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My Six Loves (1963)

Exhausted by her hectic career, Broadway superstar Janice Courtney (Debbie Reynolds) collapses before a throng of reporters and is ordered by her doctor to take a six-week break under the watchful eye of her secretary, Ethel (Eileen Heckart).

Fleeing to her rural Connecticut home to recuperate, Janice discovers six scruffy children squatting in an abandoned shack on her property – the abandoned children of a migrant tobacco picker.

At first, their unwilling hostess is eager to be rid of them but the children’s devotion to each other and their helplessness persuades her to take them into her house.

As Janice, the youngsters and their dog become domesticated in the trying days that follow, the handsome young village minister (Cliff Robertson) proves to be a never-failing source of practical help.

The romantic comedy swings occasionally from slapstick to sentimentality, but generally romps along light-heartedly somewhere in between.

While it’s normal today to see an independent woman living a single life, focusing on her career and standing on her own two feet without a man by her side, that wasn’t something you saw a lot in the ’60s and the character of Janice Courtney was someone to really admire.

The film contains the song It’s a Darn Good Thing, which Reynolds released as a single in the US on the DOT record label.

In many scenes of the film, Leo Smith (Billy E. Hughes) is plainly seen wearing a flashy gold ring on his left hand despite him and his five siblings being homeless with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Evidently Hughes forgot to take off his personal jewellery and nobody noticed in time.

The film marks the directorial debut of Gower Champion.

Janice Courtney
Debbie Reynolds
Reverend Jim Larkin
Cliff Robertson
Marty Bliss
David Janssen
Eileen Heckart
Kinsley Kross
Hans Conried
Doreen Smith
Mary McCarty
Judge Harris
John McGiver
B.J. Smith
Max Showalter
Selena Johnson
Alice Ghostley
Dianne Soper
Pippa Scott
Dr Miller
Claude Stroud
Ava Johnson
Darlene Tompkins
Leon Belasco
Billy E. Hughes
Jim Backus

Gower Champion