Child bride Claudia Naughton has made life difficult for her husband David because she can't stand living so far away from her mother. She's also afraid her husband doesn't find her ... See full summary »
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Follow-up to hit film Claudia (1943) finds title characters (Dorothy McGuire, Robert Young) dealing with the ups and downs of marriage and parenthood in their rural Connecticut town. ... See full summary »
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Joseph H. Lewis
Dame May Whitty,
Child bride Claudia Naughton has made life difficult for her husband David because she can't stand living so far away from her mother. She's also afraid her husband doesn't find her desirable enough. To remedy both situations, she sells their farm to an opera singer so they'll have to move back to the city near her mother, and she tries to make her husband jealous by flirting with a neighbor. Eventually, Claudia has to learn to grow when she discovers that she's about to become a mother and that her own mother is gravely ill. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
A domestic drama like this could easily have collapsed into a tub of suds. But thanks to McGuire's winning performance and the movie's dark edges, it's an engaging profile of facing life as a grown-up. McGuire's Claudia is a ditzy girl-woman who never walks when she can run and says the first thing that comes into her head, which is usually charming or silly. Fortunately, mature husband David (Young) provides an anchor, clearly beguiled by her girlish ways.
Together they have a unique rapport on their Connecticut farm. Trouble is Claudia's wracked at times by self-doubt and her rather plain looks. Besides she's still somewhat dependent on her indulgent mom (Claire). Clearly, Claudia still has some growing up to do, especially in learning to deal with responsibility and life's dark side, which is what the movie's about.
Goulding directs with a light hand, never allowing the material to drift into sentimentality, the bane of domestic dramas such as this. And I love the sheer nuttiness of the Russian countess (Baclanova) when she breaks into her 5-alarm operatic screech that's like nothing I've seen or heard-- my ears are still ringing! But it's clearly McGuire's movie, showing why Claudia's warmth and charm launched the actress on such a long and successful film career. And I agree with another reviewer: if you like this film, you'll also like its sequel Claudia and David (1946), which is even better.
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