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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Claudia" and its sequel "Claudia and David" are unique in the history of American movies. The sequel is as good as, if not perhaps better than, the original. But they work beautifully together in a way almost no two movies ever have. (I am excluding post-1980 sci-fi blockbusters and their sequels, which I leave to someone else to address.) Dorothy McGuire is an acquired taste. She is a taste I have acquired over the years. At first I thought her bland and a touch saccharine. But based on these movies and on the heartbreaking "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn alone, she has a major place among our movie history.
Everyone here is excellent. Robert Young is very good. Ina Claire -- the divine brittle comedienne of earlier days -- is immensely endearing as Claudia's ailing mother.
The movie is billed as a romantic comedy. And it is romantic. It is comic -- in a way that at times (e.g., the leitmotif about Young's missing $.25 pipe-scraper) presages television sitcoms.
But it has dark edges everywhere. A mournful quality hangs over it. It seems to say: "Yes, life holds romance. Yes, people can be very amusing when interacting with each other. But life is essentially tragic. Do enjoy life but remember: It is not all innocent flirtations and problems with the servants. It's filled with sad things that pop up when one least expects them." It's a charming movie and a wise one as well.
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