After reading most of the reviews for this film, I was eager to see it, I even bought the blu-ray, BUT, I was monumentally, let down. The movie is laughable, with a grade C script, grade F direction, grade B-C acting, except for the cinematography which was a grade A, but the most important ingredients of a film, in this one, are embarrassing. Veteran actor, Franchot Tone, the reason I bought this film, is very good in his part, so is Thomas Gomez, but there are much better movies that these two appeared in, than this one, PASS.
The Swan was the last vehicle for Oscar-winner Grace Kelly, it would be her swan song, if you pardon the pun, and it was one of her best. This comedy of manners, about Royals, was set at the end of La Belle Epoque(1870-1914), and it evoked the values of a bygone era in 1956, when it was made, yet it also encompassed everyday values of family, and romance. It also exemplified class distinction, and the beauty of first love. The acting is superb by all, and the direction of Charles Vidor(Gilda), and production by Dore Schary, was magnificent. This movie keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout, and most important of all, this movie will bring out the rarest of emotions, it will make you cry, and laugh, at the same time.
I am a movie collector/historian, with thousands of titles in my library, dating back to 1914, and I consider this MASTERPIECE, Life With Father(1947), the best film ever made.
First of all, the story, was an autobiography by Clarence Day Jr.(1935). It was made into a play in 1939. "The 1939 Broadway production ran for over seven years to become the longest-running non-musical play on Broadway, a record that it still holds. It also held the title of the longest running Broadway play of any type of all time from 1947 to 1972."
When the play was made into a movie, in 1947, it garnished 6 Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Actor, William Powell.
Apart from all this, this movie is a sheer delight, dealing with the simple fact, that Clarence Day, the patriarch of the family, has never been baptized, but, much more important than this, this autobiographical story, shows us what life was like in a middle class family in New York city, circa 1880. Masterful director, Michael Curtiz, juggles religion, and a near death sickness, with romance, family life, and mingles it all with a joyful comedy of manners. William Powell, and Irene Dunne are flawless, Edmund Gwenn(Miracle on 34th Street), and Zasu Pitts, are fabulous as supporting players, and ingenue, Elizabeth Taylor is exquisite in this role that took her from children parts to young adult. All in all, this movie should be watched every Father's Day, in remembrance of what Hollywood once achieved in it's Golden Age.
As a movie history lover/collector, from the Silent Era, to the present, I rank The Vagabond King, as one of my favorites of all time. This classic is not only a fine musical, with first rate music/dancing/singing, but it also has a fine love story, comic relief, passion, adventure, and drama. The acting of the principal players is quite good, thanks to it's director, the great Michael Curtiz, who's credits rank him as one of the best directors of Hollywood's Golden Era. The singing is first rate, yes it is Operatic, but it comes across as Popular music. There is no comparison here to Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald's movie operas of old, the Vagabond King is a modern 1950s vehicle. All in all, this movie is utterly satisfying, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.