Saturday, January 23, 2016
Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)
IMDb plot summary: A widowed doctor of both Chinese and European descent falls in love with a married American correspondent in Hong Kong during China's Communist revolution.
Directed by Henry King. Starring William Holden, Jennifer Jones, Torin Thatcher, and Isobel Elsom.
I am so torn on this movie. On the good side, I absolutely love the female lead. She's smart, interesting, kind, and even when she's making decisions that made me go, "You JUST MET this guy and now he's your whole world?" she staunchly defends her agency and her ability to make those decisions. That being said, though, William Holden doesn't hold up his end of the bargain. He has no personality other than to be vaguely charming, and while I feel like we get to know Suyin very well, it's hard to buy that she's been swept off her feet when I certainly haven't as an audience member. The ending is also much more melodramatic than the rest of the movie had been, even the love scenes, and it feels out of place and unresolved. Make our leading man more interesting and tweak some of the cheesy sentimentality, and I'd have been fully on board.
How it entered my Flickchart:
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing > Camp Rock
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing < Eat Pray Love
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing < Strictly Ballroom
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing < Imitation of Life
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing > The Age of the Medici
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing < Lord of War
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing > The Illusionist
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing > Bonnie and Clyde
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing < Moneyball
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing > Rushmore
Final spot: #1102 out of 2420.