Saturday, June 13, 2020

1102. Peter Ibbetson

Peter Ibbetson
Directed by Henry Hathaway

I recently watched a video on YouTube that explained the origin of the Transatlantic accent, that strange way old movie stars had of talking that wasn't quite British and wasn't quite American either. It's an accent I've pulled out after a few drinks, but my version is generally panned by critics. Anyway, watching the video put me in "an old movie" mood and I was pleased to discover that I still had an unwatched Gary Cooper movie on the List.

Gogo is a young British boy who is constantly bickering with his neighbor, a young girl named Mimsey, who looks like she should be standing in a hallway of a haunted hotel. After Gogo's mother dies, Gogo moves to England with his uncle, changes his name, and becomes an architect (proving that architects do exist outside of romantic comedies; they are in melodramas too!). He is commissioned for a restoration job in Yorkshire by the Duke of Towers, whose wife just happens to be Mimsey. He's enchanted to discover her hair is just as weird as it was in childhood, and they both become determined to exchange one of those awkward movie kisses.

Well, that was strange, over the top, melodramatic, and very odd. The scenes with the child actors were particularly cringey. I felt like the film took too long to get to the fantasy part, and it was just weirdly tacked on at the end, like in Grease when Danny and Sandy's car started flying (but at least that was a musical).

The movie didn't do that great of a job in making us root for the couple. It was one of those old movie romances where they love each other because they love each other. Still, I was entertained, and it was nice seeing Gary Cooper so young. I almost didn't recognize him.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Gary Cooper considered himself miscast for this movie. Don't be so hard on yourself, Gar.

Claudette Colbert was considered for the lead role.


  1. Colbert would have been an interesting choice...
    This was just way over the top melodrama and I did not buy into it at all. The whole Oh, I love you but I cannot get you was so Rousseau. Guess what I am reading right now...

  2. This was one that 'they' popped into the list a few years back when thy did a major revision, and about 60 or so changes were made.. not just the normal Circa 10 from 'last year'...
    Presumably to get people to buy another copy of the book, and I wondered why this ended up as one of the 1001... and more importantly, what went to make room...
    I hardly remember it, even with your promptings, but I do remember being decidedly underwhelmed by it.

  3. I know, without seeing the film, that your review was more entertaining. That weird accent from old movies is very strange...Thanks for the great review, as always!