I'll Walk Beside You (1943)

  |  Drama

John (Bird) & Anne (Brook) meet through music but are separated by war.


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24 February 2016 | trimmerb1234
| Familiar plot but striking leading lady and fine singing
How many wartime films were made which involved a serviceman husband/fiancé who disappeared in the course of the war and was believed dead only to..........? I recall Michael Redgrave and Michael Gough to name but two of the husbands/fiancés and there must have quite a few more. Well here we go again. This time the leading man, Richard Bird, stocky, stiff, stilted and aged 48 was improbably cast up against the striking 26 year old Lesley Brook (a British Norma Shearer) as his devoted and faithful. Here though the plot is given an additional twist. But given the era, the story must have struck a popular chord.

For some reason around this time, British films often included, for no particular reason, musical interludes. They were however of very good quality and probably the chief source of enjoyment. Once again the popular tenor John McHugh appears, here singing the title song and there are a couple of songs from the St Davids Singers - introduced as "not bad" amateurs but in fact an excellent Welsh male voice choir. The London Symphony Orchestra features also. Were these films a kind of early "Jukebox Musical?

Incidentally an very early appearance from Irene Handl playing exactly as she would for the following 40 years.

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