I'll admit, I am a complete sap and romantic (I think you have to be when you grow up on opera). I've got an unabashed love for melodrama too, and William Holden, of course, is my favorite actor. And so, you think I'd like this movie... and you'd be dead wrong. I absolutely could not wait for this snooze fest to end. If it wasn't for William Holden, I would have turned it off partway through, walked away, and not looked back. And this movie won 3 oscars and was up for quite a few more??
What did I like? The music (I've always loved that song, and I love Alfred Newman scores), and the Hong Kong scenery.
What did I not like? Everything else. The movie's premise was good, the dilemmas and conflicts good, it just absolutely failed for me. The dialog in particular was physically painful to listen to, very unnatural sounding, very forced, a lot of it poorly couched exposition. Blech and blech. I want to like Jennifer Jones, but each time I see a new film of hers, she just bugs me more. And unfortunately, this is her movie. She and William Holden had very little chemistry for me, and that also made the love story just not work. As much as I love him, he could not even begin to save this movie experience for me. What kept me watching was anticipating the end of the film, just because, with evil glee, I couldn't wait to see everything fall apart. How very unkind of me. Unfortunately, what I was hoping would happen, didn't. So even that disappointed me.
That's two hours wasted for which I'd like a refund, please.
(Oh, on a positive note, the DVD had a hour-long biography of William Holden on it. It's one I've seen before, on A&E or something, but it's been ages. Watching that made up for the movie, even if I did cry at the end of it.)