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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nostalgic treat
A charming, intelligent and pleasantly sentimental wartime comedy-romance, featuring a winsome Judy Garland and a babyfaced Robert Walker as a star-crossed young couple who meet in the waning days of WWII. He's a soldier from a small town who has a couple of days layover in New York City before shipping off to Europe. They meet by accident and slowly, but inexorably...
Published on January 27, 2003 by DJ Joe Sixpack

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
It was boring. I fell asleep watching it. Maybe I missed the good parts! I enjoyed seeing old New York.
Published 8 months ago by Gina Nugent


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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nostalgic treat, January 27, 2003
This review is from: The Clock [VHS] (VHS Tape)
A charming, intelligent and pleasantly sentimental wartime comedy-romance, featuring a winsome Judy Garland and a babyfaced Robert Walker as a star-crossed young couple who meet in the waning days of WWII. He's a soldier from a small town who has a couple of days layover in New York City before shipping off to Europe. They meet by accident and slowly, but inexorably fall in love. The delicate, deliberate pace of their budding romance swiftly gives way to a panicked rush to marry, as they realize he's about to leave within hours, possibly never to return... This is one of director Vincente Minnelli's most heartfelt films, a really sweet, nostalgic ode to the meeting of old and new America, as the still-young nation strode into superpower status. One of my favorite old films... Fun supporting cast as well, with several broadly-drawn cariacatures of the nice folks you can meet in the Big City, if you can only still find its heart.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Charming Love Story With A Captivating Judy Garland, August 29, 2004
By 
Simon Davis (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Clock [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I approached "The Clock", with high expectations having heard a great deal about it and I'm happy to report I was totally charmed and won over by everything in this quite simple love story made just before the end of World War Two. The initial novelty of seeing Judy Garland's only non musical while at MGM was quickly replaced by sheer admiration for her assured dramatic playing and totally convincing chemistry with co star Robert Walker. They really become the "young lovers", we always hear about in romantic stories with Garland playing a New York office worker who encounters young soldier Walker who is on 48 hours leave in the city before being shipped out to Europe. Garland in particular shows depths in her dramatic acting I always knew were there but which seem to really come of age in this performance. The second famous collaboration between Judy Garland and soon to be husband Vincente Minnelli,after the classic "Meet Me in St. Louis", this little drama strangely comes from MGM's famed Arthur Freed unit which was responsible for some of MGM's greatest musicals at this time. "The Clock", certainly has no big splashy musical numbers however it leaves its mark with an innocent and endearing little love story about two ordinary people who find love in some of the most unlikely places.

Based on a short story by Paul and Pauline Gallico, the screen writers have in a most interesting way made this into a three character study where apart from screen lovers Alice Mayberry (Judy Garland), and Cpl. Joe Allen (Robert Walker), the actual city of New York becomes a character, so instrumental as it is in directing, developing and at times hindering the course of true romance between the young lovers. Cpl. Allen encounters Alice first off in the crowded station where he accidently breaks the heel of her shoe. After getting it repaired the two find themselves spending time together going on long walks discovering parts of the city and much about each other as well. Slowly affection turns to love as their time during Joe's 48 hour leave seems to be governed by the clocks when first they arrange to meet at the station again and when after love blossoms they have to race against time to obtain a marriage licence that will allow them to marry. There are many charming little vignettes along the way for Alice and Joe as the begin to fall in love as they first stroll through a museum, enjoy some quiet time together in Central Park, savour some of New York's colourful personalities, and then unexpectedly find themselves at dawn helping milkman Al Henry (James Gleason) with his delivery run. Ending up enjoying a hearty breakfast back at his home, the example of the deep love between Al and his wife (Lucile Gleason), inspires Joe to ask Alice to marry him which puts everything into frantic overdrive as they race to get the licence before the office closes and then find a celebrant to perform the ceremony. Along the way all is not smooth sailing for the pair however as at one point Alice and Joe lose each other in the busy subway and when after the rushed wedding ceremony Alice realising that that was her one and only wedding bursts into tears at the thought of how rushed and ugly their ceremony was. "The Clock", has a bittersweet ending to it in that the ever present clocks still determine the course of events in Alice and Joe's lives and after a wedding breakfast the two find themselves again under the clocks at Grand Central Station but this time it is to part company as Joe must leave for active duty overseas.

What might have been a minor romantic tale has been transformed into one of the most memorable of 1940's romantic dramas by all the talented people involved. Originally "the Clock", was to be directed by Fred Zinnemann, however after differences with Judy Garland at her request Vincente Minnelli was brought in as director. Having just had a triumph with Garland in "Meet Me in St. Louis", it was a match made in heaven and the couple not only produced another classic film but also married not long after its release. The perfect screen team of Judy Garland and Robert Walker was strangely never repeated again after "The Clock",despite their obvious chemistry, but the two are totally believable as the star crossed lovers who race against time to fall in love and marry. Judy Garland I dont believe has ever been lovelier than in "The Clock", and the critics were right to say that the real legend of Judy Garland was created in this film along with her previous Minnelli effort "Meet Me in St Louis". None of the tragedy of Garland's real life is present here and she delivers a wistful performance full of innocence, and charm that shows why she was such a special performer. Robert Walker fresh from his triumph in that other wartime classic "Since You Went Away", possesses all the right qualities for the bashful and awkward young soldier and he handles the couples changing fortunes expertly. Despite its black and white photography "The Clock", was a major MGM and Judy Garland vehicle for early 1945 and the use of location photography helps greatly in creating the New York atmosphere so essential for this story. But what the film is especially memorable for is MGM designer Cedric Gibbon's great work on recreating many New York sites like the famous station set on MGM's sound stages in Hollywood. Never once do these look false and they are some of the greatest work achieved by Gibbons and his design team during MGM's heyday. Supporting performances only enhance the special qualities evident in "The Clock". From James Gleason's delightful performance as the milkman to Keenan Wynn's funny scene as the drunk in the diner, they all add to that special colour that makes up a large city like New York. Even the famed Arthur Fred makes a funny cameo appearance handing Joe a box of matches at the station as he waits for Alice.

It's rare nowadays to find a love story told so innocently and with such finesse as you see in "The Clock". Perhaps it is because we are seeing two incomparable performers in Garland and Walker who were ideally cast here but I think it's also because unlike in most modern films that have a romantic slant never once does it resort to gross sex scenes to get over its romantic tale. Here the romance between a simple office worker and an army corporal has all the passion and power of love without having to resort to explicit measures to get across its message. That is the chief charm of "The Clock", and for any lovers of true romance and for the unique opportunity to see Judy Garland in a full fledged romantic drama without music then "The Clock", makes unsurpassed entertainment of the first order. Do yourself a favour soon and catch the legendary Judy Garland in the ultimate wartime romance in Vincente Minnelli's classic love story "The Clock".
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Classic For the Non Musicals Fan!, March 15, 2003
By 
Kimberly S. Loeffler (Binghamton, New York USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Clock [VHS] (VHS Tape)
For anyone who loves 40's films but not thrilled with Musicals. I think this is a film you'd enjoy. The Stars Robert Walker (strangers on a train) as soldier on a 48 hour leave and Judy Garland (the Wizard of oz) as a NY secretary that Walker falls in love with.
This is a sensual, Romantic and Dramatic film. Not something that Judy Garland was known for. Upon her request to do a Non singing film her husband Vincente Minnelli directed the song bird in her fist non singing film. As the story unfolds The two strangers Alice and Joe meet, fall in love and Marry in 48 hours, Yes 48 Hours, but they go through quite a bit in the during war romance. They meet under The Clock at 7 for a date and in that same night walk through Central park and share a passionate Kiss, then they decide to get married, But while they are in Grand Central station they accidently lose eachother and spend what time (Joe) has left before his leave is up. When they finally see eachother again. It is beautiful. You can really feel the steaminess of the story ...
This is a heartfelt war time romance for anyone who's ever been in love. See Judy Garland in a wonderful dramatic film which proves she could hold her own as a powerful actress.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Love Story, September 11, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Clock [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Seldom shown today, The Clock is a mixture of sly, off-the-cuff humor and innocent romance of the sort often seen in love stories set against the background of World War II. Originally considered a test of what Garland might do as a dramatic rather than a musical actress, the film received extremely positive reviews but had the misfortune to be released toward the end of the war, when soldiers were beginning to return to loved ones rather than leave them behind. As such it largely failed to resonate with audiences of the day and is now often overlooked in retrospect. This is unfortunate, for it is a charming, elegantly photographed film (avoid the colorized version) which captures the feel of a time when most Americans felt part of a larger, important whole.
Garland is amazingly and lovingly photographed throughout the film, laying to rest for once and all the voices of those who described her as cute rather than beautiful. Her performance is understated, devoid of any musical comedy affectations, and completely believable as a somewhat sophistocated New York beauty who knows the ins and outs of city life. Walker is her equal in every way as the gentle but bumbling, fresh-off-the-farm G.I. about to be shipped to the front with whom, much to her own surprise, she falls in love. The delicate handling of script, performers, and settings is representative of director Minnelli's work at it's best.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Clock-charming picture, March 9, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Clock [VHS] (VHS Tape)
In this indescribably brilliant masterwork by Vincente Minnelli, he uses his soon-to-be- wife Judy Garland and Robert Walker in a poignant, charming drama. Judy is charming and incredibly wonderful in this dramatic role (she doesn't sing a note, but never mind) as a young woman in New York City who befriends a handsome soldier on 48-hour leave (perfectly naively played by Robert Walker). In only a matter of hours, the romance has fully blossomed. With the aid of a jovial milkman, they decide to marry. Only Judy Garland could have brought such poignancy to this movie, this beautiful movie that can never be forgotten. A true Garland treasure, perhaps the finest wartime love story ever made!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Judy Garland's finest hour..., February 13, 2001
By 
Derek Lajeunesse (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Clock [VHS] (VHS Tape)
In no other film were Judy Garland's acting talents so perfectly matched to a character than in Vincente Minnelli's wartime love story, "The Clock." This is a lesser known Garland film in which she does no singing but one that is a true testement to her towering acting abilities. No other actress in Hollywood could have mustered up the right degree of emotional depth without becoming overly sentimental. Much like an actress of the silent era, Garland had the ability to convey emotion and longing solely through her eyes. In particular, the scene in the cafeteria after the rushed marriage when Garland's charcter Alice finally lets her emotions run free is stunning; the rage and confusion behind Alice's eyes manages to cut through celluloid and time and affect viewers 55 years later. I believe this is Judy Garland's defining moment as an actress.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The brio of romance., August 21, 2003
By 
Chris Aldridge (Washington, DC USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Clock [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Turner Classic Movies just ran it, and it is, in a word, breathtaking. What I especially love is the duality of Robert Walker and Judy Garland: they are both simple, lonely souls who literally stumble over each other one day, then get repeatedly teamed up in a series of seemingly innocent adventures (they ride a double decker bus; she shows him Central Park; he shows her an art museum)- each time attempting to part company but continuing to draw towards each other. When you analyze it, their courtship is almost fantastic, but the time of the film's 1945 release more than allows for the magic of budding romance. It is not really a sugary film; all the while the two leads communicate, you can see the improbability of their situation on their faces. When a milkman rescues them from being stranded at the end of a long date- and they wind up delivering his milk route- they burst out laughing at their situation. It makes a later scene of a subway separation particularly heartbreaking, and its later reunion at a train depot breathtaking (I guarantee tears in your eyes)- and that's sort of what the movie's all about. In retrospect, it's a bit ironic to watch the young sweetness of Walker and Garland- two stars who had tragic, frequently unhappy existences. Their chemistry here as strangers who become friends who fall in love is mesmerizing. Ms. Garland does not sing, but her dark, exquisite eyes are music to the camera lens. Several bios have cited this film and MEET ME IN ST LOUIS as the two films which really captured a beautiful Judy Garland, and I suspect that has something to do with the elegant taste and artistry of the director- who was in love with (and would soon marry) his star. Grab immediately.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, beautiful story of two people falling in love, August 30, 2000
This review is from: The Clock [VHS] (VHS Tape)
While growing up, my mom would often mention memories of having seen "The Clock" with her mother on TV when she was a girl. Just by the outline of the plot she provided, I knew that I would love it (I'm a sucker for a good romance). When I saw it in a video store several years ago, we were finally able to see it all together and it did not disappoint.
Like the description says above, what makes "The Clock" special is that it shows the little details on the road to love. We in the audience learn about and fall in love with these characters as they learn about and fall in love with each other. There's a great moment, when, in the heat of an argument, Joe (Robert Walker) tells Alice (Judy Garland), in a voice filled with wonder, "You've got brown eyes." Little moments like this make the story feel so real and pull us into the romance. Watching this film is like hearing your grandparents tell the story of how they fell in love and got married. It just has such a warm, special feeling to it.
Another great scene comes near the end of the film (I won't spoil it with any details) that is more romantic than any of the sex scenes in modern movies: it's played without dialogue, but we can feel the intimacy between these characters merely in they way they look at each other. Judy Garland and Robert Walker give wonderful performances.
"The Clock" has been loved by three generations in my family. I know that it will be enjoyed and loved by generations to come.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Clock Should Go Digital, September 16, 2002
This review is from: The Clock [VHS] (VHS Tape)
New York's well known PBS station, Channel 13, ran this movie the weekend before September 11, 2002. That may have been fortuitous, or there just may be real a programming whiz there. Vincente Minnelli's THE CLOCK is just about as perfect a cinematic valentine to New York City as you're going to get. In many ways this 1945 movie--filmed during another critical period of U.S. and world history--relates perfectly to our experience today. Even people who don't "heart symbol NY" (not a camp I fall into, by the way, but I know there are those megalopophobics out there) will shed a tear or two for our lost innocence.
And it was, certainly, a more innocent era. Heck, this was a New York City where you could loll safely around Central Park until well past midnight--and then maybe hitch a ride with a passing milkman, of all things!
Robert Walker and Judy Garland are just about perfect as sweet boy-and-girl next door types who meet cute--as industry types say, or maybe less "cute" than innocent--in the big city, have a whirlwind courtship and race to marry while he is on a 48 hour leave before shipping out to fight in Europe. Their small town naivete (she's been there a year or so, but still has down home ways) is played off against urban gruffness, which is not to be confused with rudeness or indifference. The dyed-in-the-wool New Yorkers they bump up against are more like endearingly gruff uncles or eccentric aunts.
And some, like the older couple they meet up with and who pretty much inspire the youngsters to take the marital plunge, are just the salt of the earth. It's hard to come away from this movie without a warm glow. Heck even the (haphazardly) violent drunk played by a young Keenan Wynn is basically a mensch at heart.
The story and screenplay stemmed from Paul Gallico's writerly pen, and that may, in part, explain the intelligent dialog and the real sense of humanity with which all the characters and the city itself are imbued. It's a sweet movie, but if you're expecting pure corn syrup, you're in for a surprise. Life-affirming does not necessarily mean reality-denying, and there's a tinge of melancholy throughout the film. Minnelli and Garland proved once again to be a great cinematic team. Help from a very able supporting cast and an intelligent script make for a true classic.
I was suprised to see in the notes above that this film was not a huge success upon its relese, but after doing a little informal research of my own, I guess it's true that the film was, relatively speaking little seen. When I speak of it to people who would likely have seen it or at least would know of its existence, I'm surprised at how many scratch their heads and profess never to heard of it. The Amazon critic above cites the fact that the war was already drawing to a close upon the film's release as the main reason for its relative obscurity. The fact that it was not the splashy musical Judy fans may have come to expect may have been another. One nice thing about film, though, 57 years later it's still not too late to catch up.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic of the WWII era!, December 6, 2006
By 
Retro Ray (Knoxville, TN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Clock (DVD)
I cannot say enough about this wonderfully nostalgic film. Judy Garland doesn't sing a note, and it may well be her best performance ever. Watch for the scene in the church as proof and for the scene where Judy kisses Robert for the first time and her eyebrow gives a cute little twitch. Robert Walker is perfectly cast and adds just the right amount of innocence to his role. Together they make movie chemistry magic! For all fans of classic films or of the WWII generation, be sure to see this heartwarming, often funny, and always charming movie.
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The Clock
The Clock by Vincente Minnelli (DVD - 2007)
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