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Aristocratic Prudence Cathaway shocks her family by enlisting in the WAFs. After enlisting, a fellow WAF sets her up on a blind date with handsome, but moody Clive Briggs. Prudence learns Clive is a deserter, but still loves him and senses he'll eventually prove himself a patriot. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
Radiant Fontaine and handsome Power caught in wartime romance...
THIS ABOVE ALL succeeds as a romantic drama largely because of the two leading performances of TYRONE POWER and JOAN FONTAINE, both at their physical peak. Fontaine makes a radiant, spirited Prudence and Power has that sincere quality that makes Clive a real character.
On the debit side, it has the faults typical of many wartime films in the '40s--the propaganda attitude is full of flag-waving moments, such as Fontaine's monologue about England's brave fight for victory. Nevertheless, she gives one of her better performances as an aristocratic young British woman who enlists in the WAF, meets Power and quickly falls deeply in love. It's the romantic aspect of the tale that is a clear winner--but the preachy elements in the screenplay do considerable harm in dulling its merits as a motion picture.
The wartime scenes of bombings and air raids is extremely well handled, the B&W photography is excellent, but Alfred Newman's syrupy score used throughout never gets a chance to rest.
Power and Fontaine make a handsome couple and the cast includes Thomas Mitchell, always a welcome character actor, as a caring friend.
Anatole Litvak's direction is occasionally striking but this director has done much more dramatic and serious work (such as SORRY, WRONG NUMBER and THE SNAKE PIT) with greater effect.
It ends up being only mildly satisfying, mainly because of the chemistry of the two stars.
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