9 January 2008 | dbdumonteil
Sometimes we fail
I was told that Frank Borzage could not read,at least at the beginning of his career.That may account for the extraordinary compassion he displays for his characters.A man who did not learn his work at the university,he is one of the greatest American directors of all time,and as far as the twenties and the thirties are concerned ,simply my favorite.I could not mention one of his films I do not like.Some are masterpieces ("Seventh Heaven "Street Angel' "No greater glory"the river" "little man what now?" "the mortal storm " "strange cargo" ),some are just good ,some such as "Stranded".
Lynn is a marvelous woman;we would like to see such characters in today's movies.She works for Travellers Aid ,she dedicates her life to helping stranded people ;she asks nothing in return and she carries on with little victories (the young boy and his father in jail) and big defeats (the old man);a thing that the man who is in love with her cannot understand:a selfish macho,he wants Lynn to be home as soon he is back from work.One realizes how much this female character is modern for 1935:in the melodramas of those years ,woman sacrificed her life when she was denied love ("only yesterday" "imitation of life" ;but Lynn is different ;she does not work for money or to make her way of life.She cares for the others,period.Like the doctor in "green light", the "three comrades" would do .
When the film begins ,Mack (George Brent)is not unlike Velma ,a girl who cannot understand Lynn (Kay Francis),for she only cares about herself.It will take a strike and horrendous events to make him understand Lynn's high-mindedness.