Dear Ruth is frothy fun from 1947 (though it’s set three years earlier during World War II), starring William Holden at his charming best, Joan Caufield as Ruth and Mona Freeman as her younger sister Miriam.
A dashing young lieutenant (Holden) arrives at the home of Ruth and Miriam, eager to meet Ruth. Her parents are baffled about who he is, but finally realize that Ruth has been corresponding with the young airman while he flew missions overseas in Europe. From the way the lieutenant talks, a romance has blossomed through their letters.
Except it hasn’t, at least not for Ruth.
After Lieutenant Seacroft leaves and Ruth comes home from work, the family discovers that 16-year-old Miriam was the lieutenant’s actual penpal, sending him a picture of her older sister and signing her name to some 60 letters. Even though she’s engaged to a dependable man, Ruth decides to maintain the charade because the lieutenant only has a two-day leave. Naturally, mayhem ensues.
Dear Ruth is a hoot, from earnest Miriam with causes like the drafting of women to Ruth’s indignant fiance, played by Billy De Wolfe. One-liners abound, and the action zips past from one zany situation to the next.
I remember watching this movie years ago on TV when movies from the 40s and 50s were commonplace on the local channels. I searched through library catalogs and streaming services to try to find it. No luck, and it was never released on DVD. But I discovered that someone uploaded the entire film to YouTube a couple of months ago. I don’t know how long it will stay there, but if you want to see Dear Ruth, here it is! (Note that the YouTube link below does not show up with all versions of the Safari browser.)
Film Friday: Do you give Dear Ruth your stamp of approval?