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In the Meantime, Darling

In the Meantime, Darling(1944)


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Due to wartime housing restrictions, Army lieutenant Daniel Ferguson must wait to marry his fiancée, Margaret Preston, until a room becomes available in the Craig Hotel, where the married officers live with their wives. The hotel, which has been taken over by the Army, can only be occupied by wives whose husbands are stationed at nearby Camp Fielding, and when an officer is shipped overseas, his wife must then vacate their room. When a room finally becomes available, Danny wires Maggie to come immediately from her home in Philadelphia, and she soon arrives with her wealthy parents, H. B. and Vera Preston. H. B. and Vera are appalled by the crowded, simple conditions that Maggie will have to endure, but Maggie is so thrilled to be marrying Danny that she does not notice. After her parents leave, however, and Danny must go to the base to work, Maggie unhappily surveys her surroundings. Although Maggie, who has always led a very privileged life, does not mean to be snobbish or rude, her expectations of being served and her lack of consideration of the other wives quickly make her an outcast. Maggie does not understand that she is supposed to pitch in, just as all the wives do, and Jerry Armstrong, who runs the hotel, is exasperated to find that Maggie is seemingly without any skills. Fed up with the situation, Maggie acts rudely to Jerry until she discovers that Jerry continued to run the hotel after her soldier husband's death overseas in order to honor his memory. Ashamed of her selfish behavior, Maggie grows more humble and, using her college training as an artist, creates a lovely sign for an upcoming dance to honor a visiting general. Maggie becomes friendly with the other wives, especially Shirley, the wife of Danny's best pal, Lt. Philip "Red" Pianatowski. A month later, on the afternoon of the dance, Danny works with some of the other soldiers to decorate the hall and is bewildered by the snide comments of his comrades, who accuse him of being a shirker. At the hotel, Maggie confesses to Danny that she asked her influential father to arrange for him to be kept at the camp as the adjutant so that he would not be shipped overseas. Furious at Maggie's interference, Danny storms out, and Maggie tearfully packs her bags to go home. When Danny returns with Red, they find an infant care book that Maggie had been studying in order to help the other wives, and mistakenly assume that she is pregnant. Danny then rushes to the station to find Maggie, who is confused but pleased by his insistence that she return. The couple attend the dance, and Red tells Shirley about Maggie's supposed pregnancy. Shirley informs Maggie, who is trying to tell Danny the truth when the company receives word that they are being shipped out. Horrified, Maggie tells Danny that she is not pregnant, and the disappointed Danny walks away. Jerry comforts Maggie and encourages her to be more supportive of her husband's efforts to serve his country, and when Danny runs back in, Maggie embraces him warmly. The couple reassure each other of their love, and after Danny leaves, Maggie and Shirley prepare to move out of the hotel and find jobs in the defense industry.