Saturday, August 14, 2010

Jason watches CLAUDIA and THE ENCHANTED COTTAGE

So I'm a little ashamed to admit that despite living right across the bay for 10 years and having a cousin who lives near there, this was my first time going to the Stanford Theatre. It's a really nice place, and in the middle of their current program I caught a Dorothy McGuire/Robert Young double feature.

In the first movie, CLAUDIA, Dorothy McGuire plays the title role of a flighty free-spirited very young newlywed (Robert Young plays her husband) who has just moved out to the country. She's kind of a ditz, and doesn't know the first thing about running a farm. She's got separation issues from her mother who still lives in the city. And she drives her husband crazy by flirting with an English (British English, no less) writer just to make him jealous. It's a fast paced, funny little movie with plenty of slick dialog. It's a bit stagy, not surprising given that it was adapted from a play (McGuire reprised her stage role for her film debut).

Next was a melodrama, THE ENCHANTED COTTAGE. McGuire uglies it up to play a homely girl who comes home and takes a job working in a honeymoon cottage that--depending on which local legend you believe--is either haunted by a witch or enchanted with the spirit of true love. Robert Young shows up with his fiancee, just before his commission comes up and he has to go fly in WWII. Over a year later, he comes back horribly scarred, and his disfigurement leads him to seek refuge in the cottage, hiding from his family and his fiancee, who screamed when she first saw him (incidentally, she quickly turns around and swears her love for him. I kinda felt sorry for her--she reacted with shock and as a result is left out in the cold alone). His only comfort comes from a blind piano player (who was likewise injured in battle) and, of course, Dorothy McGuire. Ultimately they decide to marry, although they both feel guilty thinking they're taking advantage of each other. And so, their love makes them beautiful to each other. As I said, a bit of an overwrought melodrama.

Total Running Time: 182 minutes
My Total Minutes: 193,213
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