While working as a counselor at a summer camp, college-student Marjorie Morgenstern falls for 32-year-old Noel Airman, a would-be dramatist working at a nearby summer theater. Like Marjorie...
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An American boy and a French girl run away from a Swiss school making for Paris to reunite with their parents. The boy's father and the girl's mother join forces, despite cultural differences, to search for their kids.
An American World War I soldier, whose disfigured face is reconstructed by Austrian plastic surgeons, returns home after twenty years, but no one recognizes him, his widow is married to another man, and his son is a grown young man.
While working as a counselor at a summer camp, college-student Marjorie Morgenstern falls for 32-year-old Noel Airman, a would-be dramatist working at a nearby summer theater. Like Marjorie, he is an upper-middle-class New York Jew (born 'Ehrman'), but has fallen away from his roots, and Marjorie's parents object among other things to his lack of a suitable profession, such as medicine or law. Noel himself warns Marjorie repeatedly that she's much too naive and conventional for him, but they nonetheless fall in love. As they pursue an on-again-off-again relationship, Marjorie completes her studies at Hunter College, and works to establish an acting career, while Noel first leaves the theater for a job with an advertising agency, but later completes a musical he'd started writing before he and Marjorie had first met. Meanwhile, their relationship deepens (though, consistent with '50s Hollywood mores, the more full-fledged sexuality in their relationship is never explicitly communicated...Written by
This film has some of the most bizarre casting in Hollywood history - who could possibly conceive of Gene Kelly playing a Jew? Yes, an 'assimilated Jew," but a Jew nonetheless. Maybe the same Warner exec who a few years later envisioned WASP-ish Rosalind Russell as Mrs. Jacobi in A MAJORITY OF ONE? With the exception of Everett Sloane (who may have been Jewish - I've never been able to confirm this) and Ed Wynn (who was), this is the most goyishe-looking family imaginable. Claire Trevor was from Brooklyn - I guess they thought this qualified her to "pass". Everyone looks like they just got back from church, not a synagogue.
Hollywood and the movie industry were built by Jews - except for Darryl F. Zanuck, all the major movie moguls - Mayer, Selznick, Cohn, Goldwyn, Warner, Laemmle - were Jewish - yet they were frightened of portraying Jews honestly on screen, and many an actor had to subdue his "Jewishness" and change his name to 'blend in' - could John Garfield have become a movie star under his real name, Julius Garfinkle?
MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR hasn't held up well as a film or on the printed page - maybe in the 1950s she was the gal every young woman wanted to be or know, but when I finally got through the book a few years ago, I found her to be not only irritating but a tease of the first order - few men or women would have much patience with her superficial personality today. I wondered at the book's popularity - somehow it managed to nudge past AUNTIE MAME and become the #1 bestselling novel of 1955.
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