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Great actors,sadly wasted
I disagree with the reviewers who called this movie "pure Christian propaganda." There was nothing remotely Christian-like in this piece of narcissistic fantasy. Generally I love Christian movies, even when the production quality is slightly below par. But this one was just awful.
Badly written (or edited), the script was extremely disjointed, and defied all logic as it jumped from scene to scene with no way to interpret what was happening. And the worst: if viewed by non-Christians, the message is one of extreme intolerance. Totally incongruous with the Christian values shared by millions.
This movie deserved a zero rating, but the lowest rating available was one.
Short and Sweet...
I have always loved the 1961 version, and felt it was masterfully performed by all of the main characters. It also helped that it was filmed in English, as I do not speak French.
This version had none of the slapstick humor of the '61 film, nor any of the anecdotal humor. In a very real way, this is a completely different film. It focuses on the tormented agony of the primary characters. The acting for this approach was nothing short of stellar. I stopped what I was doing so I could pay close attention to the subtitles; this enabled me to also concentrate on the actors' movements and facial expressions. I found myself tearing up along with Fanny.
Bottom line: I will still love the Leslie Caron version for what it is, and equally love this one for what IT is.
Kings Row (1942)
Wish I'd Seen it Sooner!
I just discovered this glorious film. How I wish I had someone near me with whom to discuss it. My contemporaries don't watch these "older" films -- not even my older friends (I am 62). Unlike some of the reviewers, I could not find any actor to criticize -- I thought they were all excellent, particularly when today's movies are punctuated with obscenity and special effects.
I would love to obtain the book, and its sequel ("Parris Mitchell of Kings Row") published posthumously by the primary author's wife. I hope that by reading these, I do not lose my affection for the characters gleaned from the film version. One of the delights of this movie was the lack of blatantly taboo subjects, evidently expressed in the novel. While not a prude, I do tire of sex constantly being shoved down my throat in every movie I watch. The topics are not missing from the movie, but rather are referred to with notable discretion, e.g. when Randy is speaking to Parris about her earlier physical attraction to Drake (before his double amputation). She speaks of her love changing, rather than diminishing. The implication is clear to any viewer remotely capable of reading between the lines: she is talking of the sexual aspect of marriage, and how that is either changed or eliminated completely by her husband's injuries. It is not necessary for her to spell it out in black and white, which would violate the Hays Code. The meaning is clear for anyone seeking to understand.
I can add nothing to other reviewers' comments regarding the fabulous music, except to say that it wasn't surprising when I researched a bit about the author Henry Bellamann. Prior to focusing exclusively on his writing, he was a noted professor of classical music.
If your haven't seen this yet, you owe it to yourself to get a copy, or find it on Amazon. I stream, rather than watch cable, and it was available on Warner Archive streaming media.