The film starts on the day Colbert has seen her husband off to the war and is the part I like the best; her interior monologue and the interiors of her home are beautifully done. The family decides to take in a boarder to meet the expenses of maintaining a home after the breadwinner has gone. Enter Monty Woolley, a crotchety retired colonel, whose itinerant grandson (Robert Walker) becomes the doomed love interest of Colbert's eldest daughter, Jennifer Jones. For my part, the more sweet and affecting relationship was that between the recently un-retired Shirley Temple and Monty Woolley. Woolley is a mean mofo who is inexplicably angry at the feckless Walker for going into the wrong branch of service, which he comes to realize is STUPID, but far too late.
I get how and why this picture would be really moving for a contemporary audience (1944) , honest, but Mrs. Miniver, for Pete's sake, or The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), or even The More The Merrier (1943) convey the sacrifice, pain, and patriotism of the families and friends of servicemen left behind.