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A lawyer whose wife has had an affair sets out to leave her by flying to LA. He becomes ever more involved in the lives of a few fellow travelers on a journey that ends up showing him as much about himself as about the others.
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
The ultimate escapist romantic drama - it doesn't get better than this!
What can I say? This is a wonderful, gentle film, the kind, sadly, Hollywood no longer makes. I saw it first twenty years ago, and it haunted me ever since; I try to watch it once every couple of years. Fontaine and Cotten are in top form here, as are all the supporting actors (especially Tandy). The plot is absolute escapist romantic fare, which I'll leave others to describe. While on the surface the main catch may seem far-fetched, it's handled with surprising credibility; one cannot help but feel caught up in the lovers' dilemma. Given their once-in-a-million opportunity, would any of us have done anything different? Can we judge them?
But, despite the outstanding acting and story, the real stars here are the music and the Italian settings. The haunting song "September Affair," played in the film, was recorded shortly before Walter Huston's death and released posthumously; the poignancy of this fact, and the skillful usage in the film, made both a huge sensation. The captivating black-and-white Italian scenery, especially in Rome and Capri (check out the awesome sequence in the cave at Capri) is worth watching just by itself - much of the same would be captured later in Technicolor (but not as effectively) in the film Rome Adventure. An unforgettable viewing experience; if you love escapism and romance, don't miss this one.
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