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Two generations of tragic love make Smilin' Through one of the screen's great romances. The story begins in 1868 England, when John Carteret's fiancée is shot dead on the couple's wedding day by a rejected lover aiming at the groom. Flash forward to 1915, after the devoted John has raised his fiancée's niece Kathleen as his own. Kathleen falls in love with an American – the murderer's son – and the past sweeps back to haunt the present. Film legends Norma Shearer, Fredric March (both in dual roles) and Leslie Howard (whose character ages 50 years) find every tear and triumph in this Best Picture Oscar® nominee (1932-33) that is "lovely, simply lovely…an example of romantic melodrama at its best" (The Movie Guide).
- Aspect Ratio : 1.33:1
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches; 3.5 Ounces
- Director : Sidney Franklin
- Media Format : Color, NTSC
- Run time : 1 hour and 37 minutes
- Release date : February 8, 2014
- Actors : Leslie Howard, O.P. Heggie, Ralph Forbes, Beryl Mercer, Margaret Seddon
- Studio : Warner Archive Collection
- ASIN : B00I9BU5JS
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #18,483 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Lovely Norma Shearer, a fine actress who rivaled Garbo, and was married to great producer Irving Thalberg, graced many of MGM's best productions during this period. She is marvelous in a dual role as Moonyean, and her niece, Kathleen. Fredric March, who was to his generation of actors what Montgomery Clift would become to his, two decades later, is also outstanding in a dual role. The always solid Leslie Howard completes this triangle of love and happiness snatched away tragically, in an instant, but lasting a lifetime.
The graceful and elegant Moonyean (Shearer) was to be married to John Carteret (Howard), who loved her dearly. It is an older and somewhat lost John we see as this film opens, however, his beloved Moonyean trying to reach his spirit and sooth his soul from across that river leading to the netherworld. Murdered at the alter by a jealous suitor, the only thing that has prevented John from letting the bitterness of his ill-fated romance with Moonyean completely destroy him is the arrival of Moonyean's niece, Kathleen, at the age of five. John raises her as his own after the death of Moonyean's sister.
Shearer is subtle and wonderful in contrasting the elegance of Moonyean with the vibrance of the sexy Kathleen, while at the same time her appearance and her fate begin to mirror a tragic past. When Kathleen meets and falls in love with a young soldier named Kenneth (Fredric March), bound for the front in WWI, only his last name can stand in the way of their happiness.
The story is involving and the soft-focus black and white photography adds a richness to the echos of fate being played out. Moonyean must somehow reach John and touch his heart before Kathleen loses her happiness with Kenneth, and John's spirit is so cold he will not be able to join his lover, Moonyean, even in death.
This old-fashioned and sensitive romance fills a void left by modern films, and is a reminder that a love story should be about love. You probably don't own a film of this nature and will certainly want to pick this one up. It is proof there is still a place for both romance, and romantic love in the movies.
He is equally fabulous as the older John- a bitter, yet affectionate uncle who still is haunted by his lost love. One watches this film and believes in it so whole heartedly, that it makes one want to just jump right into the period!
If you enjoy romance, happy endings, and a good tear jerker, then this is it! This movie has comedy, pathos and above all HEART!
Top reviews from other countries
brilliant acting by all have a hanky ready. Graham. ps my mother always wanted to see this film my only regret is that i could not obtain it while she was alive.