I am not sure to what is more puzzling - the plot of this movie or the high rating from IMDb members. This movie was flat, detached, and completely boring. I couldn't connect with any of the characters because none of the characters had any personality. The idea that Mr. Stevens never heard anything that made him question his master is unrealistic. He was almost heartless and soul less. In him was a machine that performed his duties but never lived a day in his life. If that wasn't bad enough, I had to watch it for over two hours. True, I could have turned it off. But I kept waiting for something to happen and nothing ever did happen. I thought the climax would happen at the end, but all that happened was nothing. It just ended. It's like watching someone roll socks for two hours - neatly and without expression.
I can't say I was impressed with this movie, but I managed to watch it all the way through. It's very long... and boring. I found the flashbacks confusing and kept wondering what they were leading up to, so it distracted me from the present day they were in. Jennifer Jones was shrill and aggravating. Actually, all the women in the film were annoying. It was almost the end when some of the pieces matched up with the plot, but still there were scattered remnants that didn't fit. Gregory Peck was good. His acting couldn't save the movie though. The music was wretched; something along the line of "Vertigo" but more screechy. Three out of ten.
I was quite disappointed in this movie. Watching it, the acting felt wooden and the dialogue was weak. It became predictable from the beginning to the end, and irritating that they could murder the original story so much. I also find it annoying that the actress playing Missy was different. I did like the first installment, though it strayed from the book - it did stay true in the sense of the meaning of the plot. The sequel seemed chopped up from several novels and spliced together. It was okay, but not as good as the first. The third had a lot of inconsistencies - one example. In the first movie, Missy helps her father with the farm work, but she can also cook a little. In the second, she could cook (she tempted Willie with her cooking), yet she couldn't do the farm work very well. In the third one, she couldn't cook anymore (she apparently forgot how to), and she told someone she grew up helping her father. Another nitpick is that it was supposed to be winter - yet there's no snow and they never get any.
It started out with promise, but it soon changed into something awkward and inaccurate in a lot of historical facts, which weakened the plot for me. It was also too violent for its PG rating, and deserved a PG-13 rating. California became a state in 1850, which is when this movie is supposed to be... however, they mentioned several times "the Civil War" between the states, and how the United States is divided. They also had Confederate soldiers in a couple of scenes. They were ten years ahead of themselves, and also there is a scene when it becomes a state and a man in formal attire signing the official papers looked similar to Lincoln, who didn't become President until 1860. Also it wasn't that easy to get a divorce in 1850, like Elena did. Three months after she kicked her husband out of the house and divorced him, she was engaged to another man, which was highly scandalous, because Catholics didn't remarry at that point without being ex-communicated. It had unbelievable stunts and stupid twists. The plot dragged on for the longest time. So, as you can tell, I really didn't enjoy this movie.