Monday, August 23, 2010

Olivia Plays the Violin

There is something to be said for delightful little pieces of froth, which is exactly what this week's movie is.  We're talking about My Love Came Back (1940), wherein Ms. de Havilland plays Amelia Cornell, a music student who is having quite a hard time financially.  Her family is having problems back home, so Amelia is forced to take on teaching assignments in order to continue her training at the prestigious Brissac Academy of Music.  Only problem is, her meager scholarship forbids her to teach.  Enter Julius Malette (Charles Winninger), a wealthy man (he manufactures musical equipment) who is captivated by her, and begins to anonymously send her another "scholarship", and not so anonymously take her to concerts, theater, and even the circus.  However, things get complicated when he sends his Vice-President, Tony Baldwin (Jeffrey Lynn), to break a date for him.  Baldwin is delighted with her, but also suspects that Amelia and Malette are MUCH more than friends.  Things get even MORE complicated when her friends Joy O'Keefe and Dusty Rhodes (Jane Wyman and Eddie Albert) cash another of Malette's check, further intensifying Baldwin's belief that Amelia is seeing Malette for money.

We really enjoyed this movie.  Olivia is just lovely in in. Her Amelia is sweet and unassuming.  And the filming of her violin sequences is quite well done. You will believe she is playing the violin.  We also have some great supporting performances here. 

Spring Byington as Mrs. Malette is delightful.  She knows quite well that her husband is not just working late, but it is also clear that she trusts him.  She seems to understand that he needs to be a little "naughty" and she is able to give him the freedom he needs to work out his mid-life crisis. We loved her interaction with Amelia; her ability to gently put the girl at ease just makes you like Mrs. Malette all the more. 

We also enjoyed Paul Malette (as played by William Orr).  Originally convinced that Amelia is a disreputable person, he meets her and falls immediately in love.  And though he thinks badly of his father for his "relationship" with Amelia, he bravely tries to protect both him and Amelia when he believes his mother is about to find out "the truth".

Finally, there is the teaming of Jane Wyman and Eddie Albert.  You really want to kill them when the steal Amelia's check, but it is hard to not like them.  And it is good to see Jane Wyman in almost anything. She is always a bright light in any film.  We found a rather unusual trailer (with George Reeves in it - he is NOT in the picture!):




Next time, we'll be venturing back to more serious Olivia territory.  We hope to see you then.