Wait Till the Sun Shines Nellie (1952)

Film Review


Release Date: July 1952

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Director: Henry King

Starring: David Wayne, Jean Peters


On their wedding day, Ben Halper brings his bride, Nellie, to their new home in the small town of Sevillinois, Illinois, where Ben plans to open a barbershop. Nellie is disappointed because she expected to go to Chicago. Ben tells her that they will move to Chicago later. However, the years pass, and they never go to Chicago. In fact, Ben has been lying to Nellie; he has bought the barbershop and their house. He does not intend to move to Chicago. Nellie, discontented and angry, finally goes to Chicago without Ben. The trip ends tragically. Nellie and Ed Jordan, with whom she was traveling, are killed in a train wreck. Ben is embittered by this event. The friendship and support of three loyal customers help him overcome his depression, and he carries on alone. Births, deaths, war, and social change shape his life during his fifty years in Sevillinois. A constant factor throughout the years is the friendship and support of his three friends.


This film is the biography of a common man, and reveals the good and the not-so-good aspects of his character. Ben Harper is a good man, loving, hard working, and friendly. However, his self-centered resolve to ignore the wishes of his wife, Nellie, leads to their estrangement and indirectly to her death. Ben spends the remainder of his life reconciling himself with this event. His life story is portrayed against the background of the changes occurring in his small town during his fifty years of residence. The pace is slow and deliberate as is typical of Henry King's style. David Wayne has an excellent part and demonstrates the scope of his abilities. Jean Peters is also good as the disappointed and deceived wife. Albert Dekker and Alan Hale Jr have good roles as two of Ben's friends.