Two Loves

  • 1961
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

A gigantic bore that suffers from misconception and miscasting, TWO LOVES never should have been made with this script and these actors. The loveliness of Ashton-Warner's novel is all but bypassed in favor of a commercial vehicle that fails to satisfy on many levels. MacLaine is a Pennsylvania native who is now teaching school in a New Zealand community...read more

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A gigantic bore that suffers from misconception and miscasting, TWO LOVES never should have been made with this script and these actors. The loveliness of Ashton-Warner's novel is all but bypassed in favor of a commercial vehicle that fails to satisfy on many levels. MacLaine is a

Pennsylvania native who is now teaching school in a New Zealand community far from any civilization. (How she came to be in New Zealand is never fully explained.) MacLaine is a spinster, a repressed woman who prides herself on being chaste and is shocked by the amorality of the Maoris surrounding

her. The children love the way she teaches. When one student complains that he is sick of writing, MacLaine suggests he practice writing "I am sick of writing." Hawkins, the married man who is the school administrator for the area, makes regular visits to the more remote places in his domain. At

first he is not pleased with her drastic methods, but when he sees how the children (all 46 or so of them, of racially mixed backgrounds) respond, he decides to back off and allow her to do as she wishes. But MacLaine is as insecure in her private life as she is successful at her work. A virgin,

she is frightened of men and stays at arm's length from anyone whose voice is deeper than hers. Harvey is a fellow teacher who yearns to be a singer. He is irresponsible, weak, and neurotic. Harvey tries to break down MacLaine's walls, but she keeps rebuffing him. MacLaine's aide at the school is

McCarthy, a 15-year-old native. MacLaine learns that McCarthy is pregnant and that no one in the village seems to be concerned that she is unmarried or interested in who the father is. MacLaine can't get over the natural way in which the natives accept this pregnancy, and she wonders if her own

morality may be out of place in the area and in this era. McCarthy's baby dies at birth, soon followed by Harvey's death or suicide in a motorcycle accident. Then MacLaine finds out that McCarthy's dead child had been sired by Harvey. MacLaine's life is turned around by this, and she blames

herself for all of it. Had she submitted to Harvey, perhaps he wouldn't have impregnated McCarthy and he might not have killed himself. With Hawkins' patient counseling she is able to come to grips with her imagined guilt. Hawkins offers her affection and love, and MacLaine has matured enough to

accept it. Southern California doubled for New Zealand, but nothing could replace the lack of focus in the film. The only reasons to see this movie are the adorable children and the fine acting by Juano Hernandez as the chief of the Maoris.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A gigantic bore that suffers from misconception and miscasting, TWO LOVES never should have been made with this script and these actors. The loveliness of Ashton-Warner's novel is all but bypassed in favor of a commercial vehicle that fails to satisfy on m… (more)

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