Vacation from Marriage (1945) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • A dull married couple, separated by their enlistment during World War II, reunite after three years to find that they have become very different people.

  • Robert and Catherine have a quiet little marriage until World War II separates them for three years. Serving in the Navy dramatically transforms both of them and they realize how much they resented their old mundane life together. Both dread their inevitable reunion and separately decide to ask for a divorce, but is the marriage really over?

  • 1940 London. Robert and Cathy Wilson, a bookkeeper and housewife respectively, are in a staid marriage. Each is devoted to the other, and each feels the other is dependent on him/herself to survive. Each is delicate in nature, and would not use the words "handsome" or "pretty" to describe the other. They live a stultifying life of routine, and not taking a stand on anything. That means not rocking the boat in their marriage, each quietly tolerating their lot in life in not wanting to hurt the other. Robert enlists in the Navy as part of the war effort. While Robert is away, Cathy decides to join the Women's Royal Naval Service (WREN) to get away from the flat she detests so much. In their respective time away, each changes fundamentally as a person, allowed the freedom truly to break out of his or her shell. Their transformations are also physical, where they would now be considered masculinely handsome and pin-up beautiful, which leads to each falling in love with someone else, upon which neither acts. After close to four years of not seeing each other, each is provided a ten-day leave. They both dread seeing each other again, and returning to their pre-war life. Even though each is who he or she wants to be and who he or she wants the other to be, the questions become whether they can see that based on their shared history, or get over the expectation of what they believe the other to be also based on that shared history.



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