Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The Way to the Stars (1945)

This well-judged war film isn't really a war film at all - you hardly see any actual warfare. Rather, it's a film about how a group of people in the middle of the conflict cope with the events unfolding around them, and especially at how the uncertainty of wartime affects peoples' relationships.

It's all very British old chap, at least until all those dashed Yanks appear. An uneasy distrust soon turns into a genuine camaraderie when both sides prove their worth to each other, despite the British being ever so refined and the Americans being mostly very brash. Despite the stereotypes, it's all done with sensitivity and works very well, despite a very patches where it moves just a bit too slowly.

Sub-plots include a marriage that ends all too soon due to the husband's death, a younger officer trying to decide between his love for a local girl and his decision that it's not fair to get married due to the risk of the same happening to him, a romance that never can be but which continually threatens to blossom...

John Mills and Douglas Montgomery take centre stage at different parts in the film, while Rosamund John plays a pivotal part throughout. Despite the occasional lapses in pace, director Anthony Asquith has created a film that captures the attitudes of the time and gives us plenty of characters we can care about; if like me you're not a fan of war films, this is one of the few that you'll probably be glad you saw.

CaptainD - Movie Reviews Blog

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