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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 rests completely. Rather, she opts for a livelier time in Monte Carlo with dashing Paul Clermont. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
Although it is never stated in the film, Karen Duncan is suffering from tuberculosis (TB). One of the earlier treatments for TB was to place the patient in a healthy environment with continuous fresh air (often in a mountain or desert location), and to ensure that he/ she had a good diet and plenty of rest. This resulted in the development of many sanatoria for TB patients (similar to the one run by Stanton) all over the world, . See more »
Clermont's position outside Karen's hospital room changes between the shot when he looks in and the one when Stanton leaves. See more »
This pairing of Barbara Stanwyck and David Niven is a strange one never to be repeated. Stanwyck was a big name, having been in films since 1927 and several famous pre-war films, more recently she had received wide acclaim for playing the femme fatale in "Double Indemnity"(1945); Niven's reputation had been established in the 1930s but "A Matter of Life and Death"(1946) had brought him further fame. Perhaps Hollywood saw a future for him as a heartthrob but Niven was too light an actor for such roles. "The Other Love" revolves around a young concert pianist, Karen Duncan(Barbara Stanwyck) who is being treated for TB in a Swiss sanatorium by Dr. Anthony Stanton(David Niven). Apart from one other patient, Celestine (Joan Lorrine), Karen seems to have no one to talk to and is easily emotionally drawn towards her doctor. One day while out riding she meets Paul Clermont, a racing car driver(Richard Conte). He tries unsuccessfully to date her but Karen is unable to get him off her mind. Realising that she perhaps may not have long to live and tired of life lying in a sanatorium bed she becomes the fickle female and decides on one last fling, so ditches the doctor and seeks Paul out at the proposed meeting place in nearby Monte Carlo, actually a good 200 miles away from Switzerland, how she accomplishes this feat remains unexplained. The eternal triangle has been constructed QED, as my maths master used to say. But the geometry is non-Euclidean and refuses to obey the normal rules. Anything might happen and does!
Classical pianists and exclusive doctors were common themes in 1940s Hollywood but somehow in this film they don't jell. Academy Award winner (A Double Life), Miklos Rozsa's music score comes across well as a piece of heavy classical piano. Barbara Stanwyck displays a seldom seen ability as a pianist making it look very authentic. Niven by comparison is shown at the keyboard only once in an out of focus long shot and is obviously bluffing his way through. As for his doctor part, it is evident that he never seems happy in it. It is a rôle which Claude Rains had excelled at previously in "Now Voyager", here he could have played it to perfection so lifting the film out of its mediocrity. It's left to Stanwyck to carry the film.
Not one to rush to watch but interesting as a period piece and a chance to see two great stars of their time.
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