Friday, October 3, 2014
'Enchantment' DVD: A Tale of a Two-Story House
The Warner Archive DVD release of the 1948 David Niven romantic drama "Enchantment" makes a great companion to the recently released (and reviewed) "Raffles" double feature that includes a 1939 Niven version of that film. Both movies highlight the urbane charm for which Nivens is known.
"Enchantment" aptly opens with narration by the posh London home of the Dane family; this structure tells of the Victorian era arrival of newly orphaned Lark Ingoldsby. This addition to the family prompts immediate jealous in oldest child (and future spinster) Selina Dane, romantic feelings on the part of (future Sir) Roland Dane, and overall indifference by brother Rollo Dane.
In true Dickensian style, Selina thwarts the romance between Roland, whom Niven portrays very well, and Lark. This creates a lifetime resentment on the part of Roland.
History demonstrates a probability of repeating itself several decades later when retired military officer Roland, who moves back in after the departure of Selina, finds 20-something American Grizel Dane at his doorstep during the WWII era. Grizel is the granddaughter of Rollo.
Ala Lark (but under less traumatic circumstances), Grizel moves in. The next visitor with a link to the Dane home is current Canadian military officer Pax Masterson. Hitchcock and "The Love Boat" veteran Farley Granger doers a great job in the role of the dreamy Masterson.
Like the Roland/Lark romance, the Grizel/Pax courtship hits snags that intensifies the feelings that the recent events have evoked within Roland.
The well-presented dramatic conclusion of "Enchantment" is pure Warner Brothers but presents a very realistic of romance during the Blitz.
The (hopefully) well-presented conclusion of this review is that "Enchantment" lives up to its name in that it is a delightful film about romance in two particularly notable historic eras.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Enchantment" is encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.