Keeper of the Flame (1942)

Keeper of the Flame (1942), directed by George Cukor.

A nation mourns the death of a hero but when a reporter wants to write about him he encounters resistance and mystery. All is not what it appears to be. Finally in the last few minutes the truth is revealed and we get a lecture on the danger of American fascism.

It's a good-looking film and benefits from the star combination of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. It has an ominous, brooding tone, enlivened by a few sparks of wit between Tracy and a reporter gal-pal. The long middle portion drifts a bit.

A theory: this was intended as a slam against Charles Lindbergh, a hero of titanic stature accused of pro-nazi sympathies.

Darryl Hickman, age 11, was last seen in Leave Her to Heaven (1945) when Gene Tierney watches him drown.