Since You Went Away (1944) DVDRip Dual Esp-Eng (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
Since You Went Away (1944).rtf
Since You Went Away (1944)
While husband Tim is away during World War II, Anne Hilton copes with problems on the homefront. Taking in a lodger, Colonel Smollett, to help make ends meet and dealing with shortages and rationing are minor inconveniences compared to the love affair daughter Jane and the Colonel's grandson conduct.
Claudette Colbert ... Mrs. Anne Hilton
Jennifer Jones ... Jane Deborah Hilton
Joseph Cotten ... Lieutenant Tony Willett
Shirley Temple ... Bridget 'Brig' Hilton
Monty Woolley ... Colonel William G. Smollett
Lionel Barrymore ... Clergyman
Robert Walker ... Corporal William G. 'Bill' Smollett II
Hattie McDaniel ... Fidelia
Agnes Moorehead ... Mrs. Emily Hawkins
Alla Nazimova ... Zofia Koslowska (as Nazimova)
Albert Bassermann ... Dr. Sigmund Gottlieb Golden
Gordon Oliver ... Marine Officer Seeking Room
Keenan Wynn ... Lieutenant Solomon
Guy Madison ... Sailor Harold E. Smith
Craig Stevens ... Danny Williams
Watching this film, we couldn't help drawing a parallel between what the Hilton family went through in the early 40s to the actual conflict in Iraq. The film makes clear the hard times on the families left behind. The government, unfortunately, doesn't provide for the people that have to sacrifice a great deal by making do with a reduced income in order to survive, while the men, or women are away in combat.
John Cromwell directs the film with an accurate eye for details. There is a lovely sequence at an airfield hangar where we see couples in silhouette dancing a waltz. It's at that time when war seems so far away from the lives of the family at the center of the story. This is a distraction that is shattered shortly thereafter when Anne Hilton learns about the airplane accident where the young son of her grocer dies. War shows its ugly face no matter how far removed one is from the actual theater of operations, as it is in this case.
David O. Selznick adapted the novel in which the film is based. It runs for almost three hours, and it could have used some cutting, but this movie has proved to be a favorite for many that have discovered it years after it was first released.
Claudette Colbert was an accomplished actress who made this Anne Hilton come alive. Jennifer Jones is a compelling Jane, a girl deprived of a father and confused about what she want from life. Joseph Cotten plays Tony, the man who comes into the lives of the Hilton women. Monty Woolley, Robert Walker, Agnes Moorhead all have excellent moments where they shine.
It was also good to see in minor roles people that would go on to have careers of their own. Guy Madison, Keenan Wynn, Craig Stevens appear in the film shortly, but they leave their mark on it.
As I watched this recently on Turner Movie Classics, a number of trivial points ran through my mind. David O. Selznick certainly had a knack for making clear statements and making sure that everything in his productions (at least up to this time) was easily understood by viewers of all levels.
As his cinematographer, Lee Garmes, was noted for his tendency toward dark images, I was constantly aware of the many shadows in his shots. For his actors to move from one position to another they walk through at least one area of total darkness. There are many shadows on their faces, many profiles, and sharp light and dark contrasts in the background. While Selznick reportedly didn't appreciate Garmes' signature style for GWTW, David certainly tolerated it here, and this dark ambiance gave "Since You Went Away" a quality of depth and substance it might not otherwise have had.
David's effort to get the "perfect" cast paid off. With Colbert anchoring the enactment with a great performance, the film was also blessed with excellent work from Cotten, Jones, Temple, Wooley, McDaniel, Moorhead, et al.
It looks like Colbert's preference for being photographed from the left side is valid. On my system, motion can be stopped and slowly forwarded, observing her from the right side when she turns. In real time one only glimpses; in slow motion one can see her point.
Max Steiner's themes are quite haunting (one of his main ones reveals generic influences of the "Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde--another the basis for a later Christmas song) and his careful underscoring of every action works well here. TMC Channel's inclusion of the complete Overture and Entr'acte enhances the presentation's effectiveness. It's a joy to see material once cut from so many "classics" now sensitively restored.
Knowing what the Walkers were going through in real life (marital separation) during this filming does indeed make me further appreciate the fine quality of their work. Though Jennifer reportedly often left the set in tears, not a hint of that shows. That indeed is strong acting.
The volume of sad and tragic events depicted in this film now seems, by the end, a wee bit much. Still, this "tear jerker supreme" continues to be enjoyed by many viewers, and "Since You Went Away," remains a nostalgic enactment of an emotional period in American history.
Call 'Since You Went Away' schmaltzy, cliched, idealized, propaganda, soapy - whatever you like: I LOVE this movie. It was made when we called them movies, not films, not cinema.
Every Christmastime I HAVE to watch 'Since You Went Away'. The laughter - that good, clean kind of fun laughter that gets trashed nowadays by the many who like to affect "sophisticated" jadedness - it provokes from my heart, and the tears it pulls from my eyes are worth every second of this Selznick masterpiece (in my opinion this movie trumps the overblown, talky, overpraised 'Gone With The Wind').
I laugh and cry, especially, watching and listening to the gifted, lovely Hattie McDaniel handling her role, a good measure of which was written in the period's typical "Negro dialect," with dignity and aplomb. If I had to be stranded on a desert island with one person I'd hope it could be McDaniel, a woman who embodied grace under pressure.
Claudette Colbert simply glows throughout. Jennifer Jones oozes smoldering sexuality, but manages to convince us that she's a teen verging on responsible adulthood. Shirley Temple tugs at your heartstrings. McDaniel radiates strength, stamina, and tenderness. Monty Woolley irritates and charms. Joseph Cotten brings a healthy dose of class and charm. Agnes Moorehead infuriates - she was one of the most talented actresses ever to grace the screen. Robert Walker exemplifies the innocence that war guts from the young, and the sacrifice made, like his character, by thousands of young people in defending, and assuring the legacy, of America's founding ideals.
Have your tissues - a whole box - handy. And let 'Since You Went Away' make your heart soar.
* Jennifer Jones and Robert Walker play young lovers. In real life, they were at the end of a failed marriage and divorced shortly after.
* The photos of Anne's husband Tim shown frequently in the Hilton home is that of Neil Hamilton. Having just left for the war as the movie starts and heading home as the movie ends, the often-referred to Tim never actually appears in the movie.
* David O. Selznick was credited as producer for his writing the screenplay.
* The opening sequence was re-shot. Originally it featured a male dog (whose genitalia photographed far too prominently). The shot was redone using a female dog. David O. Selznick's personal print, however, contains the original "naughty" version.
* Film debut of Guy Madison.
* Shirley Temple had been in retirement for two years when David O. Selznick persuaded her to join the film.
* The original novel by Margaret Buell Wilder is in epistolary form - i.e., it consists of a series of letters that she wrote to her husband while he was away at war.
* This came about because David O. Selznick wanted to make a film that showed his support for the war effort. He deliberately did not want to make a traditional war movie.
* One of Selznick's staff members told the producer about Margaret Buell Wilder's novel; he was immediately taken with it. However, Selznick really wanted to make an epic-sized movie, so he had to do a complete overhaul of the book to suit those ends. He was particularly interested in the character of the older daughter, Jane, knowing that it would make a great part for Jennifer Jones.
* Claudette Colbert originally turned down the chance to play the lead as she didn't like the idea of playing mother to two teenage daughters. Enlisting the help of gossip columnist, Hedda Hopper, David O. Selznick was able to finally convince her to take on the part.
* At the time, the longest and most expensive Hollywood film since Selznick's own Gone with the Wind (1939).
* Debuting actor Guy Madison, who plays a sailor in the film, was really in the navy at the time of filming.
* Original cinematographer George Barnes left the production to be replaced by Lee Garmes and Stanley Cortez.