve Miller (Phyllis Towwnsend), Lawrence Dobkin (Dr. Middleton), Rita Lupino (Josie) Similar moviesIda Lupino directed Never Fear and Hard - Fast and Beautiful
Never Fear 1949 is an American drama film directed and co-written by Ida Lupino, and produced by Lupino and Collier Young.
Carol Williams (played by Sally Forrest) is a beautiful young dancer with a promising career, struck down with and crippled by polio. Williams' dance partner and fiancé, Guy Richards (played by Keefe Brasselle), wants to see her through her illness, but Carol struggles with dealing with her recovery and prefers to go it alone. Her father (played by Herb Butterfield) takes her to the Kabat-Kaiser Institute for rehabilitation, where she meets fellow patients in recovery. One of the patients that inspire Carol's recovery is Len Randall (Hugh O'Brian in his first movie role). Only by allowing others to share her grief is Ms Williams able to pull herself together and go on with her life.
Sally Forrest as Carol Williams
Keefe Brasselle as Guy Richards
Hugh O'Brian as Len Randall
Eve Miller as Phyllis Townsend
Lawrence Dobkin as Dr. Middleton
Rita Lupino as Josie
Herbert Butterfield as Walter Williams
Kevin O'Morrison as Red Dawson
Stanley Waxman as Dr. Taylor
Jerry Hausner as Mr. Brownlee
John Franco as Carlos
Ida Lupino had contracted polio herself in 1934. She suffered the same fevers, pains and fears as did her lead character. She, too, was filled with dark thoughts and she, too, worried that she would never walk again. The major symptoms lasted only briefly and Ms. Lupino was left with minor problems in a leg and a hand. She remained a supporter of causes to fight the disease. The film Never Fear was released in 1949 at the height of the polio fear and outbreak.
The rehabilitation scenes were shot at the Kabat-Kaiser Institute in Santa Monica, California. Many of the actors used were actual rehab patients at the institute and the scenes are realistic and informative. There is a particularity touching scene of wheelchair square dancing with Sally Forrest and Hugh O’Brian’s characters dancing with each other in a group of actual wheelchair dancers.
The film was not popular because of the subject matter and did not make money for Filmakers, Lupino's production company. Variety reviewed it thus: "As written by Ida Lupino and Collier Young, the screenplay was psychologically sound in dealing with the emotional ups and downs of polio victims, and it is equally convincing as a documentary of treatment with effective shots of physical therapy".
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