Synopsis: A whirlwind romance ends in tragedy in this World War II drama starring a young Sean Connery in one of his first leading roles. Stationed in England, American reporter Sara Scott (Lana Turner) falls for (married) BBC journalist Mark Trevor (Connery), and the two begin a torrid romance. When Mark's plane crashes, Sara is devastated and decides the only way she can move past her grief is to visit the town Mark grew up in.
We never get to witness much of this whirlwind romance; which is a huge disappointment! We only share a few of their torrid embraces which are mostly sentimental slop instead of heated exchanges. I usually love the sentiment - but this film started to to irritate me at times because there wasn't much sustenance to back up the lines they were feeding eachother.
Please believe that I love Sean Connery - especially his early films; and I LOVE Lana Turner! But *this* Lana Turner is a good ten years older than Connery and it really shows in "Another Time, Another Place".
Connery's youthful, debonair exuberance and charisma is in contrast to Lana's smoothed over, made-up and polished appearance - and ultimately her performance. This makes their chemistry seem a bit feigned to me: while their emotions are all "gushing out", over-done & all over the place - Lana's demeanor is still very sophisticated. This doesn't mesh well.
Thank goodness Mark has only a small part in the film; as much as we love Connery - his character is a (charming) coward. Sara confesses to Mark that she was "kind-of" engaged to her boss, Carter Reynolds, and that Reynolds is flying in to London & she has to break the news to him about falling in love with Mark - she's nearly asking Mark to marry her as she's telling him how she is going to tell her boss about meeting the man of her dreams & how he'll just have to understand. Mark can hardly get a word in edgewise and when he finally does it is to tell her that HE CAN NEVER SEE HER AGAIN because... *drumroll* well he's married and loves his wife and his son and doesn't want to hurt them!!
Sara stands there in shock - for the past three months he's said NOTHING about a wife or a child. She assumed he was free - he'd told her he was in love with her. They'd talked of things they would do together after the war. She asks him if he loves her - he says he does. They quarrel - he leaves. They each spend a restless night apart & then rush into eachother's arms saying they will find a way to be together no matter what (how nice for his wife & child!!!) Then he is sent off on assignment & his plane crashes and he dies.
Sara has a bit of a nervous breakdown. About 6 weeks later, Carter Reynolds (Sara's boss) - who is still in love with her(?!!), and still trying to look after her, sends her back to the States. While En route to Plymouth to catch her boat to New York, Sara decides to take a detour to Cornwall - that she MUST see the town Mark grew up in (obsess much?) and ends up running smack into Mark's son & wife.
This is the first film I have seen with Glynis Johns (who plays Connery's wife) & she plays Kay beautifully. Even as a newly widowed woman, through her grief, she still has a sparkle about her. It is really too difficult for me to grasp how Mark could fall for polished Sara Scott; discarding his engaging, intelligent, sweet, amiable, down-to-earth - absolutely lovely wife. Not to mention she also makes a home for him, is the mother of his son, is so devoted to him. They have a life together; friends together. Mark's best friend & assistant, Alan, can't stand Sara (because of the affair) and is hardly even civil to her. How could Mark say to Sara "We'll figure something out (We'll be together)."???!!!
If I were a man - I'd marry Kay & never even look at another woman.
So far I haven't told you anything that isn't in the synopsis or written in other reviews or on imdb dot com. Now I'm going to get a bit more in depth; mainly about my feelings of where the film left off when it should have delved deeper.
Something that I really do not like about this picture is that you really don't get much of a first-hand feeling of the romance between Mark & Sara because the story basically begins when Mark & Sara are separated. There is barely any character background development to give you a sense of emotional investment into their relationship. I feel like that was an enormous mistake on the director's part, making it difficult for me empathize with Sara's enormous grief. While I *understood* she was madly in love with this man & that she was devastated by his death & that she must have felt she had no closure... This was all on a cerebral level for me when I needed to connect with the film on an emotional level; be overwhelmed by her grief too. The Director just doesn't deliver. If the director had give us more love scenes before their relationship was cut-off and allowed us to become emotionally invested in the relationship between Mark & Sara; this film had the potential to have been a real tear-jerker!
I wanted to know why/how Sara felt so strongly - how she could JUSTIFY to herself the intrusion on Mark's family and be so deceitful about her true purpose in being there. If some time had been spent in the beginning of the film developing the relationship between Mark & Sara FOR US - then we might feel some empathy or at least some sympathy *for Sara*. As it was - I'm left wanting to protect Kay & her son Brian & feeling like Mark was just a villain for cheating on his wife and also for carrying on an affair with Sara for THREE MONTHS without telling her he was married. And just how were Mark & Sara going to "figure something out (so that they could be together)"? ARGH!! That made me so mad that - I was almost glad his plane crashed. Again, because there was no emotional investment into their relationship.
I also felt that Sara wasn't completely an innocent bystander, regardless that she didn't know about his marriage before she got involved. Remember she was a coward too; engaged to Carter Reynolds & hadn't told him that she had fallen in love with Mark. Spent the last three months with him - and didn't call off her engagement until she was absolutely confronted with the situation. What makes these two people think that they can break all the rules and hurt other people? What made their love so special? The film never gets into this - not even in flashback. How could Sara justify taking Mark away from his wife and child? Suppose his plane hadn't crashed- was their love really more important -more real than what he had with his wife and son? The film hadn't shown us that.
From these types of movies we know that THE WAR was supposed to have turned ordinary lives inside out due to extraordinary circumstances - because people went through such dangerous times together. If the film had bothered to show say... any of the dangerous news assignments that Mark & Sara may have covered together and how in the line of fire and bombings people are thrust together... (Like inWaterloo Bridge) Then maybe, as the audience, we'd be able to understand how this man had fallen in love so quickly & so hard & was willing to jeopardize his entire life & lose his wife and child: whom he had no complaints of - to have an affair with a woman he really didn't even know.
How did he fall in love with Sara? Why did he fall in love with her? Was he *really* in love with her? Was he really going to leave his wife and child for her?
We also never find out: If Sara had known that Mark was married from the beginning - would that have stopped her from having the affair? I feel like this film left too many questions unanswered and was completely unfair to the wife and also in many ways to Sara. It's difficult to feel sympathy for Sara because of the lack of background development into the romance between Mark & Sara. I think I've nailed that coffin shut though.
Glynis Johns' really makes this picture. She is just so very lovely & because of her I do recommend seeing this film. It IS a good movie - it just could have been SO MUCH BETTER; it is as though the director's heart wasn't in making the picture.
If there had been more background into the romance between Mark & Sara before he died; allowing us to feel anger on Sara's behalf for being betrayed by Mark (not knowing he was married) & then sympathy and grief for Sara at her loss--> AND THEN we meet this wonderful wife Kay who you just can't help but immediately respond to with love and warmth: well then imagine the internal conflict we, the audience, would have had as the director could have manipulated the picture trying to get us to pick sides - and then ultimately in the end we feel sympathy for them both as they both lost someone they loved and find comfort in each other.
This would have been a better film we had been given the background to invest our emotions into it.
Still - SEE THIS MOVIE: if anything for Glynis Johns's performance alone! Or if you are a huge Sean Connery fan - he is very handsome in this picture.. at the very least rent this film from netflix. I hope my "spoilers" haven't ruined the film for you. Honestly, you already know what is going to happen while watching the movie - there aren't any surprises. I haven't told you anything you wouldn't have figured out yourself.
If you are a Lana Turner fan - I suggest The Postman Always Rings Twice, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Double Feature (1932/1941), Ziegfeld Girl & The Three Musketeers for fresh & LUMINOUS Lana Turner performances!
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Double Feature (1932/1941) has the added bonus of not only a terrific Lana Turner performance - also a VERY SALACIOUS Ingrid Bergman!! The 1932 version has a performance by Miriam Hopkins that will blow your mind!!! This double-feature disc is a sure delight!!
I hope you have enjoyed my review. Please check out my profile where you can read my other reviews & find the link to visit my Amazon Store: & browse ONLY Classic Movies. :) YAY!
The Stompanato murder case
Turner met Johnny Stompanato during the spring of 1957, but after she discovered his ties to the LA underworld, she tried to break off the affair out of fear of bad publicity. Stompanato was not easily deterred, however, & In the fall of 1957, Stompanato followed Turner to England where she was filming Another Time, Another Place, costarring Sean Connery, later of James Bond fame. Fearful that Turner was having an affair with Connery, Stompanato stormed onto the set brandishing a gun. Connery managed to land a single punch to Stompanato's jaw and took away his gun (already a real-life James Bond?). Stompanato was soon deported by Scotland Yard for the incident. Back in the States, On the evening of April 4, 1958, Lana and Stompanato began a violent argument in Turner's house in Beverly Hills. Fearing her mother's life was in danger, Turner's then 14-year-old daughter, Cheryl Crane grabbed a kitchen knife and ran to Turner's defense. She stabbed Stompanato, killing him. The case quickly became a media sensation. It was later deemed a justifiable homicide at a coroner's inquest, at which Turner provided dramatic testimony. Some observers have said her testimony that day was the acting performance of her life.
The film was then released four months ahead of schedule to capitalize on the Johnny Stompanato murder. How's that for the studio being sensitive to their Stars Private Lives?
Maybe the Studio was more concerned with releasing the film quickly to capitalize on the scandal than they were with making a quality picture. Perhaps all the scenes I wished for do exist and just fell to the cutting room floor - edited out in a time crunch to release the film four months earlier. This is only a theory. Not fact.