The Constant Nymph (1943)


“I can’t help it if I love Lewis! I did long before you came to Switzerland and it’s not a happy thing. It’s brought nothing but sadness into my life, and yet it’s so overwhelming I wouldn’t want it to be different.” – Tessa

Number of Times Seen – 1 (26 Nov 2019)

Brief Synopsis – The young daughter of a musician is hopelessly in love with a married composer who comes to visit.

My Take on it – This is yet another film that I knew nothing about before coming across it in my quest to watch all films that have garnered Oscar nominations for its cast members.

The story as presented here is extremely boring and it’s so hard to care about any of the characters or anything that they do.

Joan Fontaine was somehow nominated for an Oscar for her work here even though she feels very miscast especially when she is expected to be believable as a 14 year old girl.

The film presents a love triangle aspect of things but even that seems too strange and doesn’t find a way to keep the viewer interested as the story progresses.

Bottom Line – Really boring costume drama that doesn’t work very well. Fontaine was somehow nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance here even though she is clearly too old to be playing such a young character. The love triangle aspect of the story also seems a bit too strange and fails to be interesting to watch unfold. It’s quite difficult to care about any of the characters or the situations that they find themselves in due to teh way that this is presented.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Joan Fontaine got the lead role of Tessa by a lucky chance. One day, she was having lunch at Romanoff’s in Hollywood, with her husband, actor Brian Aherne. The two had just flown in by airplane from their grape ranch in Indio, California, and Fontaine was in a leather flight suit with her hair done in pigtails. Director Edmund Goulding walked into the restaurant, and stopped by their table to say hello to his good friend Aherne. Goulding complained that he was having trouble casting a lead actress for his next movie, “The Constant Nymph.” Although he had considered Joan Leslie, she was wrong for the part. And, Goulding explained, “Jack Warner wants a star in the lead, but she has to be consumptive, flat-chested, anemic, and fourteen!” “How about me?” said Fontaine. “Who are you?” asked Goulding, not recognizing the freckled girl in pigtails sitting next to him. “Joan Fontaine,” said the actress. Goulding looked startled. “You’re perfect!” Fontaine was signed for the part the next day, and later called it “the happiest motion-picture assignment of my career.” (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (3/10)

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