Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


David Niven and Evelyn Keyes
ENCHANTMENT (1948). Director: Irving Reis.

During the London blitz an elderly man, Rollo (David Niven of The Pink Panther) thinks back on his life after he meets his niece, Grizel (Evelyn Keyes), who is an ambulance driver. Flashbacks tell the story of how Lark (Teresa Wright) came to his house in childhood after her parents were killed in an accident. A grown-up Rollo and Lark fall in love, but there is interference from Rollo's jealous sister, Selina (Jayne Meadows). Rollo tries to convince Grizel not to turn away from love with a soldier, Pax (Farley Granger), just because she was once hurt, sparing her his fate. I wanted to like Enchantment but somehow this romantic movie just doesn't work for me for several reasons. The going back and forth from the past to WW2 becomes tiresome, the characters never seem that dimensional, and Lark's actions and subsequent fate are slightly mystifying. The acting isn't bad, although Jayne Meadows plays her character like an all-too-obvious villainess. Gigi Perreau (introduced in this picture, although she'd appeared in several earlier films) and Peter Miles [Possessed] are excellent as Lark and Rollo as children. Miles was Perreau's brother and was also in The Red Pony and The Betty Hutton Show. Sherlee Collier is also good as Selina as a child; she died at only 35.

Verdict: Star-crossed but unconvincing love story. **.

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