None but the Lonely Heart is a 1944 film which tells the story of a Cockney lad who returns home with no ambitions but finds that his family needs him. Adapted by Clifford Odets from the novel by Richard Llewellyn and directed by Odets, the movie stars Cary Grant, Ethel Barrymore, Barry Fitzgerald, June Duprez, Jane Wyatt, George Coulouris, and Dan Duryea.
The title of the film is provided by one of Tchaikovsky's songs - perhaps the best-known outside Russia - the poignant melody featured in the background music.
None but the Lonely Heart won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Ethel Barrymore) and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Cary Grant), Best Film Editing and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture (Hanns Eisler and Constantin Bakaleinikoff).
The screenplay was published in Best Film Plays—1945, eds. John Gassner and Dudley Nichols (New York: Crown, 1946).
Musical comedian and parodist Spike Jones recorded a three minute spoof of radio soap operas entitled None but the lonely heart (A Soaperetta) in the 1940s.
None but the Lonely Heart and Sylvia Scarlett (1935) were the only two films in which Cary Grant used a Cockney accent, though that was not his original accent, as he was from Bristol, which has a very different accent to London. The unique vocal intonations with which he spoke in every other film were the happy results of an unsuccessful attempt to go from an English to an American accent so that he wouldn't be limited to playing British roles in American movies.
Ernie Mott (Cary Grant) is a restless, irresponsible, wandering cockney with a good musical ear. His father died in World War I. Ernie wants a better life but doesn't want to settle down or work for it. This extends to his love life; musician Aggie Hunter (Jane Wyatt) genuinely cares for him, but he prefers the company of fickle gangster's ex-wife Ada Brantline (June Duprez).
When Ernie finds out that his mother is very ill with cancer, he decides to stay put, be a good son, and help his mum run her shop, even though prior to that his mother and he were arguing fiercely all of the time. A series of unfortunate incidents leads to his mother dying in prison, and he fails to win the lasting affection of Ada. At the end of the film there is a mention of the on-going war (World War II) and some indication that Ernie may be going to straighten out his life and perhaps think seriously about Aggie as a life partner.
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