JackFavell wrote:I wanted to write earlier that watching Berkeley Square with SOTM Leslie Howard was a real treat! Thanks to RO and TCM for making this one available to see. I enjoyed it very much, thought that the story was really different, showing how awful the reality of time travel might be. Howard was so melancholy as the man who thought he was born in the wrong time (modern day), only to find he can't deal with living in the past he has chosen. Heather Angel was excellent as Howard's beloved Helen, so far, she has never disappointed me in the few movies I've seen with her. Does anyone know why her career petered out? I found the story engrossing and did shed tears at the end from the power of the two leads performances.
I do wish it had been directed with more style and pace. The mise en scene could have been incredible but I thought that Frank Lloyd's direction was just adequate here. It's a shame, he did a couple other movies that were very good, even magical, but this one just bothered me a tad. You have all of Hollywood's magic at your disposal, and yet there was no real magic for me at the moment when Howard goes back in time. Just a shot of the door opening into the house from the outside during modern times, then a cut to a shot of the door opening slowly on the inside seemingly by itself into 1784, and that's it. Now you are in the past, and there is nothing interesting about it. A few blurred dissolves were all Lloyd had up his sleeve as a director?
Wendy, I agree with you. I watched the film on youtube in May 2009 and this what I wrote back then. Try to get hold of "I'll Never Forget You" (1951) to compare:
Secondly I watched "Berkeley Square" (1933), a film that had eluded me for years. As a kid I was flabbergasted by the 1951 Remake "I'll Never Forget You" (1951) with Tyrone Power and Ann Blyth, which I got to revisit for the second time as an adult, only recently thanks to its release on DVD. I had read that the 1933 film was superior than its remake and to a certain point I agree. I guess that it's more faithful to its source -a stage play- and thus, its stage origins are more apparent in the 1933 film. I think that the screenplay of the first version is better, but the changes that were made in adapting the story in 1951 and the chemistry between Ty Power and Ann Blyth, improved on the original version from a Romantic point of view. The 1933 film is well acted and touching in some parts, but certain scenes have a too-stagey feeling, whilst the 1951 version, although not as impressive to watch as a grown-up, is more endearing and has a special magic quality that trascends the story. I'd like to watch a good copy of the 1933 movie, because the print I saw at youtube is quite poor. But I'm glad that I had the opportunity to watch it. Someone like Borzage would have been better suited to this material than Frank Lloyd.