Today I am going to publish my second 100 New Code Films article of the week. I usually publish such articles on Sunday, but I decided not to waist until the last minute this week, especially because this post is also an entry in a blogathon. The purpose of this series is stated by the title: to watch 100 new Code films during 2020! What is a new Code film, you ask? Firstly, a Code film is a movie made during the American Breen Era, July of 1934 to 1954, the twenty years when Joseph I. Breen was the head of the Production Code Administration (PCA). You might be wondering how movies released over sixty-five years ago at the least can be “new.” I classify these old movies as new if I have never seen them before. Thus, they are new to me.
Today’s topic is Never Say Goodbye from 1947. I am participating in the Eleanor Parker Blogathon this weekend, so I decided to review a new Code film starring her. To find my topic, I searched Amazon Prime Video to find Eleanor Parker films which I hadn’t seen before. I saw that this film was available for purchase, and I remembered having read a favorable review of it. Thus, I decided to make it my topic for the blogathon and my second 100 New Code Films article of the week. I watched this film on Sunday.
A seven-year-old girl with a lively imagination splits each year living between her recently divorced parents. When the film starts, her six months with her fanciful father, a successful commercial artist, have just ended. She is now going back to live with her more sensible mother and domineering grandmother. When the mother hears that her ex-husband is going to bring their daughter to her house personally, she excitedly puts on a prettier outfit. Ironically, the ex-spouses are still very fond of each other and openly admit to both themselves, their child, and even each other that they wish they were back together. They were separated by the wife’s intolerance of her husband’s painting beautiful female models and suspicion of his having more than business relationships with them. These difficulties were aggravated and largely created by her mother, who never liked her son-in-law. Now, she wants her daughter to marry a dull lawyer who is a good friend of hers. The little girl wishes that her parents would get remarried so that they could all live together as a happy family, and her father wants that, too. However, his plans to woo his wife back are foiled by the appearance of his latest model and casual girlfriend, despite the scheming help of their restauranteur friend. It may take the help of a marine to make them a happy family again!
This movie stars Errol Flynn, Eleanor Parker, and Patti Brady. Supporting actors include Lucile Watson, S. Z. “Cuddles” Sakall, Forrest Tucker, Donald Woods, and Peggy Knudsen.
This movie was directed by James V. Kern. It was produced by William Jacobs. The production company was Warner Bros. The screenplay was written by I. A. L. Diamond and James V. Kern. It was from an original story by Ben and Norma Barzman. The adaption was by Lewis R. Foster.
This is a good Code film. It is completely wholesome. It strongly supports the state of marriage. It also encourages people to stick with and fight for their marriages, no matter how difficult. This storyline shows how much children are hurt by their parents’ divorce and also shows a couple who, like many, get divorced even though they love each other. Ellen Gayley (Eleanor Parker) implies that her husband may have been unfaithful to her, but Phil (Errol Flynn) always denies it. Even if he was, no proof is given, so it is appropriately vague. Also, although he makes art renderings of attractive women, they are never shown in less than decently covering bathing suits. All the language is proper. This is a perfectly acceptable film. It is very decent, fun, and enjoyable for the whole family.
I highly recommend this film. It is hilarious as well as heartwarming. Errol Flynn is surprisingly funny in this role. He also is very sweet with his daughter, Flip (Patti Brady). He is tender, whimsical, and very funny as he plays his different roles with her in imaginary games. This is a great opportunity for film references, such as the game in which Flip says her father is Robin Hood, which was one of Errol Flynn’s most famous roles. It is hilarious when he pretends to be a brutal tough guy, wearing a trench coat and dangling a cigarette from his lip as he impersonates fellow Warner star Humphrey Bogart, who overdubbed his voice for this scene. Eleanor Parker is wonderful as his leading lady, but more on her in the next section. Patti Brady is darling as their daughter. She is a very sweet little girl, full of energy and personality. She is a lovely little girl, and she wears some very cute costumes, including two coats which her parents bought her. She displays a wide range of emotions in this part. S. Z. Sakall plays a very important and amusing supporting role in this film as Luigi, a restaurant owner who is eager to get his two friends back together. This is a very large role for him, and it is nice to see this wonderful character actor get such a large feature. There are some very funny moments in this story, such as when Phil finds himself with two dinner dates, running back and forth between his table with Ellen and his table with model Nancy Graham (Peggy Knudsen). Another funny incident is on Christmas Eve, when there are two Santa Clauses, lawyer Rex DeVallon (Donald Woods) and the uninvited Phil. This is a great movie to watch if you want to see another side to swashbuckler Errol Flynn.
For the Blogathon
This is my entry in The Eleanor Parker Blogathon, hosted by Maddy Loves Her Classic Films. Eleanor Parker is lovely in this film. Interestingly, she looks significantly more mature in this film than in The Voice of the Turtle, which was released a year later. As Ellen, she wears her hair in a more formal style and wears more sophisticated clothes, reflecting the fact that she is a wife and mother instead of a single girl. This is only the fourth Eleanor Parker film I have seen. I am just beginning to appreciate this great actress’s work prior to The Sound of Music. She is so much more than just the Baroness. In this role, she shows a wide range of emotions. She is sensitive, loving, hopeful, sad, angry, romantic, and motherly. She shows us Ellen’s conflicting emotions very effectively. On one hand, she feels betrayed by Phil, since he would stay out late and often during the marriage. On the other, she still loves him and wants him as her husband, so her affection for him makes her forgive him. This is a great performance from a great actress.
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