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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Penny Serenade (1941)

After she decides to leave her husband (Cary Grant), a woman (Irene Dunne) plays some old phonograph records and relives through the songs, how they met and fell in love, married and the tragedy that tore them apart. Directed by George Stevens, this shamelessly manipulative piece of cinematic sentimentality works in large part due to its two leads. One can feel Stevens pulling the heart strings and tugging at your tear ducts, subtlety isn't the way here. Dunne was an old hand at these weepies so she's on auto control but Grant is wonderful here. His brings a sincerity that doesn't seem spurious at all and his Oscar nomination for his work here was fully deserved. His genuineness goes a long way in patching up the lachrymose material. There are a couple of moments that break through the maudlin atmosphere like the charming first bath scene of their baby and the earthquake in Japan sequence is impressive. With Edgar Buchanan, Beulah Bondi, Ann Doran and Dorothy Adams. 

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