Devotion

Overview

Roundly blasted upon its release because of the extreme liberties it takes with the truth, Devotion is better as cinema than as history. Not that it's great cinema, mind you, mainly because the filmmakers opted to replace historical fact with either tired dramatic clichés or wild improbabilities. As an example of the latter, the film posits that Paul Henreid's character, who is a standard-issue film romantic hero troubled, but understandably so, is the inspiration for two of the most passionate, fiery characters ...
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Overview

Roundly blasted upon its release because of the extreme liberties it takes with the truth, Devotion is better as cinema than as history. Not that it's great cinema, mind you, mainly because the filmmakers opted to replace historical fact with either tired dramatic clichés or wild improbabilities. As an example of the latter, the film posits that Paul Henreid's character, who is a standard-issue film romantic hero troubled, but understandably so, is the inspiration for two of the most passionate, fiery characters in the canon of English literature. Arthur Kennedy as brother Bramwell is much more passionate and fiery, a fact which tends to further muddle things up. The generic setting is also disappointing; these ladies wrote as they wrote because of where they lived and how they lived, but little of this makes it to the screen. Fortunately, Devotion has Olivia de Havilland and Ida Lupino on hand. De Havilland is quite good, grabbing hold of whatever she can find in the script and milking it for all it's worth. Lupino does even better, often making this standard-issue at best writing seem engaging and moving. As indicated, Kennedy also makes things work for him, and Nancy Coleman does what she can with the little she is handed. Erich Wolfgang Korngold's score provides plenty of the atmosphere that Curtis Bernhardt's direction often lacks. Ultimately, Devotion's assets, particularly Lupino and de Havilland, manage to squeeze it into the winner's column -- but it's a pretty close call. The film was produced in 1943, hence the presence of Montagu Love, who died that year.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/15/2011
  • UPC: 883316287484
  • Original Release: 1945
  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Time: 1:46:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 10,270

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ida Lupino Emily Bronte
Paul Henreid Rev. Arthur Nichols
Olivia de Havilland Charlotte Bronte
Sydney Greenstreet Thackeray
Arthur Kennedy Branwell Bronte
Nancy Coleman Ann Bronte
Dame May Whitty Lady Thornton
Victor Francen Msgr. Heger
Montagu Love Rev. Bronte
Ethel Griffies Aunt Branwell
Odette Myrtil Mme. Heger
Doris Lloyd Mrs. Ingham
Marie de Becker Tabby
Eily Malyon Miss Thornton
Forrester Harvey Hoggs
Billy Bevan Draper
Edmund Breon Sir John Thornton
Tanis Chandler
Micheline Cheirel Mlle. Blanche
David Clyde Land Agent
Howard Davies Englishman
Frank Dawson Club Member
Elspeth Dudgeon Elderly Woman
Brandon Hurst Duke of Wellington
Patrick Kelly Shepherd
Crauford Kent
Rita Lupino Giselle
John Meredith Draper's Assistant
Edgar Norton
Sylvia Opert
Hilda Plowright Elderly Woman
Irina Semochenko French Girl Student
Violet Seton Mrs. Crump
Reginald Sheffield Dickens
Yorke Sherwood Man
Donald Stuart Butcher
David Thursby Farmer
Florence Wix Englishwoman
Technical Credits
Curtis Bernhardt Director
Milo Anderson Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Buckner Producer
Rudi Fehr Editor
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Robert M. Haas Art Director
Ernest Haller Cinematographer
Jack Holden Special Effects
Stan Jones Sound/Sound Designer
Erich Wolfgang Korngold Score Composer
Jack Oakie Special Effects
Theodore Reeves Original Story
Casey Roberts Set Decoration/Design
Perc Westmore Makeup
Rex Wimpy Special Effects
Keith Winter Screenwriter
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Devotion
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   Play Trailer
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