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Gregory La Cava
Romance and heartbreak walk hand-in-hand when Philip Chagal accidentally meets Helen Lawrence in a restaurant where she is a waitress. Unhappily married to a woman who suffers from mental illness, he is attracted to her and they make a date to go sailing, arriving at Philip's country home just as a storm is breaking. Helen learns who he is for the first time, a celebrated-and-famous concert pianist and, falling in love with him, decides to leave before matters go further. A hurricane hits and their car is crippled by a falling tree. Rising water forces then to seek shelter in the choir loft of a church, where they spend the night. They are rescued in the morning and Helen meets Philip's wife, and learns their story. Helen and Philip meet once more, and Philip sails to Europe with his wife but promises to come back some day. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is a very treacly romantic film, a follow-up to the successful pairing of Dunne and Boyer in the 1938 classic, LOVE AFFAIR. The chemistry is still there but the film is a bit of a bore, despite a devastating hurricane sequence. The plot is thin and a big cliche - Boyer is a famous pianist who meets Dunne, a waitress, over lunch. He is intrigued and follows her to a rally, where she is inspiring her fellow waitresses to strike. They make a date and wind up in his sailboat. A "squall" arises and he takes her to his home, a palatial mansion. She decides they are getting to close to one another to stay the night, so he drives her to NYC. Unfortunately the "squall" is the devastating 1938 hurricane and they are stranded in the organ loft of a church that is rapidly filling with water. Once the hurricane is over and their idyll at an end, reality enters. Boyer has a slightly deranged and unbalanced wife, whom he will not leave. Of course, they part and hope that the future will bring them together.
Barbara O'Neil who played Scarlett's mother in GWTW that same year and earned an Oscar nom the following year for ALL THIS AND HEAVEN TOO, plays the deranged wife in a brilliantly coy and warily observing way that manages to steal the film in only four scenes. We come away fascinated by her character and not at all inspired by the stars.
The only other claim to fame this film has is that it won an Oscar for Sound - probably due to the sound effects for a protracted hurricane sequence at the center of the film - certainly well deserved - but it was this film's single nom in a year that saw the best crop of quality films ever to come out of Hollywood. How the great GWTW or other worthies that year didn't cop this award is still a mystery.
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