Smilin' Through

  • 1941
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Musical

The third film to be based on Jane Cowl and Jane Murfin's romantic play--a 1922 silent starring Norma Talmadge and 1932 talkie with Norma Shearer preceded it--SMILIN' THROUGH was made into a musical to showcase the vocal talents of its star, Jeanette MacDonald. She and real-life husband Gene Raymond (in their only film together) play dual roles in this...read more

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The third film to be based on Jane Cowl and Jane Murfin's romantic play--a 1922 silent starring Norma Talmadge and 1932 talkie with Norma Shearer preceded it--SMILIN' THROUGH was made into a musical to showcase the vocal talents of its star, Jeanette MacDonald. She and real-life husband

Gene Raymond (in their only film together) play dual roles in this story of a love so strong it conquers death. When Kathleen Claire (MacDonald) takes an interest in Kenneth Wayne (Raymond), a dashing young American who has come to WW I England to join the British army, her guardian, Sir John

Cateret (Brian Aherne), forbids her to continue seeing Wayne. In flashback we see why: years before, during the wedding of Sir John and Claire's Aunt Moonyean (MacDonald again), jilted suitor Jeremy Wayne (Raymond)--Kenneth's father--attempts to shoot Sir John, but instead kills Moonyean, whose

spirit still haunts her husband. After hearing this sad tale, Claire accedes to Sir John's wishes; Kenneth goes to war and, returning from the war wounded and not wanting to be a burden, refuses to return Claire's love. The young lovers are united at film's end, however, as Moonyean's ghost

cajoles her beloved into granting his approval. Director Frank Borzage and cinematographer Leonard Smith make wonderful use of their Technicolor palette here, and MacDonald is ravishing if bit old at this point in her career to carry off the role of a teenager. Ironically, real-life husband and

wife MacDonald and Raymond make a rather dull screen love duo. Still, the songs are pleasant enough and MacDonald fans won't be disappointed. Songs include: "The Kerry Dance" (L.J. Molloy, sung by MacDonald, Horner), "Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes" (Ben Jonson, sung by MacDonald), "A Little

Love, a Little Kiss" (Leo Silesu, Adrian Ross, sung by MacDonald), "Ouevre ton Coeur" (Georges Bizet, sung by MacDonald), "Smilin' Through" (Arthur Penn, sung by MacDonald), "There's a Long, Long Trail A-winding" (Alonzo Elliott, Stoddard King, sung by MacDonald, Chorus), "Smiles" (Lee S. Roberts,

J. Will Callahan), "Land of Hope and Glory" (based on "Pomp and Circumstance," Sir Edward Elgar, A.C. Benson, sung by MacDonald), "Recessional" (Reginald de Koven, Rudyard Kipling).

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The third film to be based on Jane Cowl and Jane Murfin's romantic play--a 1922 silent starring Norma Talmadge and 1932 talkie with Norma Shearer preceded it--SMILIN' THROUGH was made into a musical to showcase the vocal talents of its star, Jeanette MacDo… (more)

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