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An industrialist (Joseph Cotton) and a pianist (Joan Fontaine) meet on a trip and fall in love. Through a quirk of fate, they are reported dead in a crash though they weren't on the plane. This gives them the opportunity to live together free from their previous lives. Unfortunately, this artificial arrangement leads to greater and greater stress. Eventually the situation collapses when they come to pursue their original, individual interests without choosing a common path. Written by
This was the earliest American film to feature extensive location work in Italy involving the principal actors. Whilst filming, Joseph Cotten was invited to lunch by his old friend Orson Welles, who confided that he had also invited a couple of Italian businessmen whom he wanted to invest in his film version of "Othello". The presence of a film star would, Welles hoped, influence them to put up some money. Also in the restaurant was Sir Winston Churchill, whom Welles hailed most affectionately as he walked past. He later admitted to Cotten that he and Churchill had never previously met, but that he was hoping that this, too, would impress the Italians. His strategies worked; they agreed over lunch to help finance Welles's film, and Cotten and his co-star Joan Fontaine even played uncredited cameos in "Othello" whilst they were still filming "September Affair". See more »
I can see by the reviews that most folks seem to have liked this film. Well, you can see me as an old fashioned and moralistic guy, but I strongly DISLIKED the movie because I felt the main characters were just selfish jerks and the picture seemed to make excuses for bad behavior.
The film begins in Italy. A man on business (Joseph Cotton) and a woman (Joan Fontaine) going to see a friend meet after the first leg of an airplane trip. Instead of waiting at the airport for their connecting flight, they take off together to see the countryside...and they hit it off very well. When they return to the airport, they see that their plane has already left. Soon, they get word that the plane has crashed and they are assumed to be dead. They decide that instead of telling everyone they are alive, they decide to use this opportunity to start new lives. After all, Cotten has been in a loveless marriage and he's sick of the corporate life. They settle down in a small Italian town and live an ideal life...that is, until his family learns, accidentally, that he is alive. To see what's next, see the film yourself....if you'd like.
While I could sympathize with Cotten wanting to make a new start, he just seemed very cowardly doing what he did. And, the film also seemed to highly romanticize and endorse this sort of behavior. So, while the film is slickly made and the acting is quite good, I just couldn't get it out of my mind that the pair were just selfish...and far from the sort of folks I'd want to see in a romance. Yes, call me moralistic, but this just seemed wrong and it hurt my enjoyment of the film. For a similar sort of theme, "Avanti" also wholeheartedly endorses hanging about in Italy and living the adulterous dream. Again, I find this less than romantic.
Now if you don't mind the sort of relationship that the film portrays, the film still is quite flawed. It strongly stretched the limits of believability, as the plot was, to put it mildly, quite far-fetched. Also, the film really didn't seem to know where and when to end and just went on and on AFTER the denouement AND the ending really made little sense. There are better ways to spend your time than watching this disappointing film.
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