Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Valley of Decision (1945)

It tells the story of a young Irish house maid who falls in love with the son of her employer, a local steel mill owner. [wiki]

Nominated for 2 Oscars:

Best Actress: Greer Garson
Best Original Score

Finally a Greer Garson film without Walter Pidgeon as a co-star... this was one of Gregory Peck's first films, and what a chance starring opposite a star like Garson... who was also I think 12 years older than him... but the romance is not the biggest problem of Valley of Decision. The main thing I can accuse it of is that it has nothing special or surprising in the screenplay; it's a flat story, doesn't feel intelligent enough and it loses focus in the 2nd part.

The highlight of the film is the acting - no, not from the 2 leading stars, but from the strong supporting players. I don't understand how Hollywood legend Lionel Barrymore didn't get a nomination for this - he's GREAT as the angry, obsessed father of Mary; and has enough screentime and emotional shots to create a good performance. A young Jessica Tandy is also impressive as the female villain and Gladys Cooper does something I never seen her do before: she gets to play a gentle, kind, loving woman, which is very different from the roles she used to get.

My rating for the film: 5/10. OK to see for the acting, not for the story.