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A poignant, subtle look at life's lost possibilities
This muted but affecting version of John P. Marquand's stinging reproach of the turn of the last century's hidebound upper classes, this beautiful MGM production is easily Hedy Lamarr's finest performance. Co-starring the too frequently overlooked Robert Young and the multifaceted Van Heflin (who would win a Best Supporting Oscar that year for Johnny Eager), the film also boasts the usual MGM powerful supporting cast (including Charles Coburn, Ruth Hussy, Bonita Granville and a cameo by the great Anne Revere). Under King Vidor's perceptive direction, this tale of a man's reflection of a life full of stifling tradition becomes a poignant, subtle exploration of lost opportunity. At last given a role of substance, Lamarr is wonderful as an educated working class woman with aspirations, who must watch the man she loves cave in to the expectations of wealth and tradition. A gem of a film; discover it for yourselves.
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