Reviews written by registered user
1953calif

6 reviews in total 
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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Awful, trite, misogynist, and badly dated dreck!, 14 August 2014
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What a mixed up mess of an awful script, poor direction (surprisingly from Robert Mulligan), and a drearily, predictable and trite plot. Not too mention, the screenplay is condescendingly racist toward Italians.

The movie's comedy fell completely flat and the entire production reveals such stereotypically sexist and patronizing attitudes toward women that I didn't know whether to throw up or toss the DVD into the waste basket.

The only saving graces are the gorgeous cinematography of Italy, a warmly sympathetic performance from Gina Lollobrigida and the one dance scene with Rock Hudson and Lollobrigida which is about the only time Hudson comes across as anything other than unpleasant, self-satisfied, and stiff as a brick. Usually Hudson was appealing in these 1960s comedies, but this movie is a complete waste of time. Do yourself a favor & skip it!

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
An under-appreciated, sophisticated gem from the 1930s, 21 July 2014
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

******************SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT***********************

This is a surprisingly excellent little film from Universal starring Margaret Sullavan and Jimmy Stewart. The two leads play a young married couple whose careers end up keeping them apart throughout most of their marriage despite the fact that they have a child together whom Sullavan's character ends up raising pretty much on her own.

The film was released in 1936 and shows the clear influence of the first wave of the modern feminist movement in the U.S.. Sullavan is a successful actress who supports and even helps facilitate her husband Stewart's career as a globe-trotting foreign correspondent, but she doesn't sacrifice her own career to the usual trope of the "good little wife" following wherever he goes.

The choices and hard decisions of each of the partners in this marriage are portrayed mostly realistically (until the unnecessarily melodramatic ending, that is), and the film doesn't pull any punches about how difficult it is for both Sullavan and Stewart, who are genuinely in love, to pursue what's best for each of them individually, even at the expense of their happiness and their opportunities to live together in the marriage.

The movie takes a sophisticated attitude toward the challenges of a two-career couple in a way that was fairly ahead of its time. It doesn't pander to the usual Hollywood formula and there's certainly not a happy ending. Both Stewart's and Sullavan's characters suffer and experience regrets, but there's no disproportionate punishment for the woman character for choosing her own independence and career.

These two actors clearly portray the couple as spouses who are determined to respect one another's choices even when they're hurt by them. They also clearly maintain their love for each other even through the years of separation. But in the final analysis, their choices mean they don't get to have one another present in their everyday lives in the way I think that each of them would ultimately have wanted for their marriage.

Sullavan and Stewart are terrific in playing off one another and they each bring great credibility and feeling to their scenes together. Ray Milland also gives a strong performance in an important supporting role.

See this far too-little known 1936 gem. If you're a fan of the golden age of classic films and of these two fine actors at a relatively young stage of their respective careers, you won't spend a more interesting hour and a half at the movies. Highly recommended.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
An effervescent tribute to those who love movies and love the people who make them, 16 April 2010
9/10

If you love film, and especially if you love French films, this small gem of a movie will get under your skin delightfully. Agnes Varda has created an utterly engaging, witty, wry, self-deprecating and altogether irresistible tribute to the directors and stars of classic French cinema and some American ones as well. Varda manages to poke fun at all the ridiculous pretentiousness of movie-making while understanding all the reasons why we---audience and actors and filmmakers alike---still fall hopelessly, helplessly, and contentedly in love with the magic of moving pictures. See this movie on a warm summer night with someone you love and who also loves the movies...

16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
An under-appreciated gem of a comedy, 17 March 2006
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I must most courteously beg to differ with all the previous comments on "We Were Dancing." This film is quite simply a frothy, delightful romp---filled with witty dialogue and great chemistry between the two leads, a luminous Norma Shearer and a suave Melvyn Douglas. Shearer's comic timing in most of her major scenes is exquisite. The banter exchanged between the two obviously smitten spouses is well performed throughout the movie. There's even a poignant dramatic scene where Douglas' character comforts Shearer's because she's sacrificed a significant chunk of her pride in order to help him financially.

I'm not sure why this movie has gotten such a bad reputation. So what if its tone and style is more akin to 1930s screwball comedies rather than World War II dramas. The 1942 timing of its release near the start of U.S. involvement in the war was simply unfortunate. And yes, Shearer's career was never the same after she turned down the lead in Mrs. Miniver, but so what. It doesn't mean that both the film and her comic performance in it cannot be savored and appreciated some 60 years later. Skip the preconceptions and give this movie a look when you're in the mood for a most diverting and enjoyable comedy. You won't regret the choice. You may even feel like dancing after watching!

9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful lead performances by Dunne & Tracy, 22 August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Two very good reasons to see this charming movie are a terrific performance by Irene Dunne and the excellent interplay in the romantic relationship between Irene Dunne & Spencer Tracy. The movie simply sparkles when these two are on screen together. A great script by Dalton Trumbo only adds to the rich, comedic and touching dynamic between these two fine actors. While the World War II background is not the most realistic ever filmed, it still adds to the overall story by evoking the important ways that even small individuals were affected by and contributed to the war effort.

Warning spoilers ahead!

The movie also showcases an uncommonly mature (for Hollywood) perspective on love as it develops between these complex, grown-up characters. Tracy genuinely evolves in a believable fashion when he comes back as an angel to advise his loved ones and the rival pilot. Dunne remains loyal to him in life and even after death, but finally honors their love by choosing not to pine away the rest of her life. Tracy is touching in their scenes together when he can't be seen by her.

Still, it's Dunne who carries this affectionate movie on her very capable shoulders with a simply wonderful, strong, funny performance as an independent woman pilot who holds her own both during the war as well as in the demanding relationship banter. She's no more willing to give up flying than is Tracy. And there's a great unexpected bonus in the ending (however much it stretches credibility) where she actually pilots the plane that blows up the ammunition dump. See this movie to enjoy Dunne and Tracy and an excellent supporting cast led by Ward Bond.

5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Utterly charming & lovely dancing despite a cornpone script., 16 July 2001

Rita Hayworth and Fred Astaire are delightful in the dance scenes, particularly the one on the patio with Hayworth in black chiffon. Their timing is exquisite together, but that's probably no surprise to film dance fans. The script is ridiculously sexist and retro with respect to its women characters, but there are a few pleasant subversive elements in Hayworth's character's independent streak and in the pater familias not always getting his way. But the only real reason to see this is to see Hayworth and Astaire dancing together.