"Oh God, if there is an afterlife and I am to be punished for my sins, this is one of the picture's they'll make me see
over and over again." ~ Joan Crawford on "Reunion in France."
"Reunion in France" 1942
Cast: Joan Crawford~John Wayne~Phillip Dorn~Reginald Owen~Albert Bassermann~John Carradine~Ann Ayars~J. Edward Bromberg~Moroni
Olsen~Howard Da Silva~Henry Daniell.
Director: Jules Dassin
Costumes by Irene
Box Office Figures for "Reunion in France":
Cost: $N/A ~ Domestic Studio Gross: $ N/A. ~ Foreign Studio Gross: $ N/A
Total: $ N/A / Profit: $ N/A
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Stars: Two and a half stars
Review: Leave it to Joan Crawford to provide sex appeal and some kind of arc to her character in this essentially hokey
production of "Reunion in France." If you don't take it seriously, the film is rather fun, but please be forewarned
that the goings-on and script are more than a little absurd. Crawford plays a spoiled French woman Michelle de la Becque (she
is of French ancestry, although she speaks intermittently with a deliciously clipped British accent -- love the way she says
"registry") who is engaged to Robert Cortot (Philip Dorn). To her horror, she discovers that he may be working for
the Nazis. Then Michelle runs across an injured RAF pilot, Pat Talbot (John Wayne -- yes, John Wayne), whom she takes into
her home for safety, and suddenly finds herself in the middle of a love triangle (it's Joan -- what else?). And Joan slides
into the French Resistance movement with only a passing smudge to sully her glamour.
Oh, what can one say about this movie? What can anyone say about Crawford, finding herself in a blitz, running back to
her home to see if the Renoir is still in place? Or having the wherewithal and chutzpah to remain dressed to the nines in
fashions from Irene while supposedly destitute and as bombs fall over her beloved country? What about the outrageously thick,
Austin-Powers-like accent adopted by Reginald Owen as a Gestapo agent (oh, he is so sinister but almost campy here; he was
much better in "A Woman's Face") and the fact that Crawford allows him to kiss her against a wall so that Talbot
can make his escape? Or the "bumbling Nazis" who allow two sets of people to engineer relatively mindless escapes
at the end? Or stand mutely as Crawford shows them her contempt? Or that cheezy footage with real scenes of France during
the occupation? Anyone who has seen "The Sorrow and the Pity" knows that this story is taking major liberties with
reality. But then, I gave in to the occasional shallow excesses and enjoyed that incredibly sexy, low-backed dress with the
covering of black silk that Crawford wears in the opening scene. I actually got used to the idea of Joan and John -- er, Mike
and Pat, as they're called here -- as a romantic couple. The Duke and Mildred Pierce (before she was "Mildred Pierce,"
of course). Who'd have thought? Natalie Schaefer who played Mrs. Howell on "Gilligan's Island" and Ava Gardner both
Review: I think "Reunion in France" was a great Crawford movie, but I liked all her movies really. When I first
was this movie, I was sitting on my sofa and I thought I don't like the look of this movie, how wrong could I have been to
have not liked it, as the story moved on I could understand it a lot better. Joan as Michelle and John Wayne as Pat. They
both played thier characters really well.