Lost Angel (1943) MGM

Stories about young waifs who are reared to be genii have a special place in my heart.  I have written many stories about these prodigies and some have been lost in space(reformatted computers and the like) and some were already submitted somewhere out there.

LOST ANGEL is one such story shown decades before I was born.  The role Alpha was tailor-made for then little Margaret O'Brien(who actually is close to the age of my father) who was one of the most popular little girls in Hollywood.   

Judy Garland once said when she was being interviewed about her young co-star in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS that she saw herself in her and she was glad that during Margaret's time, she did not need to take uppers to stay wide awake(she and Andy Rooney were given pills, stunting their growth).  Still,  she was worried that Margaret might miss on her childhood, so as much as she could, she played with her...Thankfully, now at 77, Margaret O'Brien is still very active in her industry.

Back to the story...

A young baby was sent to a foundling home where Pickering Institute was trying to find a perfect human guinea pig for their experiment.  The child was going to be free of the corruptions of the world and would be reared to be a knowledgeable in all things, as much as her sponge of a brain would absorb.  There many babies sent before this baby, but only this last one passed with flying colors.  She was healthy and her size was just right.  

The noted psychologists/psychiatrists of the institute named her Alpha and taught her everything they thought she should know.  At the age of six she already was an expert in World History, math, languages(her foreign language was different branches of Chinese) et cetera and for some reason this "news" reached a popular broadsheet so they sent their Harvard Graduate, Mike Regan(James Craig), to interview Alpha.   He was impressed with her, but was frazzled to find out that Alpha didn't know how to be a child.  He told her stuff that made her curious about many things that on the same night she escaped the institution...

Wait.  I am already telling the whole story.  

Anyways, to cut the long story short, Alpha became drawn to Mike and during the span of three days, he became her crush then her infatuation transcended to becoming a love of a child for her father.

Margaret and her co-stars, did quite well.  There are many scenes that would not be realistic nowadays, but during that time, when many people still had good hearts, the scenes were quite real as real could be.

I only met Marsha Hunt, James Craig et al here in this film and I must say that I am quite impressed with all of them.

Some scenes are quite funny and some are heart wrenching.

You don't need to be related by blood to be family and this is the universal message that this movie has sent and is sending to first time watchers like me.  

"The real magic is loving someone," said Alpha.  

Alpha lying to the newspaper people by telling them that she is Mike's daughter

Mike and Alpha

Directed by Roy Rowland
Produced by Robert Sisk
Written by Angna Enters (story) Isobel Lennart


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