Action / Drama / Romance
Action / Drama / Romance
As Julie prepares to leave her husband Roger, she begins to play through a stack of recordings, each of which reminds her of events in their lives together. One of them is the song that was playing when she and Roger first met in a music store. Other songs remind her of their courtship, their marriage, their desire for a child, and the joys and sorrows that they have shared. A flood of memories comes back to her as she ponders their present problems and how they arose.
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March 08, 2015 at 01:28 AM
Babies creating and raising babies
The first time I started to watch this movie many years ago I finally couldn't take it any more and turned it off and went for a nice long bicycle ride. The memory must have been painful because I submerged it and couldn't immediately remember it. when I saw it airing again on TCM I looked to see my rating of the movie and there wasn't one. So I watched the movie again this time from beginning to end. I regretted it but being burned twice I conclude you must remember the bad along with the good.
As an example of what I mean take the time when the husband quits his job and acts so cavalierly about everything. Is this who you want to give control of a baby to raise? I would take even the responsibility of raising kittens (children of a cat) more seriously. I would darn sure be far more careful about who I gave the kittens to, screening out misfits like these. It makes me wonder just how stringent current adoption procedures are.
Dear reader, you have been warned. You don't have me to blame if you watch the movie and come to a similar conclusion. If you think it is a fine creative film I hope you aren't nearly as irresponsible about your own life as the people in this movie were about their lives. I hope they remember what they did wrong and don't do it again.
Remembrances of a marriage fraught with laughter and loss...
Cary Grant and Irene Dunne as a married couple with regrets who tearfully plan to part; the wife's recollections of their union (via her phonograph records!) tell the story: they were childless after lucking into the adoption of a six-week-old baby girl, whose health suddenly grows worse in her formative years. Producer-director George Stevens smoothly steers this star-vehicle from light comedy to tragedy without hitting so much as a bump. The comfortable leads obviously do a lot to make the scenario an involving one, though Morrie Ryskind's script, from an original story by Martha Cheavens, is little more than a novelette. Grant received an Oscar nomination for his work; while Dunne works the audience over with sentiment--with faraway eyes and a faraway voice--Grant's honest, forthright husband connects with the audience in a more direct way. His reluctance to take on an infant--a girl even!--has to be nimbly handled so that this character doesn't come off cold or stubborn. Dunne has a standout bit trying to change the baby's diaper with a crowd watching (it's a funny/emotional scene many new mothers may recognize), but Grant's portrait of the 'ordinary man' with money worries and job troubles becomes the focal point of the picture. With Beulah Bondi as the adoption agent (she's directed to glow with grandmotherly warmth and yet look upon this couple with skepticism, often in the same scene) and Edgar Buchanan, who uses his humorous brand of cracker-barrel wisdom to get through a baby-bath. **1/2 from ****
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Grant And Dunne Are So Watchable As A Couple With History
"Penny Serenade" reviews the history of a relationship as told in flashbacks remembered by the wife (Irene Dunne). She is weighing the good and bad times, prompted by music that was part of their history, deciding if she can remain with her husband (Cary Grant).
The repeated references to phonograph records might sound tiresome, and some of the scenes can be overly sentimental, but the final product is still a film worth seeing. Dunne displays every emotion possible and Cary Grant turns in what may be the best acing of his career. If you ever doubted his abilities as an actor, watch the scene where he pleads for custody of the child they wish to adopt. No wonder his performance received an Oscar nomination.
Edgar Buchanan is terrific as the gruff family friend who is reliable and caring. Beulah Bondi plays Miss Oliver, the adoption agency worker who finds herself emotionally involved with their case.
If this film is a weeper, it nevertheless deserves consideration as a fine film.