Sunday, January 06, 2002


A fantasy/romance with Leslie Howard as a man who becomes embittered for life because his bride-to-be (Norma Shearer) is killed during their wedding ceremony by a drunken and jealous suitor (Fredric March). Howard grows old alone and occasionally communes with Shearer's spirit. Eventually, he adopts Shearer's niece (who grows up to be played by Shearer); the niece then falls in love with March's son (played by March). The construction of the plot reminded me of WUTHERING HEIGHTS (the book, not the Olivier movie) with the joys and sorrows of one generation playing out differently in the next. As teary romantic fantasies go, it's works rather well, although a few times Shearer goes overboard in the weeping department--to be fair, sometimes it's the fault of the dialogue. The movie is beautifully shot and Howard
is convincing both as a young, sensitive soul and as a old, bitter man. March and Shearer have good chemistry together. The play it's based on is described in its subtitle as a "comedy," but the movie is not, although it does have a relatively happy ending. This would make a good companion piece to PETER IBBETSON

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