John Wayne as Steve Williams and Marie Windsor as ex-wife Anne Williams McCormick.
The Movie: Trouble Along the Way is a highly kooky 1953 John Wayne flick, with Duke as a divorced, has-been football coach raising his precocious 11-year-old daughter in a New York City tenement above the pool hall where he spends most of his days. Directed in the screwball comedy vein by Michael Curtiz, the film is bolstered by such able co-stars as Donna Reed, Charles Coburn, and Chuck (The Rifleman) Connors.
The Plot: Steve Williams, played by Wayne, is being threatened by Child Services (specifically, the "Children's Division of the Court of Domestic Relations") with removing his daughter from his home because he’s unemployed, a gambler and heavy drinker, and often leaves the little girl to her own (but highly capable) devices. Other than that, he’s Father of the Year. Williams has been told that his ex-wife, Anne, is behind the investigation.
The Scene: Williams is meeting someone at a bar when his ex-wife, now remarried and seeking custody of the child, saunters in unexpectedly. Clearly, she has something on her mind…
Anne Williams McCormick: Hello, Steve.
Steve Williams (John Wayne) (hesitantly): Hello, Anne.
Anne: You act a little startled. I guess five years is a long time.
Steve: Not long enough.
Anne: Aren’t you going to ask a former wife to take a seat?
Steve: Go ahead. You’ve taken everything else.