Smilin’ Through John Carteret has long been depressed and lonely, because, at his wedding years ago, his bride, Moonyean, was murdered. He accepts into his house Kathleen, the 5 year old orphaned niece of Moonyean, and she quickly grows up to look just like her aunt. Kathleen meets and falls in love with a mysterious stranger from America, Kenneth Wayne. When John hears of this he is furious, and we learn that it was Kenneth’s father, Jeremy, who had killed Moonyean years before. John carries his grudge against Jeremy to the new generation, and threatens to ruin his niece’s happiness, but he softens in the end.
don’t bother with comparing apples and oranges
Smilin’ Through Don’t bother comparing this version of an old play with others. This one has Jeanette MacDonald and Brian Aherne and is splendid all on its own. A Word War II era look at the past it resonates with a thousand charming moments. She is lovely and even Gene Raymond charms. I think the special mood of this film may be that all of these faces are gone now and yet with us, part of those of us who watch and feel that vibration of the past lovers, the war in background and the sadness of our loss of that time and those faces, voices, memories. For me a pleasure enhanced with every viewing. A special thank your to Mr. Aherne who will always be a favorite of mine and hopefully others who have watched that expressive and quite beautiful but very masculine face. Definitely recommended.
“Smilin’ Through” with color and music
Only film that Jeanette MacDonald made with her husband, Gene Raymond. He looked so similar to her usual co-star Nelson Eddy that they were often mistaken for one another. Raymond did play leading roles in many 1930s films, but was not a musical star like Nelson Eddy. This film, a remake of a 1932 B/W starring Norma Shearer but this time featuring MacDonald’s glorious singing, is an intriguing melodrama in the best sense of the word, and it probably would have been more famous if it did not debut on December 7, 1941. The US movie-going public had other things on their minds that day (and for nearly four years to come). A lush color musical with pacifist overtones was not among them.
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