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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Reunion In France (1942)

A spoiled Parisian socialite (Joan Crawford) gives little thought to Hitler and the Nazis and "men and their wars". But when France falls and she finds her elegant mansion taken over by the Gestapo, reality rears its ugly head as more surprises await her. In spite of the pedigree behind the camera, it was produced by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and directed by Jules Dassin (NEVER ON SUNDAY), this is a typical WWII propaganda programmer. That being said, I found it decent enough for what it is and more enjoyable that many of Crawford's overheated melodramas at Warners. And make no mistake about it, this is a Crawford picture all the way. Though second billed, John Wayne doesn't even turn up until the halfway point. There's not much chemistry between Crawford and Wayne but the casting in general is rather ludicrous. A mixture of Americans, British and Europeans playing French and Germans that the only way you know who's which is when they (or someone else) announce what nationality they are. With Philip Dorn, John Carradine, Albert Basserman, Reginald Owen, Natalie Schafer, Howard Da Silva, Henry Daniell, Ann Codee and a pre-stardom uncredited Ava Gardner who has one line and in German yet.

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