Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Released in 1946, My Reputation was made -- and takes place -- three years earlier. Jessica Drummond (Barbara Stanwyck) has just lost her husband after a long illness, and doesn't quite know how to handle the emptiness she's left with. She has two young boys, a difficult if somewhat wise old mother (Lucile Watson) and some good friends, including Ginna Abbott (Eve Arden), but the loneliness she feels can be crushing. On a holiday with Ginna and her husband Cary (John Ridgely), she accidentally meets Major Scott Landis (George Brent) and the two begin a decidedly unconventional romance... and soon gossipy tongues are wagging. This has a superb, sophisticated, literate script by Catherine Turney, and features another of Stanwyck's sterling star performances. The supporting cast -- Arden, Watson, Esther Dale as the housekeeper, Jerome Cowan as a lecherous married friend, Scotty Beckett as one of her boys and others -- are swell, and George Brent, if not on Stanwyck's level, strikes the right note throughout. This is a lovely, beautifully-made movie with a moving ending. Max Steiner's score is one of his best, and cinematographer James Wong Howe ensured that Stanwyck looks luminescent.
Verdict: Another great Stanwyck picture. ****.