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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

That Forsyte Woman (1949)

In Victorian England, an unconventional woman (Greer Garson) eventually succumbs to the marriage proposals of a stuffy, proper member (Errol Flynn) of the Forsyte clan despite the fact she doesn't love him. It is to be a marriage of convenience and he considers her his "property". When she meets the Bohemian architect (Robert Young) who is engaged to her niece (Janet Leigh), a love affair begins that will affect them all. Based on THE MAN OF PROPERTY by John Galsworthy and directed by Compton Bennett (THE SEVENTH VEIL), the film receives the typical lavish MGM treatment in decor and costumes (Walter Plunkett's gowns received an Oscar nomination) but fortunately, it's a solid piece of well done Victorian drama. Both the prim Garson as the bold and strong willed Irene and the cheeky Flynn as the dour chauvinist husband are cast against type and for the most part it works. Alas, not so for the colorless and aging Robert Young as the unorthodox free spirited architect. The strong score is by Bronislau Kaper. With Walter Pidgeon as Leigh's estranged father and Harry Davenport as the patriarch of the Forsyte clan.

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