This is the film version of the novel and play of same title [by Margaret Kennedy and Basil Dean]. Devoting plenty of footage to character delineations and incidental episodes, it results in a bumpy screen tale with interlay of both draggy and interesting sequences. Major portion of excess footage is on the front end, where 40 minutes is consumed in setting up detailed background for the final event, which is a love triangle, with Charles Boyer the focal point for conflict betwen teenager played by Joan Fontaine and the older Alexis smith. The stretch hits yawning periods.

This is the film version of the novel and play of same title [by Margaret Kennedy and Basil Dean]. Devoting plenty of footage to character delineations and incidental episodes, it results in a bumpy screen tale with interlay of both draggy and interesting sequences. Major portion of excess footage is on the front end, where 40 minutes is consumed in setting up detailed background for the final event, which is a love triangle, with Charles Boyer the focal point for conflict betwen teenager played by Joan Fontaine and the older Alexis smith. The stretch hits yawning periods.

This early portion serves to detail movement of Boyer, composer of promise but lacking the necessary fire to write his outstanding composition, from Brussels to home of his friend and mentor (Montagu Love) in Switzerland. Of the four daughters in the house, Fontaine is next to the youngest, with adolescent adoration for Boyer. When Love dies and girls’ uncle (Charles Coburn) arrives from England with his own daughter (Smith), Boyer and latter embark on romance culminating in marriage.

Script covers plenty of ground and detail, but general tightening would have helped materially. There’s a tang of the stage in the unfolding, which director Edmund Goulding found impossible to overcome with his careful and even-tempoed direction.

1945: Nomination: Best Actress (Joan Fontaine)

The Constant Nymph

Production

Warner. Director Edmund Goulding; Producer Henry Blanke; Screenplay Kathryn Scola; Camera Tony Gaudio; Editor David Weisbert; Music Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1943. Running time: 106 MIN.

With

Charles Boyer Joan Fontaine Alexis Smith Charles Coburn Peter Lorre Joyce Reynolds
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