No Sad Songs for Me
No sad songs for me.jpg
Film poster
Directed byRudolph Maté
Written byHoward Koch
Based onNo Sad Songs for Me (1944 novel)
by Ruth Southard
Produced byBuddy Adler
StarringMargaret Sullavan
Wendell Corey
Viveca Lindfors
Natalie Wood
CinematographyJoseph Walker
Edited byWilliam A. Lyon
Music byGeorge Duning
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • April 28, 1950 (1950-04-28)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States

No Sad Songs for Me is a 1950 film directed by Rudolph Maté,[1] featuring Margaret Sullavan in her last film role as a woman dying of cancer. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music Scoring in 1951. The sentimental film is known as a post-war Hollywood tearjerker.[2]

Plot summary

Mary Scott thought she was pregnant. Instead she learns from her physician she has terminal cancer with only eight months to live. She gets the doctor's assurance to keep her illness a secret and not tell her husband, Bradley and young daughter, Polly. She wants to live her last year with each minute happy and important. Brad is a surveyor and Mary is a wife, mother and housekeeper. Husband gets a new assistant at work. Chris Radna is a draftsman and a lot of great help to the business.

Christmas is coming and it is such a sentimental time of year. Polly's joy at Christmas was just the right medicine. Mary keeps trying to do each thing just right. For New Year's Eve, Mary insists they invite Chris along to the annual party. Brad sees Chris in a dress for the first time and he flirts and dances with her all night. Husband Brad is paying so much attention that Mary hears the other women gossiping about it in the ladies' room. Mary is sure her ultimate sacrifice of secrecy is protecting her family but is still hurt.

It becomes clear that Brad and Chris are falling in love and to get away, Mary visits her father in San Francisco. Even there she cannot tell her dad about the cancer. She comes home and decides if her husband no longer loves her that suicide may be the answer. Brad really does love his wife and he tells her of the affair. It is over and Chris is leaving town. He is so sorry. Mary secretly visits Chris and Chris is sorry too. Chris's first husband died in World War II and she never expected to see love gain.

Mary sees that Brad and Chris were compatible and even sees that Chris and Polly got along so well. She convinces Chris to stay. She likes Chris and she would be a good wife. Mary then goes about grooming everyone to know what to do when she was no longer with them. She allows Chris and Polly to get close. She so loves her family she wants to make her passing and their continued life as easy as possible. One day Brad finds Mary's pain pills and he calls the doctor. Keeping the secret now Brad tries to make Mary's last weeks as wonderful as he can. They even take an idyllic vacation to Mexico.



  1. ^ "No Sad Songs for Me (1950) - Rudolph Maté - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  2. ^ "No Sad Song For Me". Blogspot. Retrieved October 31, 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)