Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wonderful Find

Tonight I watched A Story of Three Loves (1953) on Turner Classic Movies. Why haven't I heard of this movie before?


I sat spellbound as three different passengers aboard an ocean liner recall the one great love story of their lives. The first segment starred the beautiful Moira Shearer as a ballerina who - despite having a trick heart - inspires and melts the heart of grumpy choreographer and impresario James Mason at his most sullenly handsome and tempestuous. There were definite shades of The Red Shoes (1948).

The second story is about a young boy, Ricky Nelson, who scorns his governess, Leslie Caron, but learns a valuable lesson about growing up, aging and seizing life, with the help of a "witch", played by Ethel Barrymore. There were definite overtones of the movie Big (1988).

The last segment dealt with a jaw-grindingly haunted aerial artist, Kirk Douglas, who finds possible redemption in a suicidal Pier Angeli. The long, relatively silent sequences where he teaches her how to be an aerialist are wonderful.

The first and third segments are directed by Gottfried Reinhardt and the middle one was directed by Vincente Minelli.

In this whole film there is a sort of languor, a bold confidence in not filling the screen with music and freneticism, but just letting a story unfold. It's 1950s melodrama, deeply romantic, and very suspenseful. It gets my two thumbs up!


willow said...

TCM has been showing some great old films this month. Sorry I missed this one...will have to watch for it.

Love your blog.

Blog Princess G said...

Your blog is wonderful WM... and lots of links to more creative people. Thank you for that.