London based American nurse, Susan, Lady Ashwood, is at the hospital awaiting the imminent arrival of injured soldiers. She is hoping that her enlisted son, Sir John Ashwood, who resembles ...
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London based American nurse, Susan, Lady Ashwood, is at the hospital awaiting the imminent arrival of injured soldiers. She is hoping that her enlisted son, Sir John Ashwood, who resembles his father both in appearance and temperament, is not among those injured. As she waits, she remembers back to WWI when her husband, the previous Sir John Ashwood, was enlisted, and the waiting she endured on any news from and about him while he was away in battle. From a humble background, Sue almost didn't meet Sir John let alone marry him as she and her father, Hiram Dunn, the publisher of a small daily newspaper, were only in London in April 1914 on a two week vacation - her first ever trip - that was not going very well when by happenstance she got invited on her last day in London to the king's ball, where Sir John was awaiting the arrival of another young woman with who he was supposed to keep company for the evening. Despite being mutually attracted to each other, the patriotic Sue didn't ... Written by
Finally caught up with this one on a recent Turner Classic Movies broadcast and found it quite enthralling, despite its rather protracted length and of-its-era WWII wartime propagandizing. It's exceptionally smoothly directed by Clarence Brown and mounted in the very plushest M-G-M manner. It's impossible to imagine a story like this being as lavishly produced today. The cast is attractive and capable, with Irene Dunne (beautifully gowned and coiffed throughout) more than holding her own amidst a virtual platoon of marvelous British actors and actresses. The ubiquitous Frank Morgan manages to be minimally irritating; in fact he's quite credibly effective as Dunne's irascible American father. And even Herbert Stothart, whose scores often sound rather syrupy and intrusive to these ears, provides one of his best accompaniments to a story that spans decades and quite a gamut of emotions. Those whose attention spans haven't been stunted by the fragmented way we receive so much information and entertainment today should find this a rewarding example of how cinema audiences of several decades ago were respectfully treated by the Hollywood studio system at its professional best.
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