Review: ‘Beloved Enemy’

Beloved Enemy is a Hollywood version of how peace was restored betwen the British and Irish in 1921. The three collaborators of Beloved Enemy have dealt with fictional principals. They have conceived a romantic tragedy between the leader of the Irish insurrectionists and the titled daughter of a British conciliator, and the result is more fantastic than anything. G.A. Henty ever invented.

Beloved Enemy is a Hollywood version of how peace was restored betwen the British and Irish in 1921. The three collaborators of Beloved Enemy have dealt with fictional principals. They have conceived a romantic tragedy between the leader of the Irish insurrectionists and the titled daughter of a British conciliator, and the result is more fantastic than anything. G.A. Henty ever invented.

Merle Oberon and Brian Aherne are surprisingly well suited to each other, and the romantic episodes, although somewhat overlength, are charmingly played. Oberon is lovely to look upon and speaks her lines with fine enunciation. Aherne plays the young Irish rebel with humorous ease.

The strain on credulity is the implication that the armistice between the warring factions was brought about by the English girl because of her love for the Irish chief. Representatives meet in London and discuss settlement terms. Just why Aherne becomes a marked man for consenting to what is apparently a popular peace, is not made too clear, but on his return to Dublin he is assassinated by one of his own party and dies in his sweetheart’s arms. A second, ‘happy’ ending was made by the studio, but the tragic note seems consistent with the plot.

Beloved Enemy

Production

Goldwyn/United Artists. Director H.C. Potter; Producer Samuel Goldwyn; Screenplay John L. Balderston, Rose Franken, William Brown Meloney, David Hertz; Camera Gregg Toland; Editor Sherman Todd; Music Alfred Newman; Art Director Richard Day

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1936. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Merle Oberon Brian Aherne Karen Morley Jerome Cowan David Niven Henry Stephenson
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