7.0/10
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29 user 6 critic

Vacation from Marriage (1945)

Perfect Strangers (original title)
Passed | | Drama, Romance | 1 November 1945 (USA)
A dull married couple, separated by their enlistment during World War II, reunite after three years to find that they have become very different people.

Director:

Alexander Korda

Writers:

Clemence Dane (story), Anthony Pelissier (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Donat ... Robert Wilson
Deborah Kerr ... Cathy Wilson
Glynis Johns ... Dizzy Clayton
Ann Todd ... Elena
Roland Culver ... Richard
Elliott Mason Elliott Mason ... Mrs. Hemmings
Eliot Makeham ... Mr. Staines
Brefni O'Rorke ... Mr. Hargrove
Ivor Barnard ... Chemist
Henry B. Longhurst Henry B. Longhurst ... Petty Officer (as Henry Longhurst)
Bill Shine ... Webster (as Billy Shine)
Billy Thatcher Billy Thatcher ... Essex
Brian Weske ... Gordon
Rosamund Taylor Rosamund Taylor ... Irene
Harry Ross Harry Ross ... Bill
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Storyline

Robert and Catherine have a quiet little marriage until World War II separates them for three years. Serving in the Navy dramatically transforms both of them and they realize how much they resented their old mundane life together. Both dread their inevitable reunion and separately decide to ask for a divorce, but is the marriage really over? Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mr. Chips Is Back In A New Thrilling Romance!

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vacation from Marriage See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (US) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Uniforms worn by the characters are one hundred percent correct. Cathy's W.R.E.N. uniform, when she joins, has the pre-1942 soft cap. Towards the end of the movie, it is updated to the correct later style cap. When working with her boat crew, she wears the correct men's bell bottoms and white top, and the lanyard with knife. Elena, the nurse, wears a correct tropical dress white uniform of Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service, with white tippet (short cape). See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene Robert rips the page off a calendar exposing the page for Wednesday, April 4, 1940. That date fell on a Thursday. It is the correct day, though, for 1945 -- the year the movie was produced. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bhowani Junction (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Daisy Bell
(uncredited)
Written by Harry Dacre
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Thrown from a rut
18 August 2012 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

This is a film on an often unexplored aspect of World War II - how couples grew apart after years of separation due to the service of one or both in the military. What makes this film so unusual is that it is exploring the topic - albeit in a rather light hearted and humorous fashion - at the very end of the war rather than a few years later.

In this case the couple (Deborah Kerr as Catherine Wilson and Robert Donat as Robert Wilson) really don't grow apart as a couple as much as they grow as individuals. They are both mousy plain almost invisible people prior to the war, seemingly happy in their routine. Then in the spring of 1940 Robert enters the British navy and Catherine enters the British equivalent of the WAVEs - the WRENs. There they are both tested, find their courage and their voice, and find the attention of and feel attraction to members of the opposite sex, all the while with each remembering the other as they were before the war and feeling somewhat disappointed at the idea of resuming their mousy existences - and marriage - after the war.

Then comes what should be a happy event - after three years apart both are granted a ten days leave - time enough to reunite and get to know each other again ... or not. I'll let you see what happens as they both return to their prewar flat with all the enthusiasm of the condemned to their execution.

Everything in this production is outstanding - cinematography, makeup, and of course stellar jobs by the entire cast. I would have never thought Deborah Kerr and Robert Donat could ever have generated any chemistry together, but the proof is in the pudding. I highly recommend it.


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