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Since You Went Away

Claudette Colbert , Jennifer Jones , David O. Selznick , Edward F. Cline    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Nix Pix
Format:DVD
"Since You Went Away" is David O. Selznick feeble attempt to turn a simple war time melodrama in a contemporary "Gone With The Wind." Running just under three-hours - and with enough tear-jerking moments to stock up three films, this cry-fest extraordinaire was meant to be a sincere tribute to all the families who stayed behind while their men went off to fight in World War II. Claudette Colbert stars as Mrs. Anne Hilton, the dutiful wife and mother of two evangelic daughters, Deborah (surprise, surprise - Jennifer Jones) and Briget (Shirley Temple - all grown up and not nearly as effective as during her childhood tenure at Fox). Selznick's screenplay concocts Anne as the veritable to0-good-to-be-true model of courage and strength on the home front. However, after the first hour or so, charting the family's day-to-day life and struggles get to wear a bit thin on the mind and heart.
In retrospect the doomed romance between Deborah and departing serviceman, William Smollett (Robert Walker) seems foreshadowing to the end of Walker and Jones marriage in real life. Guy Madison - a Selznick `discovery' whom the producer hoped would pay off in the same way as his earlier finds, failed to catch on, though in this film he is particularly used to good effect as the all American fighting boy in blue. Despite its shortcomings, "Since You Went Away" was a resounding box office success when it was released and was nominated for a truck-load of Oscars. But the tide of favorable preference in Academy voters had begun to turn against Selznick films by this time. "Since You Went Away" took only one statuette home for its moody and evocative black-and-white cinematography.
MGM's DVD is rather impressive.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The perfect Sunday afternoon experience. Feb. 10 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this yesterday on TCM. Yes it is sentimental and patriotic and a bit syrupy in the dialog. But it was released in 1944- meaning it was filmed right in the middle of World War II, so the sentiment and especially the times are aptly reflected. More than anything else, the film's virtues are from the performances. Claudette Colbert reminds me very much of Norma Shearer's matriarch in 'The Women:' warm, intelligent, and very likable, but surrounded by the constrictions and circumstances of the time. (It's interesting to hear her tell Joseph Cotten two hours into the film that she feels useless and is not contributing to the war effort when in fact she's been contributing all along.) Cotten is wonderful as her surrogate mate (still carrying a torch after all these years) and daughters Temple and the beautiful Jones are quite good. There is magnificent b/w cinematography- rich in shadows and geometric patterns, and fine editing which shows off a Norman Rockwell-like presentation of day-to-day life in rural America. The standout scene, of course is Jennifer Jones and Robert Walker (married in real life but separating at the time of the film) parting at the train station. The Steiner score (echoing the chugging of the train) and especially Jones' tearful run after the departing train are especially heartbreaking. (Does she sense her soldier's fate? Note the tragic, almost psychic expression on her face as she reads the engraving on the watch.) Good performances also from Agnes Moorehead and Selznick veteran Hattie McDaniel. Nominated for a ton of Oscars, and deservedly so.
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4.0 out of 5 stars America's Home Front Oct. 1 2001
Format:VHS Tape
What a pleasure for this Brit.to see how a typical American family coped with their men away helping to fight WW11.Claudette Colbert plays the mother(Anne Hilton) who's husband Timothy Hilton (who was in advertising) has joined up leaving her and two daughters (Shirley Temple and Jennifer Jones) to cope on their own.Although they have a black maid, money is tight.(I thought US advertising executives were paid a fortune!).To make ends meet Anne Hilton takes in a lodger - an irrascible retired colonel played by Monty Wooley.Love interest is provided by the appearance of the colonel's grandson (Robert Walker) who has bismirched the family name and been discharged from West Point military academy although he has signed up as a mere corporal in the US army.What is interesting is that Jennifer and Robert who married in 1939 had just broken up their real marriage (despite having 2 sons together)during filming yet had to play convincing love scenes together.That is acting!.The "villainess" is played by Agnes Moorhead (the black market queen) who was still playing baddies in the 1960's Batman tv series.Finally Joseph Cotton plays the love lorn "boyfriend" of Anne Hilton despite getting propositioned by two likely ladies during the film.A very fine performance from all concerned including all the supporting actors.It was a nice touch to have Anne Hilton learning to spot weld thus doing "her bit" for the US war effort and earning a few "bob" to boot.It was more effective not seeing Timothy Hilton - just impressions of him.If any of your viewers have seen the British TV series "Minder" you never see Arthur Daley's "'er indoors" but the imagination makes the absent character more powerful than could be portrayed by an actor in the flesh.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent service & product
Excellent sur toute la ligne. Produit de première qualité et expédié rapidement ! Read more
Published 20 months ago by MFJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally fantastic film
Oh, I am SO thrilled that this finally came out on DVD! I've yet to see it on disc, obviously, but regardless: it is an excellent film. Read more
Published on July 13 2004 by K. Anne Niemiec
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite all-time movie
This is my favorite all-time movie.The cast is wonderful and it has a happy ending. I think it depicts wartime on the homefront exceptionally well.A classic that never gets old.
Published on March 2 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD availability?
Why hasn't Anchor Bay, who does such wonderful work with the old classics, released this evergreen classic on DVD? It certaily deserves it! Anchor Bay......?
Published on May 10 2002 by S. Dees
5.0 out of 5 stars other Great tearjerkers
If you really want to cry,see "Tomorrow Is Forever" with Claudette Colbert,Orson Welles,George Brent and Natalie Wood in her first film role as a very young Austrian... Read more
Published on April 4 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful film!
I really enjoyed this film and highly recommend it!
I'd give it more stars if I could.
Published on Nov. 4 2001 by Rosella Ann Myles
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the best WWII homefront classics
She as always is great; with Monty Wooley, Joseph Cotton, Shirley Temple, and - the really artful story within the story of Jennifer Jones and Robert Walker in the war. Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Jennifers Best
What a wonderful cast. With Jennifer and Joseph Cotten you can not go wrong. I love those two together.
Whether they are lovers or friends, the chemestry is there. Read more
Published on Sept. 10 2001 by cheryl amelino
5.0 out of 5 stars The train platform farewell is peerless
among sentimental tearjerkers in this classic tale of the brave American women who keep the homefires burning during the dark days of WWII. Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2001 by Linda McDonnell
3.0 out of 5 stars Nicely acted, overlong wartime drama.
I can guarantee you that if anyone but David O. Selznick had written this movie, it would have been no longer than an hour and a half. Read more
Published on April 19 2001 by "traef"
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