Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Letter for Evie (1946)

Evie O'Connor (Marsha Hunt) is looking for romance. She works in a factory where they supply shirts for soldiers. Out of desperation, she slips a "Dear Soldier" letter into the shirt pocket of a 16.5 sized shirt hoping it would find its way to a tall, handsome, strapping young lad who would read it and fall in love with her. It does indeed find it's way to a tall and handsome lad, but the fact that he is Edgar "Wolf" Larson (John Carroll) means he is too busy chasing skirts to bother with writing a nice girl. However, his buddy Johnny McPherson (Hume Cronyn) who is the antithesis of him physically, listens to the letter and falls instantly in love. He begins writing her and they both fall in love ... that is ... till they have to meet face-to-face.

Hume Cronyn, Marsha Hunt and John Carroll

This could so easily have been just another one of those "mistaken identity" screwball, silly little romantic comedies. Not that there is anything wrong with the occasional fluff like that, but this movie makes it's mark with heartfelt scenes and unsuspected depth that leaves the audience feeling like they have watched something special. Don't get me wrong, it is a romantic comedy with light moments, but it is also much more.

I was intrigued by Hume Cronyn's sensitive performance in this. He doesn't usually do a role like this and it is very nice to see a different side to him. There is a scene where he is concerned that Evie is about to fall under the spell of his handsome Army buddy and decides the only way to get her out of the situation is to act like he is drunk. He plays it totally over the top and it is hilarious to watch ... Hume Cronyn of all people .... act like Jerry Lewis. Heeey Laaaaaaaaady!

This is a hard to find movie, but if you are lucky, you can catch it on TCM. It is definitely worth looking for - one of those rare gems forgotten over time.

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