Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Watch On The Rhine


daddysprimadonna
 Share

Recommended Posts

What a great movie,it's an addiction for me. (Thanks TCM, for starting my addiction of last summer,to this movie,again!) This movie made me aware of,and a fan of,Paul Lukas. I also love the actress who plays Bette Davis' mother in it,Lucille Watson. I never tire of this movie and the story it tells. Geraldine Fitzgerald is quite good in it also,she plays her role very well,and is very attractive. I love the character of Lucille Watson's friend,Mrs Millie Sewell. She's a hoot!

 

I love the heroism of the main characters-they make me believe in it. It makes me believe that there must have been people like that in that time.(And there were,in the German underground resistance). It's not one of Bette Davis' famous bravura roles,but she's excellent in it-so she COULD underplay a role when it was called for! The only scene that I don't care for as much as the rest of the movie is when her husband tells her he'll have to go back,and when she finally resigns herself and accepts it,she steels herself by telling him that she knows he'll do the job and come back to her-it gets a little repetitive,as if she kind of ran out steam in that scene. But perhaps a woman in her place in real life might have handled it that way.

 

This movie and "Mrs Miniver" are two of my all-time favorite WWII movies-showing the everyday heroism and stoicism of the people on the homefront,and a time when people didn't feel they had to be "too cool to care". I'm sure there were people like that,but I'm glad that they weren't considered models to be emulated or praised. As a character in "These Glamor Girls"says(to paraphrase),"sincerity was 'in'" (rather than the ubiquitous irony of these days). I even like the music score of the movie a lot.

 

I can believe in their sincerity. When every once in a blue moon,someone tries to do "sincerity" these days,I just can't believe it,or else it's so alien to our present culture that it seems heavy-handed and hokey and falsely sentimental.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, the film (and the play on which it is based) is a polemic, somewhat heavy-handed, reflecting the politics of its author, Lillian Hellman (never mind that her politics and mine are generally similar, propaganda is propaganda).

 

Paul Lukas was the cousin of one of my best and oldest friends (who, apparently, didn't like Lukas too much, which may be why I never got an invitation to meet him. That's too bad, because I've owned an original Warner's script from WATCH ON THE RHINE for over thirty years, and it would've been nice to get it autographed), and his presence lends the film what little heart and authenticity it has (he probably deserved the Oscar, though many would argue that it should've gone to Humphrey Bogart for CASABLANCA, another Warner's film that treated the same subject matter a lot more excitingly and memorably).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That would've been great,to meet Paul Lukas. I may be completely off the mark,as I know nothing about him personally,but he seemed to be such an old-world,cultured gentleman. I wonder why your friend didn't like him?

 

 

 

Watch On The Rhine didn't seem heavy-handed,to me. But that goes back to my theory that we in the twenty-first century can't take our sincerity undiluted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why? It doesn't mean he wasn't that cultured product of the Old World, but the dynamics within a family are often too subtle for outsiders to perceive easily, especially when one's hearing of it from only one side of the dispute.

 

 

 

 

That's true. It would've been interesting to have an opprtunity to meet him. Wasn't he originally from Hungary? He played "German" very well---the old-style German of song and sentiment---as far as I can tell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree this is a great, must-see film (and still surprisingly relevant today!). Paul Lukas is terrific and his competition for Best Actor included Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca and Gary Cooper in For Whom the Bell Tolls, which shows you just how great his peers thought his performance was to award him the Oscar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lukas was indeed Hungarian, born P?l Luk?cs (though Hungarians often write the surname first). I wrote the talent bios that appear on the DVD of 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, and Lukas's was one of the more interesting ones, due in no small part to the fact that his film career began way back in 1918 (his first stage appearance was two years earlier).

 

Remember that four years before Lukas played a good German refugee in WATCH ON THE RHINE, he was a Nazi German-American bund leader in Warner's CONFESSIONS OF A NAZI SPY (1939). In Hollywood of that era, an accent was an accent, and Lukas's was as good an all-purpose one as Frenchman Charles Boyer's was to play a Romanian in HOLD BACK THE DAWN, Russian Maria Ouspenskaya an Austrian in THE MORTAL STORM, Greek Katina Paxinou a Spaniard in FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS, or German Conrad Veidt the evil Arab Jaffar in THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1940).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...