HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
High Life
High Noon
Comes a Horseman
Scandal in Paris, A
Greta
Fight, The
Pink Jungle, The
Skiptrace
Double Date
Mind of Mr. Soames, The
Long Shot
Sherlock Holmes
Amazing Grace
Monitors, The
Memory: The Origins of Alien
Mesa of Lost Women
Banana Splits Movie, The
In Fabric
Sisters Brothers, The
Aniara
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
   
 
Newest Articles
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
   
 
  Since You Went Away Baby Please Come HomeBuy this film here.
Year: 1944
Director: John Cromwell, Edward F. Cline, Tay Garnett
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Shirley Temple, Monty Woolley, Lionel Barrymore, Robert Walker, Hattie McDaniel, Agnes Moorehead, Alla Nazimova, Albert Basserman, Gordon Oliver, Keenan Wynn, Guy Madison, Craig Stevens
Genre: Comedy, Drama, War, Romance
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Anne Hilton (Claudette Colbert) cannot believe it. Why would anyone, let alone the Government, call up her husband to serve in the armed forces? She knows there's a war on, it is inescapable in 1943, but who would seriously think her kind, gentle husband would be fighting material? And yet he has been drafted and today after seeing him off at the station, she returns to an empty house, feeling dreadfully bereft. She does not live there alone, however, as she still has her two teenage daughters Jane (Jennifer Jones) and Bridget (Shirley Temple), known informally as Brig, to keep her company, but the war will continue to affect their lives in seismic ways they cannot escape...

The shadow of Mrs Miniver, that Oscar-winning juggernaut that drove home the point to America of what was happening in Europe before their nation entered the war, loomed large over producer David O. Selznick's Since You Went Away. He wanted to make something for the war effort as every other studio was at the time, and ostensibly thought this would be his contemporary answer to his own massively successful Gone with the Wind, which remains the most profitable and widely-seen film of all time if you adjust the figures for inflation. Yet he must have regarded Greer Garson in that previous movie and jealously considered it as something he should have achieved with his studio.

Thus, instead of setting a story on the British home front with a somewhat American view of what life was like there, he cut out the middle man, or the Atlantic anyway, and served up life in the United States among those either left behind by the war, or those who were able to return for whatever reason. The results were another enormous success for him, not quite Gone with the Wind-sized, and it has not endured as far as some of his other hits, but it did what it set out to do at the time, and that was boost the morale of Americans - and any other nation's representatives who happened to be looking in, unless they were German or Japanese, naturally - they were the enemy.

Selznick marshalled a highly impressive cast to play out the year in the life, from winter to sentimental as you like Christmas, not simply the three female leads, for this adaptation of the much-read Margaret Buell Wilder novel (whose diary entry format was referred to intermittently). Although this was a determinedly woman-centric take on the conflict, there were men here too, from Joseph Cotten as family friend Uncle Tony about as dashing as he was ever allowed to be (and the focus of Jane's teenage crush) to poor old Robert Walker as Bill, the nervous and ungainly recruit who manages to win over Jane thanks to his innate sweetness and good heart (ironically, the troubled Walker and Jones were married at this point, but headed for divorce). For added texture, Bill's grandfather Colonel Smollet is the Hiltons' lodger, played by the always welcome Monty Woolley, that elaborately bearded character actor of Cole Porter pal fame.

These characters move in and out of each other's lives as Selznick deliberately allowed this to sprawl to nearly three hours in duration, that notion a film gains in importance the longer it becomes part of serious cinema even then. The Colonel, for example, is a typical Woolley bluff old cove, but has comedy bits when the Hiltons' bulldog takes a liking to him, then dramatic scenes as he refuses to reach out to Bill and reassure him, even show him any affection at all, when he mistakenly believes it will make him man up, which of course it does not since it is Jane's love that brings him out of himself. Colbert was almost overwhelmed in her own supposed showcase as the tearful wife and mother, but let's not underestimate her, as she was a star for a reason, and provided the emotional centre of the piece, however shaky and tested that was throughout. As a mix of light and shade, we were never allowed to forget the deadly gravity of the war, from the black armbands on minor players to the deaths hitting home to the characters, even addressing the Holocaust which was unusual in Hollywood movies of the day, and if this was unabashedly corny, it succeeded like gangbusters if you were sympathetic, as the American public were back in 1944. Music by Max Steiner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 485 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Derrick Smith
   

 

Last Updated: