My grandmother took me to see this film when I was 9 years old.It was at the start of the great polio scare in the U.K.The cinema was the Playhouse in Guildford situated in the Playhouse arcade,an area with rather twee shops(well,it was Guildford in 1950) and a teashop. Of course I wasn't aware that Ida Lupino had directed,co-produced and written "Never fear".For better or worse it was entirely her creature. In the movie business such power was rarely given to women. To my mind that makes her an auteur - or should that be auteuse? The one thing that stands out in my mind from that original viewing 55 years ago is that when polio struck the dancer the camera went out of focus and for years afterwards I thought that losing the focus of your eyes was a sign of the onset of polio.And they say that movies don't influence young children. In fact "never fear" has proved to be a well-made and effective movie in the genre now called rather unkindly "Disease of the Month". It's a very professional job by all concerned and if that sounds as if I am damning it with faint praise it is not the case. Anyone looking for "A woman's touch"(usually meant in a patronising and sexist way)will not find one.It stands up on it's on merits.
A dancer who has just gotten engaged to her partner and choreographer and is about to embark on a major career is devastated to learn that she has contracted polio.
October 11, 2020