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|Index||23 reviews in total|
It amazes me how this movie is so seldom shown is not available on DVD. It's one of the most original love stories ever made, the leads are superb, overcoming the initial impression they are miscast. That proves what gifted actors Booth and Ryan were. This bittersweet love story between a less than glamorous piano girl in a shabby bar and a handsome businessman covers several years of their annual clandestine meeting until their romance is interrupted by World War II. All along the way you have a foreboding of doom for these two unlikely secret lovers, but you root for them anyway. I've written to TCM begging them to show this film, I hope they do so soon.
This is a silly, tear-jerker of a story, but interesting in spite of
itself, the kind to help you pass a rainy day when you're feeling kind
However . . . . if anyone wants to know who was one of America's greatest actresses, they have only to watch Shirley Booth in this film. She was a very low-key, actually kind of dumpy-looking woman, with a not very pretty speaking voice, but she will keep your attention, amaze you, and break your heart. Even though she looks sort of like she could be Robert Ryan's mother, or at least his older sister, you don't have a moment's doubt that this tall, handsome leading man could fall for her and maintain a long-term relationship with her. She is luminous in her quiet way.
Booth did many stage plays, and to give you an idea of the heft of her acting abilities, several of the parts she played on the stage were subsequently played on screen by Katharine Hepburn. Booth unfortunately lacked what Hollywood considered glamor, but she was chock full of talent and charisma. If you know her only from re-runs of the sitcom "Hazel," you are in for a big surprise if you see her in this film, or in the even better "Come Back Little Sheba."
About Mrs Leslie,in less credible hands,would have been just another average 1950's tearjerker,but in the hands of (Oscar) winning actress "Shirley Booth" the film crosses the boundary, from maudlin to interesting. Anyone familiar with Booth's acting genius, knows that the actress could have made a film about the invention of the "pencil sharpener" worth watching. It could be said, and rightfully so that 'Robert Ryan" was miscast, as Mr. Leslie, but if given a chance, I believe you'll gladly overlook Paramount's little casting error. All in all, About Mrs Leslie, isn't "Shirley Booth's" greatest moment, but she still had reason to crow! I highly reccomend this dramatization of "Vina Delmars" best selling novel of the same name.
One of Shirley Booth's true acting performances. For audiences who thought she could only play burned out losers like the plodding,dull houswife in "Come Back,Little Sheba," this film shows she definitely had leading lady status. The story of a boarding house owner recalling her one great love in conjunction with the woes of her boarders is very good. The entire cast shines in support. The carping of Robert Ryan is a strange one.He is entirely believable as her lover. Miss Booth's appearance was almost a shock,she wears nice dresses and tailored suits with ease.Not every woman back then looked like Lana Turner!Surely show business had singers who were slightly dumpy and past their prime. Miss Booth duly projects the longing and lonliness all people feel at one time.The final scene where the last of the boarders leave is sadly sweet,as she sighs and puts out her rooms for rent sign again
What a movie. I don't know how or where to start to rave and praise it. The acting, the story. So very believable, and for a woman to live with a man outside of wedlock in the 1930's...well, unheard of then...or maybe not so. This is the story of a woman who accepts a man who can only offer her a six week a year commitment. But, oh, it is so worth it. You have to see this movie to fully understand it. The casting of both Shirley and Robert were perfection. So realistic. A very, very poignant and touching piece. Youth vs. age, many subplots, but done in a superior way of flashbacks. The character of Mrs. Leslie is one who has learned all about life's foibles and disappointments. She has her memories of her "Mr. Leslie, honey," to sustain her. I cannot praise this movie enough. I have it on VHS, recorded from TV. I cannot locate it on DVD. See this if and when it replays on television. It is amazing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
How can one not help but sympathize with Shirley Booth in this story of love that cannot be fulfilled. In these days it seems silly that a divorce would be such a large problem, but I cried over Shirley's position, perhaps since most of us have been in the situation of being in love without the possibility of it being returned in kind. Shirley plays a wonderful woman that puts herself in an emotionally impossible situation. At first glance, the childish antics of Shirley Booth's renter seem to serve no purpose, but her interaction with the rude younger generation reminds us that everyone has a story, a fact that younger people usually fail to see. The idea that everyone needs to love someone to get through this sometimes unfair and angry world, is a huge theme in this tearjerker. I would highly recommend it to couples that sometimes face adversity.
This movie was ahead of it's time, but still posturing to the "Code" and Hayes Office. "Mrs. Leslie" knew she was a once a year Date for a married man, in a "Open Marriage". The movie treated her with respect, as a woman, and not a cheap whatever, going to a Motel with a married man. It didn't matter to her the "reasons" that this man craved her companionship once a year. He never gave her the trite, "I'm getting a divorce", or "She doesn't understand me" spiel when he arranged their vacations. He didn't say anything about his wife, i.e. put-downs, horror stories, when he was Mrs. Leslie, either. The only people in the film that treated her like scum were the Lawyer for the Estate, and the neighbor she babysat.
Though she was known for her many roles on Broadway and an even more
famous part on television, Shirley Booth did not seem to build much of
a career as a movie star. Maybe this is because she was rather unlike
other actresses that were headlining motion pictures in the 1950s. And
that's a good thing, really, because for every Marilyn Monroe, it's
kind of nice to have a Shirley Booth, who stands out and gives us
something decidedly different and special.
In this film, ABOUT MRS. LESLIE, she is paired with Robert Ryan who plays against type as a mysterious magnate. It's fun to watch him make romantic gestures towards Miss Booth's character. Of course, his idea of companionship differs significantly from hers, yet a bond is forged and it is a lasting connection. Booth displays a range of emotions in this film, and she gets the chance to sing. The story of the couple's unusual courtship is told mostly in flashback, with several subplots in the present to balance out the narrative.
First, it must be mentioned that Shirley Booth was a fantastic actress
in both film and stage, the latter being her forte. Here was an actress
who, despite the fact that she was not Hollywood model material by any
means, could run rings around scores of her drop-dead gorgeous
contemporaries in the acting department! It's really a pity that she
became typecast as "Hazel" in her popular television series, because
she could, and did, offer so much more.
That said, now comes the plot of this particular film. A fairly good looking, well to do up and comer in politics, albeit married to someone else, falls in love with Ms. Booth's somewhat frumpy character. Highly unlikely, some people would say, but it happens in this film, and it happens in real life, no matter what the media would have you believe. Robert Ryan rendered a fine performance, and both of them generated the right chemistry. This is where it gets really good. The love that's shared between these two comes across as quite genuine. In fact, it blossoms throughout the film by way of a good plot! No spoiler here! You must see the film in its entirety to understand this.
Yes, the film plays out like a soap opera for the most part, but the idea behind it, the love between these two people, no matter the odds, is very real. There are lots of sub-plots going on throughout, but they all seem to come together perfectly and sensibly in the end. Many facets and foibles of human nature are addressed quite well in the process.
This is a must see, as are all of Shirley Booth's movies, at least in my opinion. It's too bad she didn't make more of them.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
****May contain spoilers**** Shirley Booth radiates in this movie. This movie ranks as one of my top five favorites. If you love a TRUE soap opera tear-jerker then this qualifies as a 5 tissue box movie so have them ready!! The love story is touching, heartwarming, and if you love romance movies it will touch your heart right to the core. People say that Robert Ryan is miscast as the love interest but they could not be more wrong! He is a kind, shy, gentle man who finds the love of his life in Shirley Booth. Shirley Booth gives up jobs and suffers to be near her "Mr Leslie, Honey" six weeks out of each year. The movie is done entirely in flashback showing how they meet and how their relationship grows and blossoms into love over the years. Shirley Booth uses these memories to sustain her life over the years remembering the love they both shared. For anyone who cherishes romance and the joys of love THIS IS A LOVE STORY FOR THE AGES! HOW I WISH THIS MOVIE WERE ON DVD!!!! You can't even find it on video. I had to settle for a bootleg copy. If it is ever released I'll be FIRST in line to BUY IT!!!! If you get a chance find a way to WATCH THIS MOVIE. It is one to love and ENJOY!!
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