The original play, "Berkeley Square," opened in London in 1928, starring Leslie Howard. The Broadway production opened at the Lyceum Theater on November 4, 1929, also starring Howard. It ran for 229 performances, and was followed by a national tour. Howard and Valerie Taylor recreated their stage roles for the film version. See more »
[to his sister, after being caught kissing the maid]
You all look alike in the dark.
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Handsomely filmed romantic fantasy of time travel and unending love...
Leslie Howard proves once again that he was the matinée idol women adored long before he was unwillingly cast as Ashley Wilkes in "Gone with the Wind," a role he hated to play.
He gives a very forceful performance here as a young man who is fascinated by his ancestry and somehow transports himself to an earlier era, with unhappy consequences he couldn't have expected when events turn against him.
Heather Angel makes a good impression (she and Howard both starred in the Broadway stage version), but the tale itself is much too talky for the screen and would have benefited from a wider use of outdoor scenes to take away some of the stage-bound feeling. An unusual feature is the almost constant flow of background music in an era when most soundtracks were only punctuated by dialog without musical effects. This affects the quality of the spoken words, of which there are far too many for my taste and, in this case, because it's based on a stage play taken from an unfinished Henry James novel called "A Sense of Time." It takes a willingness to suspend disbelief in order to enjoy the fantasy aspects of the story, but it's done in an interesting way and directed in stylish fashion by Frank Lloyd.
Summing up: One of Howard's better film performances, he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. Remade by Fox in 1951 as a film for Tyrone Power and Ann Blyth called "I'll Never Forget You."
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