In 1941, as part of an effort to remain strictly neutral, the Dublin government made a deal with both Berlin and London whereby any soldier, sailor or pilot captured on Irish soil, whether ... See full summary »
Chris 'Kit' Ryan,
Three intertwined stories of lost and unspoken love and the resulting secrets are presented. In one, which begins in 1941 Branagan, Michigan, twenty-one year old Ethel Ann socializes primarily with three male friends, who are all in love with her. She only loves one, Teddy Gordon, their mutual love known within the group. Her parents would never approve of Teddy, the poor country boy, who is building a house for her eventually to be able to show her parents that he is worth something in his love for her. Their relationship is interrupted by the US entry into the war, into which all three men are going into battle. Before their departure, the three men enter into a pact unknown to Ethel Ann. In two, which also takes place in Branagan but in 1991, WWII USAF veteran, septuagenarian Chuck Harris, after an illness, has just passed away. Those that knew him always considered him the reliable one. His death leaves a void in his family as there has always been a distance between his wife and ...Written by
I'd never heard of this movie and, judging from the number of votes and comments it has received, not many other people have either - which is something of a surprise when you consider the cast and director. But then again, when you consider the lazy - and overly-convoluted - nature of the old-fashioned storyline, perhaps the reason nobody has heard of it is that the makers let it go with as little fuss as possible - the way you would a family relative with no chance of waking from a machine-maintained coma.
The film flashes back and forth between the 1940s and the early 90s. Director Attenborough misses no opportunity to demonstrate the inescapable ties of fate that connect the present and the past: doorbells ringing in 1991 and being answered in 1943, that kind of thing. It's a neat enough trick when performed once in a film, but when its done a dozen or more times it just grows tiresome, like a teacher who only knows how to teach by repeating the same learning phrase ad nauseum until it sinks in with even the thickest member of his class. The mystery of why Shirley Maclaine's Ethel-Ann acts so strangely after the death of her long-time husband unfolds so slowly that you lose interest long before its ultimate resolution. Too many characters start coming across as too self-pitying and self-indulgent, while others, such as Martin McCann's Jimmy Reilly, simply aren't interesting enough too hold our attention.
In the end writer Peter Woodward struggles to close the ring without straining credibility, and simply leaves you wondering why you spent so long awaiting an outcome you half-suspected was on the horizon anyway. Undemanding women viewers looking for an old-fashioned, Mills and Boon romance reminiscent of the weepy melodramas of the 50s may find some pleasure in it, but others will be left disappointed
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