Friday, January 12, 2007

Tonight's Movie: My Reputation (1946)

MY REPUTATION is a highly engrossing "women's picture" (or, in modern parlance, "chick flick") about a lonely, somewhat repressed widow (Barbara Stanwyck) who finds second love with a dashing major (George Brent). Unfortunately, the local community is scandalized by the widow seeing someone "too soon" after her husband's death, but our heroine comes to terms with the fact that she must make her own choices independent of the expectations of others.

I've admitted in the past that I've never been a Stanwyck fan -- I particularly disliked her in THE BIG VALLEY and in some of her other TV performances -- but I have to admit her performance in this film impressed me. It's thoughtful and sensitive, as her character struggles to step out on her own, out from under the shadow of a domineering mother and the conventional behavior expected by shallow people who she comes to realize are not true friends. I'm glad I've given her another look as I really enjoyed both this film and REMEMBER THE NIGHT.

The excellent supporting cast includes Eve Arden as Stanwyck's best friend and Lucile Watson as her dragon of a mother. The production values are first class all the way, with black and white cinematography by James Wong Howe, score by Max Steiner, and gowns by Edith Head. The film was directed by Curtis Bernhardt. It runs 94 minutes.

MY REPUTATION was filmed midway during WWII but wasn't released until 1946. Sources vary on the reason for the delay; some state it was due to a product glut during the war years, while another source says the studio felt audiences would be more receptive to the story after the war. It was, however, screened for the troops during the years between its production and release.

MY REPUTATION is not available on DVD or video but can be seen on cable on Turner Classic Movies. The trailer can be viewed here.

July 2007 Update: This film will be out on DVD October 30, 2007.

Update: A more detailed review of this film was posted in December 2011.

Update: This film has been reissued on DVD in the TCM Greatest Classic Legends Film Collection: Barbara Stanwyck and also by the Warner Archive.


Blogger Irene said...

Before I got to your last sentence I thought, let me guess ... it's not available on DVD or VHS.

I agree that Turner should put some of these great old movies out in a set. But I guess they just wouldn't reach the market that is so coveted today, young adults.

I think I will go back to that site where the voting is and vote to have these last few movies you have told us about released.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Yes, I've been working my way through some things I've taped in recent months from TCM. I'll have to go back to videos or DVDs soon so you'll have half a chance of being able to easily see something I write up! :) :)

We didn't have cable for many years, and didn't have VHS until the late '90s, so I can relate to your frustration with the lack of film availability.

Best wishes,

2:52 PM  

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