Seven Days' Leave (1930) - Off-beat WW1 drama from Paramount Pictures and director Richard Wallace, based on the play The Old Lady Shows Her Medals by J.M. Barrie. Beryl Mercer stars as Sarah Ann Dowey, a old maid charwoman in London during World War One. She has no children that serving in the war, which makes her an outcast among her peers, so she pretends to have a son who is on the front lines. When a local do-gooder sees Canadian soldier Kenneth Downey (Gary Cooper) on leave, he thinks that Kenneth must be Sarah Ann's son. At first angered by the old woman's charade, Kenneth soon feels pity for her and agrees to go along with the ruse. Over the course of his seven days' leave, the two form a lasting bond. Also featuring Daisy Belmore, Nora Cecil, Tempe Pigott, Arthur Hoyt, Basil Radford, and Arthur Metcalf.
Mercer has starred in the original Broadway production of the play back in 1917, and she's very good here. Aside from a couple of awkward line readings, Cooper is believable and sympathetic. Seeing a surrogate mother-son relationship in a major Hollywood film is not very common, even during this period, so this was an expected fresh take on the War. 7/10