Edmund Goulding takes W. Somerset Maugham’s novel and turns it into a lush soap opera examining the zeitgeist of post war America. Grand sets take the action from a soundstage New York to a soundstage Paris to a Tibet stitched together from Colorado stock footage, but the characters which inhabit them are little more than archetypes. With the Great Depression serving as backdrop Tierney sulks and schemes over what she’s lost and cannot regain; Clifton Webb as her snobbish uncle remains painfully conscious of social status as he huffs and puffs; and Anne Baxter won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Tierney’s former childhood friend, once happily lower middle-class now reduced by tragedy to a drunken cynic. And in the eye of this sociopolitical storm floats Tyrone Power’s unflappable pseudo-guru believing he can cure everything from headaches to a shattered heart with smiles and spiritual babble, and Herbert Marshall as W. Somerset Maugham himself, hovering in the periphery documenting the follies and foibles of these curious 20th century yanks. Pleasing to look at but its facile message is delivered via sledgehammer.
VERY GOOD 1946 b/w film production of W. Somerset Maughan's novel. Lots of excellent acting by several Hollywood performers including beautiful Gene Tierney and Tyrone Power. LOTS of fabulous filming in spectacular architectural settings.
Narrated by on-screen observer Maugham (Herbert Marshall); this intriguing tale centers on a soul-searching World War I veteran (Tyrone Power) who finds he can not settle back into the world of the upper class. Shunning his planned marriage and career; he travels abroad to seek the meaning of life and career; he travels abroad to seek the meaning of life and causes his distraght fiancee (GeneTierney) to seek solace with another man (John Payne).
One / of my favorite novels movie is CLASSIC Hollywood of the 50s. Not close to the book but entertaining still. Gene Tierney is always beautiful and Anne Baxter is fantastic. The remake with Bill Murray is horrible
Hollywood destroyed this Maugham novel, turning profound material into something hokey.
The actors at least make it entertaining : Clifton Webb is fabulous as the "snob ;" Gene Tierney is stunningly beautiful and as self centerd as can be; Tyrone Power is very young, handsome and trying so hard to attain meaning in his life; Anne Baxter is so campy in over- playing the "fallen woman;" and John Payne manages to look "pained" throughout the film.
According to the commentary, Clifton Webb was ill with pneumonia when he did his death scene in the film. Webb stated that the studio doctors were checking him in order for him not to die before he died or similar statement. It was nice seeing Webb and Gene Tierney together again in this 1946 film. They appeared together in Laura that was released in 1944. Tierney and Tyrone Power were infatuated with one another while filming the movie in accordance to the commentary. The cast did a nice job portraying characters in reference to a fictional novel.
This is a fine portrayal of the classic, inspirational novel. But I think the real treat of watching this film is seeing the elegance, beauty and glamour of the stars of Hollywood's "Golden Era." Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, Anne Baxter, Clifton Webb, and Herbert Marshall truly inhabit their respective characters as though they're not even acting at all.
The "From the critics" review above should be ignored. It refers to a modern novel with a similar title and bears no relation to this 1946 film.
Based on the novel by the same name, it is a faithful rendition of the storylines and characters. Something for everyone here: romance, drama, religion, wit, farce all tied together into a powerful ending. This is the original movie which is far superior to the recent remake both in content and actors. A story that you wish were real for all our sakes.
I checked this out by accident. I wanted the remake but I am glad that I recieved the orignial. A very powerful film. Ann Baxter, is awesome as Sophie. She won the best supporting actress for her role as Sophie. She earned it hands down. Her performace will rivet you. The overall story will stay with you.
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