Seriously ill, concert pianist Karen Duncan is admitted to a Swiss sanitorium. Despite being attracted to Dr Tony Stanton she ignores his warnings of possibly fatal consequences unless she ... See full summary »
André De Toth
Navy Lt. Richard Perry becomes an undercover man out to discover the leaders of a group of well connected men who pull off bank robberies during the McKinley administration (early 20th ... See full summary »
William A. Seiter
Helen Ferguson, pregnant, penniless and dumped by her boyfriend Steve Morley, takes the identity of the pregnant Patrice Harkness, when she and her husband are killed in a train crash. The ... See full summary »
Fiona, Evelyn and Susanna are sisters. Their mother dies on the Lusitania, their father is killed in France, they must manage their Fifth Avenue mansion by themselves. Fiona marries Charles... See full summary »
A bookish historian is married to a steely Southern belle who raises horses, an animal that he doesn't care for. However, the cute young neighbor girl doesn't feel that way about him and makes no bones about letting him know it.
Oil-tanker Captain Manson rescues Kathie Hall after her ship is sunk by a U-boat. He marries her. When his ship is sunk and she is suspected because she has no identification. Manson tries ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
Two clubmen discuss the occult, introducing three weird tales: 1) Plain, bitter Henrietta secretly loves law student Michael. Then on Mardi Gras night, a mysterious stranger gives her a mask of beauty that she must return at midnight. 2) At a party, palmist Podgers makes uncannily accurate predictions, later telling skeptic Marshal Tyler that he will murder someone. The notion obsesses Tyler, with ironic consequences. 3) High wire artist Gaspar dreams of falling, then loses his nerve. He recognizes Joan from his dreams, and falls for her. Will any of his dreams, involving Joan and disaster, come true? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on July 16, 1945 with Edward G. Robinson reprising his film role. See more »
Well, we all have dreams. Like the time I dream my wife up and leaves me. I was mighty happy till I woke up and found out she was still there.
Then I dreamed it over and over again, and every time that I woke up, there she still was. Got so now I don't pay no attention to no dreams about her. I just groans.
See more »
Flesh and Fantasy is a rare forties Hollywood attempt at an art film, and while I cannot say it's wholly successful, it's a good try. Directed by the highly esteemed French director Julian Duvivier and produced by the highly esteemed French actor Charles Boyer, it consists of three stories of the supernatural, told to Robert Benchley, in a framing device, in what appears to be a men's club.
The first tale concerns a homely girl who is turned beautiful by the power of a mask sold to her by a strange little shopkeeper. It's a slight, lovely fable, well-acted by Betty Field and Bob Cummings. In the second story we find Edward G. Robinson in London, where a fortune teller reveals to him a fate he tries vainly to escape. The third segment, despite the presence of Charles Boyer and Barbara Stanwyck, is rather mediocre, and concerns predictions in a circus setting. Of these three tales the middle one, an adaptation of an Oscar Wilde story, is by far the best; it is also visually the most appealing.
Duvivier brings a Gallic gentility to the film, and his compositions are excellent and always fastidious. One gathers that the movie must have been a labor of love for producer Charles Boyer. All the actors are in top form, and the picture does not at all feel like a product of the Universal studio of this period.
Flesh and Fantasy is one of several wartime movies that dealt with the issues of death and fate, which were obviously hanging heavier than unusual on peoples' minds in those days. Off the top of my head I can think of Here Comes Mr. Jordan, I Married a Witch, A Guy Named Joe, Between Two Worlds, The Uninvited and The Picture Of Dorian Gray. Death, rather than dying, was a feature of most such films, which as a rule steered clear of anything grisly, which is to say reminiscent of battlefields. Flesh and Fantasy is quite good at this. With its soft chairs, cobbled streets and a convincing London bridge thrown in for good measure, it makes facing up to one's fate feel as comfortable and delicious a proposition as attending a masquerade ball.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?