90 Days of Oscar Nominees #11 – Smilin’ Through (1932)


In my attempt to have a more prolific repertoire of Oscar Nominated Films, I have taken it upon myself to watch 90 new Best Picture Nominees that I’ve never seen before between 5 Dec 2017 and The 90th Annual Oscars on 4 Mar 2018.

Here is my 11th review of the 90 chosen Films…

“I don’t care what happens the day after tomorrow! Any more than I care what happened 50 years ago!” – Kathleen

Number of Times Seen – 1 (11 Dec 2017)

Brief Synopsis – A young woman raised by her uncle, is torn when he disapproves of the man who has fallen in love with due to his acquaintance with the man’s father who committed a crime against him 50 years earlier.

My Take on it – This is yet another Best Picture nominee that I had never heard of beforehand and didn’t know anything about.

The story is quite interesting and the fact that they are able to show a standard love story that is so layered is quite a feat.

This is done by the way they slowly reveal information to us that spans back 50 years.

The cast is great and keep things feeling quite realistic.

Norma Shearer is superb in a double role as is Fredrick March who is able to play two very diverse men in love and in way over their heads.

Leslie Howard is the anchor of the story since he is the sole character who has interacted with all of the lovers and is most conflicted due to that.

This film brings up some very interesting themes about trying to reconcile past events while also debating how to differentiating sins of fathers from the sons.

There is also a few scenes that seem a bit supernatural but I liked the way that they present them in a way that they can be either taken literally or perhaps from a psychological perspective and both aspects seem to be plausible.

Bottom Line – Very interesting idea for a film because it’s a romance that is layered with so much exposition. Shearer and March are great as the young lovers and Howard is wonderfully paternal as the girl’s guardian.  The issues brought up again and again in this film about sins of the fathers being connected with a son way heavily as the characters try to make the right decisions.  The supernatural aspects of this film can be taken literally or from a purely psychological perspective and both choices are plausible. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Fredric March commented to his first cousin, Kathryn Davis, about working with Norma Shearer, that, yes, she was a great actress, professional, etc., but could be difficult, because she constantly expected perfection. When Davis asked what that specifically meant, March replied, “She was never satisfied, kept having us do take after take.” Pausing, he continued, unabashed, “Especially our love scenes. She always wanted to redo all the love scenes, several times!” Davis wanted to ask why he supposed Shearer always wanted to retake the love scenes in particular, but thought better of it and kept silent. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy

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One thought on “90 Days of Oscar Nominees #11 – Smilin’ Through (1932)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 1933 |

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