Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Ever in My Heart (1933)
Ever in My Heart is the story of Anne Archer (Barbara Stanwyck) a wealthy young woman who falls in love with Hugo, a young German professor (Otto Krueger) who arrives in tow with her fiancee Jeff (Ralph Bellamy) when he returns from a long trip abroad. Poor Ralph. Always the fiancee, never the groom. Anne and Hugo take one long look at each other and next thing we know she's sitting on the floor while he sings love songs to her in German. Ever the good sport, Jeff, steps aside and the couple are married. Things go well and the couple are truly happy as they proudly refuse any money from Anne's family. Then in one of those Mad Max turnabouts everything goes very wrong very quickly: their child dies of a fever, their dog gets killed by a gang of ruffians, Hugo is driven out of his job by anti-German sentiment as the U.S. enters WWI and the couple are literally starving. Rather than changing his name and accepting a job from his in-laws, Hugo abandons Anne and goes back to Germany. At this point, it seems like this is a typical anti-war movie of the period, sending the message that as Hitler stirred Germany, America should stay out of European wars. But Ever in My Heart, though sometimes trite and manipulative, is at least layered enough to make things not that straightforward. Anne and Jeff join the war effort and Anne becomes, quite gung ho, though she nevers buys into to Anti-German propaganda the way those around her do. This part of the movie reminded me a lot of the typical World War II movie where a woman joins the WACS, except for the ending. When she inevitably meets up with Hugo again it is under surprising circumstances. Stanwyck and Krueger are really excellent throughout and especially in the end. They really sell the films conclusion, and I was pleasantly surprised that I could not guess the ending at all.