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Anna Neagle is a WWII WREN---the counterpart of the American WAVE---who encounters Michael Wilding in a blacked-out Piccadilly during an air raid. They get married and have a two-day ... See full summary »
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Norman Z. McLeod
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Robert and Catherine have a quiet little marriage until WWII separates them for three years. Serving in the navy dramatically transforms both of them and they realize how much they resented their old mundane life together. Both dread their inevitable reunion and separately decide to ask for a divorce, but is the marriage really over? Written by
Uniforms worn by the characters are 100% correct. Cathy's WREN uniform when she joins has the pre-1942 soft cap. Towards the end of the movie, it is updated to the correct later style cap. When working with her boat crew, she wears correct men's bell bottoms and white top, and the lanyard with knife. The nurse Elena wears a correct tropical dress white uniform of Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service, with white tippet (short cape). See more »
In the opening scene Robert rips the page off a calendar exposing the page for Wednesday, April 4, 1940. That date fell on a Thursday. It is the correct day, though, for 1945 -- the year the movie was produced. See more »
This is a film on an often unexplored aspect of World War II - how couples grew apart after years of separation due to the service of one or both in the military. What makes this film so unusual is that it is exploring the topic - albeit in a rather light hearted and humorous fashion - at the very end of the war rather than a few years later.
In this case the couple (Deborah Kerr as Catherine Wilson and Robert Donat as Robert Wilson) really don't grow apart as a couple as much as they grow as individuals. They are both mousy plain almost invisible people prior to the war, seemingly happy in their routine. Then in the spring of 1940 Robert enters the British navy and Catherine enters the British equivalent of the WAVEs - the WRENs. There they are both tested, find their courage and their voice, and find the attention of and feel attraction to members of the opposite sex, all the while with each remembering the other as they were before the war and feeling somewhat disappointed at the idea of resuming their mousy existences - and marriage - after the war.
Then comes what should be a happy event - after three years apart both are granted a ten days leave - time enough to reunite and get to know each other again ... or not. I'll let you see what happens as they both return to their prewar flat with all the enthusiasm of the condemned to their execution.
Everything in this production is outstanding - cinematography, makeup, and of course stellar jobs by the entire cast. I would have never thought Deborah Kerr and Robert Donat could ever have generated any chemistry together, but the proof is in the pudding. I highly recommend it.
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