This is one of those movies I've seens parts of over the years, half hour here and there, but haven't watched straight through since I was a child. As a child, I was captivated by the time period (and of course, still am,) and by Gregory Peck, who was one of my earliest loves. But the movie seemed long and dull in the middle.
That's probably why I haven't committed to it since then. It must have been one we skipped in the early 80s when my Mom and I attended weekend double features at the Fine Arts Theatre in Fairway, KS. We'd get the quarterly schedule, choose which weekends to attend, and kept that up for a long time until The Gods Must Be Crazy showed up and never left. Anyway.
Jennifer Jones looks pretty super, but I feel that her scenery chewing is going to wear me out, as it sometimes does. It spoils the look of her mouth, even. I am fairly sympathetic to her character, but can't be as patient with her as I'd like.
I forgot the flashbacks were so long. Today I'm actually more in the mood to watch Gregory Peck make love in Italy, but that's a different movie.
And now we're in a war flashback, which reminds me I really ought to get around to Pork Chop Hill someday.
Where was I? Oh, yes. It occurs to me that when this movie was made, the story-telling technique was new and probably captivating on the big screen. I'm only 50 minutes in, though, and wishing it would move along. But since I know where it goes and vaguely remember how it ends, it's probably difficult for me to be objective.
Yes, I am sympathetic to Betsy, as I said. But good lord, she makes everything in the world about her. I'm never very sympathetic about that. I've seen in my own life how that can damage everyone who tries to love that sort of person. However, unlike so often in real life, we see just a slice of it, and can believe she'll continue to broaden her perspective to include points of view other than her own.
It's a highly cinematic film. It takes a bit of time and head space, but I think it's one of those everyone who appreciates classic movie history should watch at least once. There are a few subplot flaws, but they were just there to support the character growth, anyway. Besides, Gregory Peck is just so fine, you know?