Watch No Time for Tears
- 1 hr 26 min
In the film No Time for Tears from 1957, we meet Ruth, a passionate midwife who works in a busy London hospital during the post-WWII era. Ruth, played by Anna Neagle, is dedicated to her job, and her main priority is the welfare of her patients. However, her personal life is complicated by her relationship with her boss and colleague, Dr. Alec Harvey, played by Anthony Quayle. Despite his position of authority, Alec shows Ruth that he is not immune to the emotional demands of their work, leaving the two to navigate their complex feelings for one another. Throughout the film, we follow Ruth as she provides care and support to a range of women, including one who is pregnant and unmarried, another who has suffered a stillbirth, and a third who must deal with a traumatic uterine rupture. To add to the complexity of her role, Ruth must constantly advocate for her patients' rights and safety in a system that is often dismissive and dehumanizing to women in childbirth. Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, the film manages to maintain a certain lightness of tone, thanks in part to Neagle's winning performance as Ruth. She brings a level of charm and warmth to the character that makes her easy to root for, even when circumstances are difficult. Adding to the film's bright spots is the performance of Sylvia Syms as a young patient under Ruth's care. Syms brings a touching vulnerability to her role, making her character one of the most memorable of the film. As the movie progresses, Ruth and Alec's relationship is tested both inside and outside the hospital. Ruth's involvement with a patient and a local mother's group put her in direct conflict with Alec's more conservative views on women's rights and healthcare. Meanwhile, Ruth is also dealing with personal struggles, including the challenges of raising her adopted daughter alone and the lingering trauma of her experiences during WWII. All of these messy, complicated threads come together in a moving final act that showcases the best of the film's emotional intelligence and pathos. One of the most intriguing aspects of No Time for Tears is its depiction of the medical field in the 1950s. Through Ruth and Alec's characters, we see how medicine was still largely dominated by men who were often dismissive or controlling towards their female patients. We also see how midwives were a vital source of support during childbirth, providing emotional and physical care that was often missing in hospital settings. These themes, which are still relevant today, are skillfully woven into the film's narrative without ever feeling overly didactic or preachy. Overall, No Time for Tears is a touching and engaging film that provides a powerful glimpse into the world of midwifery and women's healthcare during a difficult and transformative era. It is a testament to the strength and resilience of women, and a reminder that we must continue to fight for their rights and dignity. Fans of classic cinema, romance, and social commentary will all find something to appreciate in this timeless movie.