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Although a teeny bit "sticky" here and there, still a wonderful drama and time capsule of the war
While it's true that this film isn't nearly the drama that SINCE YOU WENT AWAY was, it is still an exceptional view of the impact of WWII on the families at home. Despite a very minor problem (which I'll talk about later), the film has great emotional impact even today and I dare you to watch it all the way through and keep a dry eye!
The main character of the film is Ginger Rogers and is about her dealing with life without her husband, Robert Ryan, who is at war. While he does appear in the first 15 minutes or so of the film, he is primarily seen through a series of flashbacks interspersed through the movie. These all give background as to the life this couple shared before the war. As for Ryan, he came off very well in these vignettes, though Rogers' character seemed a bit too petulant to be believable and I was half expecting Ryan to slap her upside the head to shut her up (folks, I am NOT encouraging spousal abuse--relax)! Later in the film she had mellowed quite a bit and was indeed a very sympathetic and good character.
Ginger and her co-workers begin talking after Ryan goes back to the war and they mutually decide to rent a house together and share expenses. At this point, the story involved the the lives of these four other women--their motivations, back story and character. This is all told in a very effective manner and you really begin to care for the ladies.
The purpose of this tearjerker was to solidify the resolve for the war with the people left behind in the States and in this light, this was a super-effective film. Generally excellent writing, direction and acting make this a film that is easy to connect to and like. It also makes the movie a tough one to watch, as you tend to go through an emotional roller-coaster because of all the ladies' trials and tribulations. A wonderful time capsule of the era and a film well worth seeing.
Oddly, in later years, many of those responsible for this film were labeled "Communists" and the film was cited as an example of these left-leaning sympathies. Other than the fact the ladies live together and share their money, I really can't see how any sane person could construe this as Communism--and what's the matter with sharing a home and expenses anyway? I did that a while back and I don't THINK I'm a Communist!!
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