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Perfect Strangers (15-Oct-1945)

Director: Alexander Korda

Writers: Clemence Dane; Anthony Pelissier

Music Composed by: Clifton Parker

Producer: Alexander Korda

Keywords: Romantic Drama, WWII

An married British couple who have fallen into a rut are both called to active service during WWII, he to the Royal Navy and she as a WREN. Three years later they reunite, and the pair barely recognize each other. Won an Oscar for Best Original Story. Titled Vacation from Marriage in the United States.

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Roland Culver
21-Aug-1900 29-Feb-1984 Dead of Night
Robert Donat
18-Mar-1905 9-Jun-1958 Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Glynis Johns
5-Oct-1923   Winifred Banks in Mary Poppins
Deborah Kerr
30-Sep-1921 16-Oct-2007 From Here to Eternity
Ann Todd
24-Jan-1909 6-May-1993 The Sound Barrier


Robert Donat   ...   Robert Wilson
Deborah Kerr   ...   Catherine Wilson
Glynis Johns   ...   Dizzy Clayton
Ann Todd   ...   Elena
Roland Culver   ...   Richard


Review by Ruth Rossin (posted on 26-Apr-2007)

This movie was also released in the U.S. under the title, "Vacation From Marriage", which is a much better title. It concerns a rather dull couple who has grown bored with their humdrum routine. It is pre-WWII England and when the war starts the husband announces that he's going into the Navy as an officer. He is soon off to war in, I believe, Asia. His wife, now free to do what she wants, enlists in the WRENS, the women's naval service. Her closest friend is another WREN, played by the delightful Glynis Johns, with her unmistakable voice. As you might expect, both husband and wife come to life in their new duties, adjusting to new places, people, and danger. In these circumstances it's not surprising that eventually both fall in love with people they're working with in dramatic times. When the war ends and they are demobbed, each plans to leave the other for the new love but wonders how they'll break the news that they want a divorce, expecting the news to devastate the poor old fuddy-dud who's being left - who will be lost on their own. It's been years since they've seen each other, and each returns home to be amazed by the change in the other. The dashing naval officer and the self-confident and beautiful WREN are now eminently desirable to each other. The new loves are forgotten and their marriage begins anew. The husband and wife are played by Robert Donat ("Goodbye Mr. Chips") and the glorious Deborah Kerr, before her discovery by Hollywood. The black-and-white film is perfect for this interesting and rather light-hearted story. As usual in the British movies, the supporting cast is rich in fine characters.

Review by Jerry King (posted on 15-Jun-2007)

This movie is worth watching just to see Deborah Kerr and Glynis Johns at age twenty-three and twenty-two respectively. I've seen many Deborah Kerr movies and was always struck by her natural, but rare, beauty. Glynis Johns bowled me over. Her looks, voice and jaunty personality were captivating. The transformation of the husband and wife were profound, but believable. I've always been impressed by the dimly lit scenes in English black and white movies and this was another fine example. I've just seen this movie on cable and I intend to buy it immediately. It is a keeper.

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