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Till The End of Time (1946)

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Guy Madison (to whom Canadian avant gardist Guy Maddin owes his moniker) is the young Marine home from WW2, a typical draftee after Pearl Harbour and college dropout, whose parents welcome him back but stop him from discussing his experiences. He can’t settle down to civilian life and hangs out with war widow Dorothy McGuire while second banana star Robert Mitchum’s head injury is causing outrageous headaches and boxer Bill Williams can’t deal with losing his legs. This study of PTSD is part of a wave of films that tried to explain the difficulties of post-war adjustment. Los Angeles was like most major cities subject to a crimewave committed by vets and this middle-class take on malaise is mostly decent stuff, and the propaganda aspect is to be expected, adapted from the Niven Busch novel They Dream of Home by Allen Rivkin and directed by Edward Dmytryk. It ends happily in a fistfight started by a bunch who sat it out and call themselves patriots. This was overshadowed by the Academy Award-drenched The Best Years of Our Lives but is worth a watch, particularly for McGuire.The theme tune, derived from Chopin’s Polonaise Opus 53, was a huge hit for a young Perry Como.

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About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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