Our film this time is the 1942 anti-Nazi film Reunion in France. Released in January of 1942, this would have been produced before the United States entered World War II, but while our hero Pat Talbot is flying for the RAF, he is clearly an American - played by John Wayne! Here, Ms. Crawford plays Michele de la Becque, a spoiled aristocrat whose world turns upside down when the Nazis invade France. Her family dispersed (we learn her parents have escaped to Lisbon), Michele struggles back to Paris, only to find that her fiance, Robert Cortot (Philip Dorn) is a Quisling. Thus, Michele begins her own form of resistance, first by walking out on the promised easy life that Cortot would provide; then by helping downed flyer Talbot get back to his unit in England.
This is the only film in
which Wayne and Crawford ever appeared. They are actually quite good
together. Their unique acting styles come together nicely; but is it
surprising that Crawford looks good next to a strong male co-star?
Billing-wise, Crawford came first in list, with Wayne and Dorn listed
side-by-side under Ms. Crawford. And while we might expect Wayne to be
the romantic interest, he is, in fact, only a trigger to the action. We
won't say more than that, because this movie is more than just an
anti-Nazi propaganda film, and more than a romance. It is an espionage
film as well. Who is working with the Nazis? Who is working for the
Resistance? Watch the film - you will be pleasantly surprised by the way
director Jules Dassin makes the action unfold.
nice supporting work here as well - we were especially pleased to see
Natalie Schafer as the snooty wife of a German officer, and John
Carradine as a Gestapo official. We very much enjoyed the scene in the
dress shop, where Michele and the dress shop staff try to keep Frau Schroeder (Schafer) from discovering money hidden in a coat that Frau Schroeder covets.
is an interesting movie, like some of the others we've viewed, rather
underrated. We think you might find this a good selection. Here's a trailer: