Jason (William Holden) is a World War II veteran going to college on the GI Bill in the hope of bettering himself. He has recently married his sweetheart, Peggy (Jeanne Crain), who has learned that they're having a baby. However, money is tight for the young couple, and inexpensive housing is at a premium in the post-war boom times.

Peggy meets Professor Henry Barnes (Edmund Gwenn), an instructor at the college who lives alone in a huge house. Barnes is convinced that the best years of his life are over, that he has no purpose in life, and that our culture has sacrificed its highest ideals. But Peggy convinces Prof. Barnes to let her and Jason stay in his attic.

As the newlyweds try to turn the cobwebbed space into a home, the professor gets to know his tenants better, and their enthusiastic optimism rubs off on him, giving him a sense that there are things left to be accomplished and reasons to go on.

Oscar
0 Nominations
0 Awards

Golden Globes
0 Nominations
0 Awards
“Apartment for Peggy” reunited director George Seaton with actor Edmund Gwenn, who had clicked the previous year in the classic “Miracle on 34th Street”. As Professor Henry Barnes -- an over-salted academic who feels he has little or no reason to go on until two young and expectant newlyweds waltz into his life -- Gwenn never begs for audience sympathy but manages to consistently earn the respect of the viewer by virtue of sheer charm and the small doses of offhanded humor with which director/scenarist Seaton invests his dialogue.

As the title character, Jeanne Crain is consistently wound up, with her rapid-fire delivery but always radiant to behold. Given the subject matter, this film (and particularly its denouement) could have been terrible -- Hollywood has seen more than enough of films where down-and-outers learn to "appreciate life" from the young and young-at-heart -- thankfully, Seaton never quite succumbs to preaching to the audience and wisely avoids delving into melancholia.

William Holden is strong in his delivery of Jason, which at times can seem trying given the incessant rambling of Peggy, but there is so much love there for her and the approaching baby that he handles the role with dignity and grace.

The film's only drawback is Seaton's failure to take better advantage of the excellent character actor Gene Lockhart; in a supporting role, Lockhart feels wasted.