Spring inspires lessons in love and life for a French family in 1920s Ottawa, especially for teenage Robert, who's blind to the attentions of an American neighbor girl, because he's ... See full summary »
A dead World War II bomber pilot named Pete Sandidge, becomes the guardian angel of another pilot, Ted Randall. He guides Ted through battle and helping him to romance his old girlfriend, despite her excessive devotion to Sandidge's memory.
John Hathaway is a professor of psychology at Digby College. His students are bored as he is with the students. He leaves college to go to New York to have his manuscript on jealousy ... See full summary »
During World War II, there were no passenger car assembly lines in operation. As a result, Vidor had to borrow cars from Chrysler, take them apart, and reassemble them in a simulated assembly line. What we see emerging from the factory are 1942 Plymouths with a Danton insignia and hubcaps. These were the last passenger cars manufactured by Chrysler before the World War II shutdown. See more »
As Steve Dangos closes his front door (after arriving home from the board meeting), a hand and lower arm can also be seen closing the door from the outside. See more »
America, My Country Tis of Thee
Music by Lowell Mason, based on the Music by Henry Carey from "God Save the King" (1744)
Played during the opening credits
Reprised at the end See more »
"An American Romance" from 1944 is partly propaganda and partly about immigrants who came to this country and went for the American dream. Originally, the stars were to be Spencer Tracy and Ingrid Bergman instead of Brian Donlevy and Ann Richards, which would have made it seem like a much bigger film. King Vidor thought he had an agreement that Tracy and Bergman would star; apparently MGM heard something else. As it is, the film is done in color and had a good budget.
The version I saw is 121 minutes; originally the film was 150 minutes and the studio ordered 30 minutes cut. There are long scenes of factory work as iron, steel, cars, and airplanes are produced, and Vidor thought the 30 minutes would come from those scenes, which are wonderful but plentiful. Instead dramatic portions were cut. The film ends abruptly.
Need I add, this was the last film King Vidor did for MGM.
The story concerns a Czech, Stefan Dangos, who emigrates to America, intending to get a job in the iron mines with his cousin. That happens, and he works his way up, along the way marrying his English tutor (Ann Richards). He graduates to steel, and finally goes into business making cars.
This is truly a story about achieving the American dream, with a lot of patriotism thrown in, as the film spans from the 1890s into World War II and America's entry into it.
The factory scenes and the scenes in the iron mines are fascinating. Of note, during World War II, there were no passenger car assembly lines in operation. As a result, Vidor had to borrow cars from Chrysler, take them apart, and reassemble them in a simulated assembly line.
Brian Donlevy, who usually plays the heavy, does a fine job here. He's no Spencer Tracy, but I liked him in the role. He's rough around the edges and very believable and likable. Ann Richards is lovely as his wife - I assume if Ingrid Bergman had done this role, it would have been built up quite a bit. Stephen McNally and Walter Abel are also featured; McNally, as one of Stefan's son, is the narrator.
Good, not great, but certainly an interesting film.
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