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Edward Everett Horton
It's 1939 in the small English town of Penny Green and events in Poland are about to change lives. Mark Sabre, a writer of school text books, has married Mabel "on the rebound", after his real love Nona marries some one else. Just as war is about to break out, Nona returns home with husband Tony. Mable is sure she can hold onto Mark, though. But misunderstood good deeds on Mark's part turn life for him upside down when his relationship with a young girl starts tongues wagging. Soon, wartime casualties take their toll in Penny Green as well as on the front, as the death of fighting men affects lives back home. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Walter Pidgeon suffers from stuffiness of small town scandal...
Perhaps a stronger director and a more powerful script could have made something of IF WINTER COMES, a handsomely produced soap opera (veddy British style, old man). WALTER PIDGEON is a writer of educational books who sees his job status disintegrating under the weight of a scandal when a young girl (JANET LEIGH) is given shelter under his roof due to his kind nature. His shrewish wife (well played by ANGELA LANSBURY) suspects he's paying too much attention to the girl and later accuses him of adultery.
But this is no "Peyton Place," even if the bare outlines of the story makes it seem possible that something more than this tedious film could have been made from this material. Some interesting character roles by REGINALD OWEN and JOHN ABBOT as his office colleagues bent on destroying him are good for background effect. But the story between him and DEBORAH KERR (they're ex-lovers) is weakly executed and their relationship is never clearly defined or made even somewhat believable.
Handsomely photographed amid some very British looking settings, supposedly in 1939, the story never really comes to life despite the lurid implications. Pidgeon calls every male friend "old man" so many times, you have to wonder if this was an attempt to make sure the viewer knew this was taking place in Penny Green, England rather than the MGM lot in Culver City.
JANET LEIGH, as the sad young woman who finds herself pregnant after her soldier lover goes off to war, shows promise of the bright future in store for her as an actress. DAME MAY Witty has a brief supporting role, one of the least substantial roles she ever had in an MGM film.
Character development is slow for the first part of the film and the story doesn't even begin to take shape until the first hour is up. By that time it's too late to inject any life into it.
"If winter comes, can spring be far behind?" says the poem. Not soon enough for me.
Summing up: A dud that wastes a talented cast.
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