Monday, February 16, 2015

Tonight's Movie: Somewhere I'll Find You (1942) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

SOMEWHERE I'LL FIND YOU (1942) is a World War II film starring Clark Gable and Lana Turner, available as a manufactured-on-demand DVD from the Warner Archive.

SOMEWHERE I'LL FIND YOU reunited Gable and Turner, who had previously costarred in HONKY TONK (1941), released in October 1941. Coincidentally, October 1941 is when the action begins in SOMEWHERE I'LL FIND YOU.

In the months since HONKY TONK's release, Pearl Harbor had been hit, and less than six weeks later Gable's wife, Carole Lombard, was killed in a plane crash while on a war bonds tour. Production of SOMEWHERE I'LL FIND YOU was halted for a month; the bereaved Gable then finished the film and joined the Air Force. He was off the screen until ADVENTURE in 1945.

Likewise, this was costar Robert Sterling's last film before he too joined the Air Force; Sterling didn't return to the screen until THE SECRET HEART in 1946.

Gable and Sterling play Jonny and Kirk, brothers who are war correspondents. Both are in love with Paula (Turner), another reporter.

The plot of this 108-minute movie plods along with a lot of talk, a little heat from Gable and Turner, and not much action until late in the movie. Jonny and Paula have a relationship in which they repeatedly pull close, then one of them pushes the other away.

Paula tries to convince herself to love Kirk, the more responsible brother, but can't help her attraction to the exasperating Jonny, who feels guilty for wanting his brother's girl. Meanwhile the war draws ever closer.

Ultimately Jonny, Kirk, and Paula all end up on Bataan -- Jonny as a war correspondent, Kirk in the army, and Paula serving with the Red Cross. Jonny dictates what might be a final report to Paula as the bombs fall. The End, and be sure to buy war bonds before leaving the theater.

I have a soft spot for SOMEWHERE I'LL FIND YOU since it's a movie I recall watching on L.A.'s KTTV Ch. 11 when I was a kid, but it's the least of the three Gable-Turner films I've seen, the others being the entertaining HONKY TONK and the very fine HOMECOMING (1948). (I'll be watching 1954's BETRAYED in the future.) SOMEWHERE I'LL FIND YOU just doesn't go much of anywhere, at least until the war starts. The film's main pleasure is simply basking in the presence of two gorgeous superstars.

The movie does have a nice cast, and it's particularly fun to see a very young Van Johnson and Keenan Wynn in early roles as soldiers; this was Wynn's film debut. Frank Faylen is an army driver. Grady Sutton and Dorothy Morris play a couple eating in a private dining room which Jonny wants to commandeer.

The cast also includes Lee Patrick, Reginald Owen, Patricia Dane, Charles Dingle, Keye Luke, Sara Haden, Rags Ragland, Leonid Kinskey, and Douglas Fowley.

SOMEWHERE I'LL FIND YOU was directed by Wesley Ruggles and filmed in black and white by Harold Rosson.

The Warner Archive DVD is a fine print. The disc includes the trailer.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered at the Warner Archive website.

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