Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Our Town (1940)

Academy Awards, USA 1941

Best Picture
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Martha Scott
Best Art Direction, Black-and-White
Lewis J. Rachmil
Best Sound, Recording
Thomas T. Moulton (Samuel Goldwyn SSD)
Best Music, Score
Aaron Copland
Best Music, Original Score
Aaron Copland

United Artists
Directed by Sam Wood
My rating: 2 stars out of 4
IMDb Wikipedia
(DVD, Focusfilm)

An omniscient narrator guides us on a tour of a small New England town at the turn of the century, introducing various characters. Eventually the drama focuses on a typical family, with a middle-aged couple and their children of various ages. Their high school daughter, Martha Scott in her film debut, is innocently courted by next door neighbor William Holden. After much trepidation, they marry after high school and settle on a farm to raise their own family. The narrative shifts ahead several years, where Scott appears as one of many ghosts in the town cemetery. She recounts her earlier life and later death, but, it all turns out to be a dream, a rather unsatisfactory deviation from Thornton Wilder's original play (but made by the playwright himself in his adaption). This third acts detracts from an otherwise pleasant, character-driven story, albeit one with hardly any dramatic tension.

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