Review: ‘Lydia’

A man loves 'em and leaves 'em but a woman carries the torch for an early romance down through the years. Proceeding on this premise Lydia displays the life span of a woman from 20 to 60, and her torching for a lover whose promises and memories are forgotten 35 years later.

A man loves ’em and leaves ’em but a woman carries the torch for an early romance down through the years. Proceeding on this premise Lydia displays the life span of a woman from 20 to 60, and her torching for a lover whose promises and memories are forgotten 35 years later.

Original story, by Julien Duvivier and Ladislas Bush-Fekete, carries on romantic frustration in a minor key. It’s strictly a character study of a gal pursued and loved by three men of various standings – football hero, famous doctor, and blind musical genius – but who holds in her heart through the years the brief, but hot, romance with a seafarer-lover.

Dialog and narrative, with frequent use of cutbacks for the story telling, does not add to the speed of the unreeling under the leisurely direction by Duvivier.

Merle Oberon takes full advantage of her prominent role to turn in an excellent performance. Makeup for the span of years is particularly excellent.

1941: Nomination: Best Scoring of a Dramatic Picture

Lydia

Production

Korda. Director Julien Duvivier; Producer Alexander Korda; Screenplay Ben Hecht, Samuel Hoffenstein; Camera Lee Garmes; Editor William Hornbeck; Music Miklos Rozsa; Art Director Vincent Korda

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1941. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Merle Oberon Edna May Oliver Alan Marshal Joseph Cotten Hans Yaray Sara Allgood

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