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Mary, a poor farm girl, meets Tim just as word comes that war has been declared. Tim enlists in the army and goes to the battlefields of Europe, where he is wounded and loses the use of his legs. Home again, Tim is visited by Mary, and they are powerfully attracted to each other; but his physical handicap prevents him from declaring his love for her. Deeper complications set in when Martin, Tim's former sergeant and a bully, takes a shine to Mary. Written by
Dan Navarro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Visually unparallelled "per ardua ad astra" type love story
Lucky Star is a lovely film. It's good to have a contrast, I ended up watching ten minutes of the Fantastic Four before this film. So after that incredible dross, the Borzage was a double-barrelled blast of wonder to the face. It's a very simple movie story-wise. We start off looking at a farm very early in the morning, still dark, it's awesomely Gothic, probably a set because it's so perfect, but you can't tell. You got these windy lanes and crooked fenceposts and creepy trees. Mary (Janet Gaynor) a dirty and chiselling but winsome little ragamuffin lives on the farm with her Ma and some littl'uns, Pa ain't around. She's milking the cow, probably at five in the morning, when the house is getting up. You can tell that life is pretty hard. It's about 2 minutes of cinema that's more precious than a dozen movies.
Anyway there's these two men Wrenn and Tim. Wrenn is a lazy good-fer-nuthin who is the foreman of the telegraph gang. Tim is the one he always gets to do the hard work. World War One comes and these guys decide to get a load of the world and pack off to France. Anyway we're shown in no uncertain terms during this episode how Tim is a nice guy and Wrenn, well he ain't. Private Tim ends up in a wheelchair when he gets back, on account of Sergeant Wrenn.
Mary is a grown up now, and Tim and Wrenn are vying for her affections. Wrenn has got the head start because he's a blackguard and he's not crippled. So it's a love story. It all seems real simple, but the nuance is what it's all about, the exquisite lighting and camera-work, the great partnership between Gaynor (Mary) and Farrell (Tim), and the heart-rending final scenes. It's simply a charming innocent movie, that there's no way could be made any more.
Tim has to undergo a harrowing struggle in order to get the girl. The snow scenes towards the end have to be seen to be believed.
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