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  • Warning: Spoilers
    As has been noted elsewhere, during the filming of "Desire Me," Ms. Garson and Richard Hart were swept into the sea by a wave along the rocky coast of California. She nearly lost her life, and as it was, sustained severe injuries that required several surgeries. All this for a misfire of a film.

    If not for the luminous presence of Greer Garson, this movie wouldn't be worth anyone's time. Considering the cast and director (George Cukor, who removed his name from the credits before the film's release) it's a wonder how it turned out so relatively poor. One would think the script's weaknesses should have been readily apparent. {SPOILERS AHEAD} The outline of the plot is fine: Paul (Robert Mitchum) is imprisoned during WW-II in a German POW camp. He spends his time telling a fellow prisoner, Jean (Hart), details about his life with his wife, Marise (Garson). Jean, whose life has been less than idyllic, becomes absorbed in these tales, and soon begins to think of these stories as HIS stories. When he and Paul attempt escape, Paul is shot, but Jean succeeds. He goes to Paul's home he has come to know so well and tries to claim Marise, who has been faithfully waiting for Paul for several years, as his own--in spite of the fact that he knows (or at least strongly suspects) that Paul is actually still alive. That outline could have been turned into a fine film--but the details were its undoing. Crucial to the story is the devotion Marise and Paul have toward each other.

    Unfortunately, this supposed great love is spoken of, but never dramatized. We get one brief flashback of their marriage ceremony. We don't see their love grow, never observe its intensity. Yet we are supposed to be invested in their relationship. Without that investment the final reconciliation fails to move us, and so the ending falls flat. An even bigger failing is how the relationship between Marise and Jean plays out. He immediately begins to pressure her to form a relationship with him--this in spite of the fact that until he tells her that he saw Paul die, Marise still believed him to be alive. No matter how lonely she might have been in the years she awaited Paul's return, she obviously would need some months to grieve her loss. To have someone pushing her into a relationship the very day she hears the news would be off putting to say the least--terrifying and enraging being even more likely reactions. Instead, we are to believe that Marise would experience only some relatively vague misgivings, and within about a week is sufficiently recovered to consider marrying this man (so much for this supposed great love between Paul and Marise).

    For this bit of absurdity to work, all one would need do is, first, provide more background (lots more background) to the relationship between Marise and Paul. Second, make Jean more crafty. Instead of fairly pouncing on Marise, have him offer his friendship and support. Have their relationship grow over the course of MONTHS, not days. These two changes alone might have turned the movie into a classic--IF Ms. Garson and Mr. Mitchum could have developed some chemistry between them. As it stands, they had none. With only 4 minutes of screen time together, how much could they be expected to generate? It's too bad. They were two such great stars . . . it would have been interesting to see them together. Still, for all its considerable faults, I give the film a 5 out of 10 on the basis of the great Greer Garson's presence, some great cinematography and an interesting, if poorly realized, premise.

    All in all, it's too bad Ms. Garson didn't elect to work in some other, more rewarding--and less painful--project.
  • After seeing Desire Me, I looked in Lee Server's new book about Robert Mitchum. He was as unhappy as with the film as everyone else was in 1947.

    The film is set in postwar Brittany and it has to do with Richard Hart arriving in a small Breton fishing village. He's decided to look up Greer Garson who's the widow of a former buddy Robert Mitchum from a POW camp. He woos and wins her and then Mitchum shows up.

    I have to say that Mitchum, Garson, and Hart are about as convincingly French as Barry Fitzgerald. And the story is just something you want to shout to the screen, get it over with, the story just plods along so.

    For MGM the film location for Brittany was the California coast at Monterey. Another reviewer mentioned about Garson nearly being drowned with a sudden wave during a scene on the beach. I'm sure that caused her to lose interest in the film.

    Mitchum and Garson hated each other. In typical Mitchum fashion for what he felt was Garson's condescending ways, he used to eat sandwiches with onions and roquefort cheese before their closeups. That ain't a look of passion Garson's giving out with when you see this.

    Because Cukor got into a fight with Garson as opposed to Mitchum who was in on a pass from that inferior studio RKO, he quit the film. Mervyn LeRoy came on, Jack Conway came on, a few others did who had a spare moment or two and the thing was finished. Not a moment too soon.

    And NO ONE wanted to be listed as director. So the film was inflicted on the public without a directorial credit.

    My only question is, if this thing had turned out like Gone With the Wind which was another collaborative effort, who would have gotten the Oscar nomination for Best Director?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    (There are Spoilers) Strange to say the least this movie is known more for it's behind the camera's action then the movie itself with Greer Garson almost drowning when she was suddenly gobbled up by an ocean wave during filming. Robert Mitchum so turned off by the studio big-wigs micro managing , in a movie where no one wanted to take any credit for directing it, that it more then helped him developed his lifelong resentment for the suits that run Hollywood with a scene. The director had Greer Garson just saying one word "No", that took no less then 125 takes, which had Mitchum just about call it quits, to being a big time Hollywood movie star, and go back to driving a truck.

    We see Marise Aubert, Greer Garson, in Dr. Leciair's, Cecil Humphreys, office at the beginning of the movie "Desire Me" very upset about her health and well being even though Dr. Leciair can find nothing wrong with her of the psychical nature. The movie then goes into a long flashback were we see just what brought poor Marise into this depressive frame of mind.

    Marise husband Paul, Robert Mitchum, had been in a German POW camp since the spring of 1940 and after carrying a torch for Paul all these years, and hoping to see him after the war is over, she get's the sad news that he was killed by the Germans while trying to escape. It's then when this drifter Jean Renavd, Richard Hart, drops into her, and Paul's, large seafront house in Brittany. Jean starts by telling a cock and bull story to the confused and befuddled Marise about how he and Paul were the best of friends, as POW's, in the German prison camp. He also brings out the fact that he was there when Paul got it, right between the eyes, by the Germans sentries as he tried to escape. All this hogwash from Jean has Marise finally give up any hope for Paul ever coming back and with the sneaky Jean using every trick in the book to get Marise to let him stay in her home, rent-free, she quirky fell under his spell.

    Living it up and having the best of both worlds as Paul's replacement in being Marise's new boyfriend and with the prospect of taking over Paul's very lucrative fishing business Jean, who disliked working with a passion, can now make a very good living for himself by having others work for him not the other, God forbid, way around. There's also the fact that Marise is an excellent cook where Jean, instead of eating in flop houses and soup kitchens, can now have an home cooked meal of shrimp and oysters, his favorite dish, almost every day and night of the week.

    Thinking that this good deal that he fell into, living like a king in Marise's place, will never end Jean gets the shock of his life when he intercepts a letter, from the nosy mailman Alex( David Hoffman), from non other then Paul himself. In the letter Paul tells Marise that he's alive and well and will be back home very soon to continue his happily married life with her! Jaen not only took Paul's wife and business away from him while he was recovering in a French Military Hospital but it was the double-crossing Jaen himself who set up Paul, who he thought was dead, to get shot by the Germans back in the POW camp!

    The movie gets really dopey with Jean instead of checking out knowing that the sh*t is going to hit the fan, as soon Paul shows up in town, tries to get the unsuspecting Marise to sell the house and Paul's fish business. Jean then plans to move back to Paris, his and Marise's home town, with him and the money from the sales and continue his lifestyle of the rich and sleazy with Marise being totally kept in the dark to the fact that her long dead husband has come back from the dead.

    Jean selfish and ridicules scheme falls apart when a happy go lucky Paul comes strolling, and whistling, into town expecting everything to be the same as he left it when he enlisted into the French Army. When Paul finds out what some rotten and back-stabbing rat Jean did by taking away his wife Marise and fishing business his good natured demeanor quickly changes. Instead of being mad at the person who did this to him, Paul didn't yet know that it was that rat Jean. Paul instead takes out his hatred and frustrations on the innocent as the morning snow Marise who by now is so confused and bewildered that she's just about had it with the whole business of missing and dead husbands and con artists boyfriends! you almost expected her to take a walk down by the high cliffs overlooking the Engish Channel and end it all by jumping off.

    We then have this idiotic duel between Paul, with a pocket knife, and Jean, with a gun that hasn't been shot or cleaned in years, in a thick as pea soup fog. There's also the added attraction of dull and annoying ship foghorns constantly blowing in the background, The outcome of this battle between the two nitwits is never in doubt since we have a very good idea about who won this brainless duel from what we already saw at beginning of the movie. The ending with Marise coming back to the present, from the over an hour long flashback, is about the best thing to happen in "Desire Me" by knowing that the film is just about over and with that so is the pain and suffering of those still left watching it.
  • Director George Cukor was so unhappy with his production of "Desire Me," that he insisted that his name be taken off the opening credits. It was the first film M-G-M had ever released without one. No happy memories about the filming for Greer Garson either. During the filming of one scene, which was by the ocean, a wave came up unexpectedly and swept the star out to sea. She nearly drowned!
  • Its structure is intense. The way it's edited kept me always on the tip of my toes. I was biting my nails through half of it, and feeling a nervous guilt in the pit of my stomach through the other half. This movie has it all, from one of the best escape scenes ever, to a whole spectrum of emotional truths. I found myself switching my opinions many times about the characters and what actions they should take. All the way through the ending, I was proud for the people who lent their efforts to make this movie. The acting and cinematography are unbeatable. I repeat, unbeatable! It might not be air-tight in plot details, but it gets a certain sense of cinematic perfection across that can also be found in other 1947 movies like "Out of the Past" and "Black Narcissus". I love those movies just as much as this one, if not more, so it's a little baffling how hard people are ragging on it.

    It seems like the making of the movie was beset by hardship, and left a bad taste in the mouth of a lot of the cast and crew, but I see no reason that it should leave a bad taste in our mouths. It's just too gorgeous a movie to forget about. And any hardship and injury that came of it only makes the cinematic achievement that much more astounding. But ultimately, this movie's greatest achievement is that it surprisingly exudes a maturity that is more common in movies made closer to the present, for example, Mike Leigh's morality-play movies "Vera Drake" (2004) and "Another Year" (2010). It's time "Desire Me" had a re-evaluation, if you ask me.
  • atlasmb23 August 2017
    "Desire Me" is a mess of a film. No director wanted to take credit for it. And the stars have absolutely no chemistry.

    But this is supposed to be a love story about undeniable passions between a widow who steadfastly grieves her husband and a man who claims to have known him when he was alive. Unfortunately, the script makes him feel more like a bully than a lover. Greer Garson plays the object of his attentions. She is no prize herself. Her motivations are muddy, her outlook morose, and she seems to (willingly) be a victim of the gossipmongers of the town--including the local cleric--who presume to judge her.

    Watching "Desire Me" is drudgery. None of the characters are very likable. And the payoff for watching the film is a final sequence that lacks the intended suspense, then concludes with an emotionally inappropriate ending, leaving the viewer with a feeling of betrayal.

    None of the major players or the directors felt pride after making this film. And it shows.
  • This is a film to be cherished for its lush cinematography, exquisite and picturesque settings, character development, and fine performances. While the story is on the surface a love triangle, there are complexities among the characters, and in their relationships with each other, that make the film compelling in spite of being typical Hollywood romance. The film shines with Cukor's touches throughout, although he was uncredited as director. The production values are first class, and appropriately polished.

    While DESIRE ME is generally perceived to be one of classic Hollywood's biggest turkeys, public perception is often misleading. For those of us who are fans of the genre, of Hollywood myth, melodrama, and romance, this is a lovely, lovely film. But it seems even less likely that such a film would be appreciated in these times than in 1947.
  • I will give three reasons to watch this movie. First reason-an interesting story about a man returning from the war and trying to take over his dead friend's wife and life! Second reason-excellent acting by the entire cast of Greer Garson, Richard Hart, Robert Mitchum, George Zucco, Morris Ankrum, and Cecil Humphreys! Third reason- Richard Hart! He died young, and he did not make too many movies. This movie might be one of your best chances to see his acting, as I do not think he had such a big role in another movie, and he was excellent in this movie. In fact, on the basis of this movie, I am surprised he did not become an even bigger name in motion pictures!
  • whpratt129 September 2005
    Enjoyed this Classic B&W film with a fisherman's house of stone build high on a hill top, over looking the ocean and a very rocky coast line and plenty of fog. It starts out with Greer Garson,(Marise Aubert)," Strange Lady in Town",'55, who is see a shrink and has many flash backs. They show two soldier's in the war, one being Richard Hart(Jean Renaud),"Green Dolphin Street",'47 and Robert Mitchem,(Paul Aubert),"Cape Fear",'91, Paul is married to Marise Aubert and Jean Renaud is a very close friend. Paul shares a great deal of information about his wife with Jean. Eventually the story unfolds and you start to realize there is a rather twisted and demented brain trying to work out an evil plan. George Zucco,(Father Donnard),"Lured",'47, confronts the evil force and tries to bring shame upon the guilty person involved. It was refreshing not seeing George Zucco play his usual roles in the many horror pictures he appeared in. All the actors gave outstanding performances and this is a really worth while film to view and enjoy.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film has an odd cast--a bunch of non-French actors playing French people without traces of accents. It's hard to imagine Robert Mitchum as being a man living in Normandy, but he and Greer Garson both star in "Desire Me"--along with Richard Hart.

    The film begins shortly after WWII. Garson has been living alone since the war began--her husband (Mitchum) in a German concentration camp. She'd since received word that he was dead, but she still is holding out hope that he'll return. A man arrives (Hart) who tells Garson that he was Mitchum's friend and saw him die while trying to escape--and he knows so many, many details about her that his story about being Mitchum's best friend made sense.

    A bit later in the film, things began to stop making sense. While Garson had fallen in love with Hart, he proved to be very moody and unpredictable--so much so that it makes you wonder how Garson would want to be with this guy. Some of this was done because it fit in with the plot--some of it was due to sloppy writing.

    Eventually, Hart gets Garson to agree to sell her husband's old business and move to Paris with him. However, in true Hollywood fashion, Mitchum arrives in town--and it's obvious Hart is a liar and cheat. This leads to a showdown between the two men--and Hart seems quite willing to kill his 'old friend'.

    While this film has some interesting moments and the romance between Garson and Hart is nice to watch (at least at first), the film is far-fetched and a bit confusing. The part that had me shaking my head was Garson's reaction to Mitchum's return--behaving like a woman guilty of something. Were they trying to imply she'd slept with Hart? If not, why the guilt and why would she tell her beloved husband that she would leave him?! In fact, none of this made any sense---and I really wanted it to. And, following the showdown, Garson's reaction seemed even more bizarre---what was motivating her?! Why did she act that way?! Didn't this all seem pretty sloppy?! Apparently others thought the same, as the film was seen as a big disappointment--and I can see why. With this locale and the basic script idea, it should have been a lot better--and more polished and coherent.
  • Frenchwoman Greer Garson (as Marise) tells her psychiatrist about her complicated relationship with two men. In flashback, her story begins (mostly) with the arrival of handsome Richard Hart (as Jean) at her coastal cottage, in Normandy. Mr. Hart has some bad news and some good news for Ms. Garson.

    The bad news is that he informs her that handsome husband Robert Mitchum (as Paul) has been killed by Nazis. The good news is that he, Hart, has fallen in love with Garson, through the stories told by buddy Mitchum. Lonely, Garson catches Hart bathing, and invites him to stay. Of course, Mitchum returnsÂ…

    An old storyline, updated for war and psychiatry. This was supposed to be George Cukor's picture, but he left; and, nobody received director's credit. Still, there are some nicely shot scenes, thanks to a nice, albeit too foggy as the film progresses, location. Joseph Ruttenberg photographs Garson and the coast with love.

    **** Desire Me (10/31/47) George Cukor ~ Greer Garson, Richard Hart, Robert Mitchum
  • Certainly this has to be ranked as one of the most forgettable films GREER GARSON and ROBERT MITCHUM ever participated in, a film that went from bad to worse once it was handed over from one director to another at least three times.

    In the end, nobody wanted to take credit for it and it's easy to see why there is no "Directed by" credit on the screen. It's a mess. Not only did the directors quit, but ROBERT MONTGOMERY began filming in the Richard Hart role until he dropped out and was replaced.

    The only redeeming feature of the film is the handsome seaside setting and house that Garson lives in, until a stranger comes along (RICHARD HART) to inform her that her husband (MITCHUM) is dead and that he was Mitch's best friend during World War II. Garson is soon offering Hart shelter and their relationship seems to be heading toward a romantic involvement when the very much alive Mitchum returns to town, seeking to resume his former life.

    Actually, these are the ingredients for a potentially strong enough story--so one has to wonder why the film turned out so disastrously. Mitchum was reportedly annoyed with Garson when she required, according to him, "125 takes to say 'No'." (Knowing Mitchum, this could have been a slight exaggeration!!) Nevertheless, he often spoke disparagingly of the whole project.

    Can't recommend this one unless you are a staunch Greer Garson fan and won't mind the punishment.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Greer Garson always seemed to be perfectly at ease in films with a World War 11 theme. In this 1947 film, it's post-world war 11 and Garson plays the widow of a Brittany fisherman, the latter having been reported to her as dead.

    Suddenly, Richard Hart shows up. He was with Robert Mitchum, her husband in the film, in a prisoner camp. Hart is soon able to win Garson's heart by his knowledge of her and the house she shared with Mitchum.

    Unknown to all, Mitchum survived. That is, the Hart character knew as he takes Garson for himself and the two plan to leave the area after Garson sells the business.

    Of course, Mitchum suddenly appears and Hart resorts to violence so that he can keep Garson. After Hart's tragic ending, Garson feels remorse in the fact that she had betrayed Mitchum's love.

    Garson has her emotional moments and Mitchum is effective, really in a supporting role, as her husband. Effective flashbacks are used to depict their life together.

    Hart really steals the picture as the conniver.
  • dbdumonteil4 January 2010
    Warning: Spoilers
    Why didn't they transpose the action to the USA? That said,George Cukor's vision of Britanny is not this false:this is a place in France where religion plays a prominent part and Maryse feeling guilt and attending the Pardons ceremony make sense ;besides ,one of the supporting characters is a priest ,Maryse 's confidant (and confessor).He preaches a fatalistic moral,claiming that anyway Renaud was born a loser and it was meant to be ! "Desire me " is a story with an atmosphere of mystery ;in Cukor's filmography,it's close to "gaslight" "keeper of the flame" (a character who is not what he seems to be,just like in "desire")or " a woman's face ".And ,as Britanny is a French region the culture of which is full of legends ,it's not a bad choice after all;Paul is a male Rebecca whose presence can be felt everywhere ,on the shadow of a wall,in a tune played on the piano (it's an old French classic called "Vous Qui Passez Sans Me Voir" = you who pass by without seeing me),or in the boathouse .

    The ball ,on the other hand ,features music which doesn't sound Breton folk at all,in spite of the costumes.

    Like this?try these...

    " Les Louves" Luis Saslavsky "Carrefour" (Bernard,1938) remade as "Le Retour De Martin Guerre" (Vigne ,1983) remade as "Sommersby" (Amiel,1992)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    As nobody desires this post war melodrama, especially the four uncredited directors, it landed with a loud thud near the top of MGM's most notorious disasters. By 1947, Greer Garson was the top leading lady at MGM of dramatic parts, more popular than glamour girl Lana Turner, much more well liked than the eccentric Katharine Hepburn, and the only actress in Hollywood outside of Bette Davis to seemingly be nominated for an Oscar almost every year. For the former Mrs. Miniver and Madame Curie, all it seems that she needed to do was get a script, memorize her part, and gold would strike. Unfortunately, she had flopped with "Adventure", and this, her first film after that, signaled that pairing her with anybody other than Walter Pidgeon, was probably not a good idea. Garson for this film got two leading men,

    Quickly rising up the ranks after years of minor parts and sudden success, brooding Robert Mitchum was cast as one of her two leading men here, and the forgotten Richard Hart was cast in the other major male role. What ends up happening here is a screenplay so messed up that upon the initial screening, I'm surprised that Louis B. himself didn't order the film shelved, simply to save face for the obvious fiasco that it is. Too moody and weird, this film has a structure that can only be described as an art house film that just didn't work. It's a post war story about the turmoil that supposed widow Garson goes through when her husband's pal (Hart) shows up to help Garson deal with her grief. Brief flashbacks to Garson marrying Mitchum follow to add confusing twists in the mix. The set direction and photography take over as the stars, but all that remains is an attractive 90 minute bore that seems to take itself too seriously as a piece of art.

    While there are a ton of extras in overstuffed crowd scene's, there's only the three actors credited in the opening that ends with producer credit rather than director credit. Several writers are also listed, as is the original novelist, so if the issue is the credited scriptwriter than the director, why did they not settle on at least one. The harsh roaring waves seem to be a metaphor for the crashdown of the film. Worse is the fact that you never really get to care about the lead males, and Garson overplays the nobility, making her saintlike, especially in the over the top musical moments in church where the choir is going way overboard to sound heavenly.
  • This film is an atrocious failure on many levels.

    It is emblematic of the loss of imagination and the draining of talent of the studio system in the late forties when confronted with the genius of European productions of the same time, especially Italian neo-realism.

    To begin with, the subject is extremely derivative. It is based on a German play that had already been made into a successful film in 1928 in Germany. This play was inspired, like a whole family of plays and films of the era, by a real event that took place in Italy in the 20's (the Bruneri-Canella case). This case also inspired the 1938 French film "Carrefour" (set in France and remade in Hollywood as "Crossroads"). This French film was later remade in England in 1940 as "Dead Man's Shoes". The same story inspired Pirandello's "As You Desire Me", set in Italy, in the late 20's, which became a Greta Garbo vehicle in the 30's, as well as the novel "The Wife of Martin Guerre" by American writer Janet Lewis (1941), a story set in France in the Middle Ages, which became the French film "The Return of Martin Guerre" (Daniel Vigne, 1982), which was of course remade as a Hollywood film starring Richard Gere, "Sommersby" (Jon Amiel, 1993) and set after the US Civil War. The same Italian story also inspired Edward Wool's 1935 play "Libel!" (filmed in 1959 in England), which has several similarities with the classic film "Random Harvest" (1942).

    As if the story was not tired enough, the big mistake was to transpose a German play about the aftermath of the First World War in a post-WWII French Brittany setting - filmed on the back lot - that just doesn't gel. The sets appear to be the ones used for the South of France in "Song of Bernadette" and the music by (the ordinarily trustworthy) Herbert Stothart is unconvincing in its attempt to convey any real sense of France or Brittany. Everything in the art direction is stilted and false. Its un-Frenchness is almost frightening. The viewer may get an occasional glimpse of O'Neil, Strindberg, Ibsen, Murnau and Rossellini, but never, never of a French fishing village.

    The subject and acting try very hard to reconnect the story to some sense of lustful reality while channelling something of the drama and realism of European serious cinema. But they fail. Imagining Robert Mitchum and Greer Garson as a French fisherman and his wife is simply an exercise quite beyond anyone's powers of self-deception.

    The end result is a cumbersome imitation of European simplicity with misfiring Hollywood production values, an embarrassingly stodgy melodrama that tries very hard to be a thoughtful little art film. It stinks and it sinks and it will forever remain as an example of one of the first signs of decadence of Hollywood's golden era.
  • When film critics rate the best actors they fail to realize that the quality of film making has (in many cases) improved as time passes. Modern actors are far superior, on the whole, to those from the 40's and 50's. Perhaps casting personnel didn't have many actors who could fake a foreign accent back then.

    Greer Garson (a Frenchwoman) is English. Robert Mitchum and Richard Hart (Frenchmen) are American. That is apparent by their accents. If Gary Oldman, Dustin Hoffman or Robin Williams had been available.... (forget it - they would have been mis-cast). Couldn't they have cast French film stars? I'm a male Vietnam veteran who can appreciate a good love story, but this is soap opera tripe. Perhaps I've been hardened by dodging Molotov cocktails while working in a Stars and Stripes office in Saigon.

    I'm also a businessman and I was hoping we would learn that Paul got his fishing business back. If he wasn't really dead it all depends upon French law. With that in mind, one can easily see how seriously I took the film.
  • "Desire Me" from 1947 was a troubled film, with everyone hating everyone else, and George Cukor having his name removed from the credits. If only some of that passion had been on the screen, we might have a movie to talk about.

    As it is, "Desire Me" is the old story of a French woman, Marise (Greer Garson) who doesn't know if her husband, last heard of in a work camp, is dead or alive. A friend of his, Jean (Richard Hart) comes to see her. Her husband Paul (Robert Mitchum) was his friend at the camp, and talked about Marise incessantly. Jean knows all about her, and he was kept alive by Paul's stories. He felt he just had to meet her. He breaks the news to her that Paul is dead. Yeah, and guess what.

    First of all, you can see this plot coming a mile away. Secondly, though we hear about this great love that Paul and Marise have, we don't see any of it in flashbacks, just their wedding. Third, Jean is such an obvious phony, determined to push his way into her house and life, that it's ridiculous.

    The name Richard Hart didn't conjure up much for me, and after seeing him in this, I know why. Sadly he died four years later, at the age of 35, which is awful. I would say he was completely misdirected in this. The character of Jean (my opinion only) should have been warm, sincere, helpful, without a hint of pushiness so that he can inculcate himself into Marise's life. Robert Mitchum ultimately doesn't have much to do. He spent most of his time eating sandwiches with onion and Roquefort when he had scenes with Greer Garson, whom he thought was stuck-up. Cukor and Garson fought, and Cukor left the film.

    For all that, the film is quite atmospheric, with enough dry ice creating fog that you almost couldn't see anyone.

    Greer Garson is good given the material.

    If you're a fan of hers, watch this film; if not, skip it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Thomas Muther's earlier review here hits the issues with this film right on the head. So I won't recount all of the things he brings up, but just add a bit.

    I think the issue that bothered me most about the film is that in the early scenes it is just "creepy". Even the title rubbed me the wrong way! "Desire Me" gets the film off to such a bad start. And then this man from the POW camp shows up and tries to take the place of Garson's supposedly dead husband. Goosebumps...and not the kind you want to have. Of course you have a pretty good idea where this is going -- that Garson's husband (played by Robert Mitchum) isn't dead at all. Fortunately, as the film progresses it gets less creepy, and more the story of a man who is desperate. The supposedly dead husband doesn't show up until the final third of the film, so if you're a Mitchum fan, you may feel disappointed. A problem with the film is the setting -- France; it probably would have worked better had the setting been England, which would have worked just as well and made more sense. The climax, where the two men are stalking each other in the fog is almost Hitchcockian, and very well done.

    The performances here are quite good. Garson seems more Garson as the film progresses, and that helps, and her acting while telling Mitchum what's happened is as good as it gets in acting. Richard Hart -- the intruder -- is an actor you're not likely to know. He died of a heart attack at age 35, so his film career is short...but he is fairly good here after the creepy phase of the story. I liked Robert Mitchum's performance here -- short though it is -- because he doesn't seem so much like Robert other words, he acted the part. The only supporting actor that has a very significant role here is George Zucco as the local priest. Even though you may not know the name, he will be a familiar and prolific British character actor, and he plays his role well.

    So this is a film you have to stick with for a while, but if you do you will be rewarded. This scene -- Garson's second flop in a row -- was a decline from which her career never quite recovered. But I still think of her as one of Hollywood's finest actresses.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    So says Marise Aubert (Greer Garson), with a wistfulness that tacitly acknowledges she's still thousands of men short in this department, compared to Helen of Troy. Since the death in question takes place during an extended scene in a coastal fog which would do Sherlock Holmes or Jack the Ripper proud, DESIRE ME clearly is a lesser entry in the film noir sweepstakes. The framing device involves Marise chit-chatting with her medical doctor in a bunch of neo-Freudian mumbo jumbo. The best way to describe the true nature of her malaise is that she wanted to have her cake, and eat it too (and with the effects of weed already ravaging Robert Mitchum's visage as her war-lost-and-found-again husband Paul Aubert, it is no wonder she would hanker for the younger, more handsome Jean Renaud (played convincingly by Richard Hart). The only problem with Jean is that he's a transparent sociopath, only a tad less squirrelly than Norman Bates. Greer's Marise truly is stuck between a rock and a hard place (as Greer herself was during filming, thanks to a rogue Pacific wave).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    SPOILERS.... Sadly, the awesome Florence Bates was CUT from this film.... she steals scenes from any movie she's in. Made just after the war, this is the story of the best friend falling for his buddy's widow. Soldier "Paul" may be dead, but Jean (Richard Hart) has heard SO much about Marise (Greer Garson), that he's now in love with her. But he comes on waaaay too strong for Marise' s liking, and it doesn't seem to be working out. and we keep getting hints that the facts aren't quite what Jean is saying. Then, it all hits the fan, and things really get going! Garson is awesome, as always. Hart is young and dashing, but not as experienced an actor as Garson. Hart died a couple years after finishing this. He had only made four full length films, then did television and stage work after this; had a sudden heart attack at age 35. and there are four (uncredited !) directors listed here on imdb, so this must have been a very troubled production. it's pretty good. kind of an unlikely story, some pretty big plot-holes, but if you buy into it, it works. entertaining war time film, but not Garson's best.
  • rmax3048231 October 2010
    Warning: Spoilers
    I kept wondering about the referent in the movie's title: "Desire Me." Who's supposed to be desired, and who to do the desiring? I finally decided that it didn't matter who desired whom, as long as the imperative statement fit the title melody. And it did. I think it became a pop song with appropriately deranged lyrics. The theme SOUNDS like a nascent pop song, just waiting for the right words to make adolescents of 1947 swoon and weep.

    But the only sobs in the audience would come from the young girls, not the boys who would be grinding their teeth with impatience and wondering when something was going to happen.

    It's the end of the war and Greer Garson lives in a rather splendid house overlooking the French coast. She's waiting for her husband, Robert Mitchum, to return from the German reprisal camp where he's supposedly being held. A man in a ragged uniform hurries along the beach and climbs to the house, throws open the door, and enters with a big smile, finding everything as familiar as he'd hoped. He sits at the piano and begins to play Garson's and Mitchum's love song, called "Desire Me." It's not Mitchum though. Mitchum gets second billing but I don't know why. He only shows up for the last few minutes of the movie. This guy we're watching now is an intruder, Richard Hart, a handsome young man with whom Mitchum shared all his memories of home while both were confined to the reprisal camp.

    Hart explains all this to Garson, and adds that he himself saw Mitchum shot to death while trying to escape. Upon hearing this, Garson, who was mooning over Mitchum, thinking he was still alive, is nonplussed. Out of loneliness and because Hart seems as familiar with the place as Mitchum had been, almost his Doppelganger, she invites Hart to stick around. Eventually, she becomes plussed, and the two melt into an embrace. Fade to the ocean crashing on the rocks, an electrical storm whipping the pine trees into a fury of motion, an atomic explosion, a covey of quail taking frantic flight, a locomotive rushing into a tunnel, a laser display in Las Vegas, an anamorphic tornado destroying a village in Indiana, a hypodermic syringe insinuating itself into a vein, the shriek of a shoat being swallowed whole by a python, the levitating ecstacy of St. Teresa.

    It's a small French town and gossip is the chief means of social control. Soon there is a visit from the estimable George Zucco as the local padre. "My dear child, you must realize the unseemly nature of this...." It develops that Hart isn't quite the desperately lonely ex-prisoner he seems to be. Ex-prisoner, yes, but also rootless psychopath and arrogant ex-delinquent. And, oh, yes, liar too. Mitchum wasn't killed after all. He returns home just in time to find that his wife is about to run away with Hart. He's a little bitter about that. There is a climactic fight, followed by a tearful resolution amid the fields of swaying wildflowers.

    The story is told from Garson's point of view, almost entirely. We know as much as she knows. We may sense she's being taken advantage of by John Hart but it isn't until later that we realize how deliberately manipulative he's been. And when Mitchum finally shows up and is irritated by finding her in her new arrangement, she is able to rearrange the emotional array and blame HIM for sharing the secrets of his home life with a stranger! Here she is, putting out for some guy she doesn't even know, because she's lonesome and horny -- and it's all Mitchum's fault for not writing more often. Whew! She's a victim no matter how you look at it.

    If you enjoy this kind of movie -- and it's not badly done of it's type -- then you'll enjoy this movie.
  • I just finished viewing "Desire Me" (bad title, I admit), which I began with a bit of trepidation--so off-putting was its reputation as an MGM stinker--but I found myself drawn into its unique realm mainly by the compelling performances of G. Garson and R. Hart. Sadly, R. Mitchum, one of my favorite actors of all time, had little on screen time in which to create a character of depth. Perhaps the filmmakers didn't realize that they had (unintentionally?) created a fine piece of magic realism--the almost mythic setting in a remote and traditionally mystical part of France (the realm of Breton-Arthurian legend and the arcane spiritual 4th dimension of the Celts), land of fog and mists. There are the "singing pool" that Garson shows to Hart, the doppelganger figures of Hart and Mitchum, a deeply troubled Garson's brave navigation of the rough emotional waters between these two men, the superbly photographed climax in deep fog in which one could scarcely distinguish between Mitchum and Hart. The only jarring note was the badly read voice-over introducing a saccharine tone into the concluding moments of the film. I think this is a must-see for anyone claiming to be a knowledgeable fan of 1940s films.