This was a film I’d meant to watch for a while because it was Vivien Leigh’s last screen appearance. Then it disappeared off of Instant Netflix and I kind of forgot I wanted to watch it. Luckily for me, TCM showed the film last week as part of its 31 Days of Oscar and boy am I glad that they did. I absolutely loved it. I think it might be one of the finest examples of interlocking storylines I’ve ever seen. Plus, the set decoration and cinematography were to die for. Some of the crispest B&W cinematography I’ve seen in a while. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning two: Best B&W Art Direction (won), Best Cinematography (won), Best B&W Costume Design, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress Simone Signoret, Best Supporting Actor Michael Dunn, Best Actor Oskar Werner and Best Picture. The other films up for Best Picture that year were Darling, Doctor Zhivago, A Thousand Clowns and winner The Sound of Music.
Montag: [reading] There can be no disparity in marriage like unsuitability of mind and purpose. I had endeavored to adapt Dora to myself and found it impracticable. It remained for me to adapt myself to Dora, to share with her what I could and be happy. It made my second year much happier than my first, and, what was better still, made Dora’s life all sunshine. But as that year wore on, Dora was not strong. I had hoped that lighter hands than mine would help to mold her character and that a baby’s smile upon her breast might change my child-wife to a woman. It was not to be. My pretty Dora. We thought she would be running about as she used to do in a few days. But they said wait a few days more, and then wait a few days more, and still she neither ran nor walked. I began to carry her downstairs every morning and upstairs every night. But sometimes when I took her up, I felt that she was lighter in my arms. A dead, blank feeling came upon me, as if I were approaching some frozen region yet unseen that numbed my life. I avoided direct recognition of this feeling by any name, over any communing with myself. Until one night when it was very strong upon me and my aunt had left her with her parting cry, ‘Oh, good-bye, little blossom.’ I sat down at my desk, alone, and tried to think. Oh, what a fatal name it was. And how the blossom withered in its bloom up in the tree.
[Doris bursts into tears]
Jackie: I knew that’s what would happen. It’s what I’ve always said. Life isn’t like novels, novels and tears, novels and suicide. Novels are sick. That was sheer cruelty, Montag. You’re a cruel man.
Helen: All those words; idiotic words. Evil words that hurt people. Isn’t there enough trouble as it is? Why disturb people with that sort of filth?
Linda: Poor, Doris.
Helen: Bye, Linda. We were having such a nice party. Such a shame.
Doris: I can’t bear to know those feelings. I’d forgotten all about those things.
Linda: Oh, I’m sorry, Doris.