Monday, June 13, 2011

The Enchanted Cottage

Back in September 2008, I commented about blind characters in the movies, and one of the stereotypes being that they can "see" more deeply into people than sighted people can. A good example of this might be the movie The Enchanted Cottage, which is airing tomorrow morning at 6:30 AM ET.

The blind character, Major John Hillgrove, is played by Herbert Marshall, and is really a supporting character, in that he helps bring together the two main characters, Laura (Dorothy McGuire) and Oliver (Robert Young). Laura is a homely wallflower living in an isolated cottage in a seaside town, who has pretty much given up all hope of finding love: everybody tells her she'll never find it, and when she does go out, people don't take notice of her. Into her life comes Oliver. He's a veteran of World War II who has been sent to the cottage to recover from injuries he suffered; specifically, injuries that have scarred his face.

You can probably guess what happens next. Laura and Oliver fall in love. And they learn to see the inner beauty in each other. But they think that it's the cottage causing them to see each other as beatuiful, especially since everybody else thinks of their actual physical appearance.

On the face of it, this is pretty hokey stuff, and one i should probably not like all that much. And yet, The Enchanted Cottage is really not a bad movie. It is the sort of thing that women will probably like more than men, but it isn't as obnoxiously into the "chick flick" category as, say, Dark Victory or Random Harvest (and it's definitely more to my male liking than either of those two); instead, it's somewhat more of a fantasy. The emphasis should be on somewhat as it's more rooted in reality than something like Portrait of Jenny (which I also find a better film overall).

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