Only in Hollywood could a psychological drama by the playwright Luigi Pirandello be taken apart and put together again as a romantic star vehicle. "As Before, Better Than Ever" had been filmed in 1932 with Greta Garbo as AS YOU DESIRE ME. It had carefully played with the mental and
emotional themes of the play. THIS LOVE OF OURS runs roughshod over the play's deeper meanings. Oberon is an assistant to Rains, a Chicago cafe artist. A medical convention is being held in that town, and Oberon runs into handsome Korvin, a noted scientist who had been her husband 15 years before.
She tries to kill herself over the encounter, but Korvin saves her life in surgery. While recovering, Korvin explains to Oberon that they have a 10-year-old daughter who needs her love. The story flashes back to Europe where Oberon is the star of a traveling show. She sprains her ankle and Korvin,
then an intern, mends her. She remains in Paris and marries Korvin, and they have a daughter, but neighborhood gossips say Oberon is fooling around with another man. Korvin believes the rumors despite her denials, and he leaves, taking the child with him. Korvin later discovers his error and tries
to find his wife. Eventually he moves to America and knows nothing of Oberon's whereabouts until their fateful meeting. She still loves him but is understandably wary because of his desertion. However, her maternal instincts overwhelm her, so, against Rains' advice, she returns as Korvin's "second
wife." The little girl, now age 10, believes her mother to be dead and keeps a shrine in her honor. She resents Oberon's presence and refuses to call her "mother." Rains enters to give some sage advice, and the film winds down to a predictable ending with Bell accepting Oberon and all forgiven
between husband and wife. The story is hardly different from any of a number of 1940s "women's" pictures, but the production is so handsome it really doesn't matter. A budget of $2 million went into the film, and it is evident in every frame. The director obviously knows a tear-jerker formula, and
stays with it. The music is likewise weepy. Oberon gives her role a classy feel, teaming well with Korvin. THIS LOVE OF OURS is not close to Pirandello's intentions, but on its own soap opera level it's great fun. The story was filmed again as NEVER SAY GOODBYE in 1956.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Only in Hollywood could a psychological drama by the playwright Luigi Pirandello be taken apart and put together again as a romantic star vehicle. "As Before, Better Than Ever" had been filmed in 1932 with Greta Garbo as AS YOU DESIRE ME. It had carefully… (more)