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Movie Review – People Will Talk (1951)

Posted on August 21, 2017  in News

This really is such a curious and astonishing film that it is difficult to determine whether it is a traditional gem or even a bungled attempt to deliver lots of political communications throughout the “motion picture” format solarmovie.

This obviously doesn’t sit nicely by his insanely jealous colleague Professor Elwell who attempts to debunk Praetorius’s credentials through the film and so supplies the timeless Protagonist-Antagonist dramatic pressure line. But that is just one of the plot lines running from 1 end of the multi-tasking plot into another.

Higgins becomes pregnant by a lover who’s no more with her. Thus she’s frightened to death that her dad is going to have difficult strike and die the moment he hears the terrible news (that is actually the 50s). So Praetorius alters his story and informs her that a mistake has been made throughout the pregnancy test.

However, Praetorius isn’t the only character in this film who’s not exactly what he or she appears to be on the surface. Deborah’s father Arthur (played with Sidney Blackmer), by way of instance, who’s a world-traveled guy of far-flung aspirations turns out to be a entire collapse in worldly conditions, living hand to mouth along with his brother John’s farm.

The next most memorable character is Mr. Shunderson (Finlay Currie), a white-haired and quiet elderly guy who smiles Praetorius because his side-kick and slave where they move.

At each opportunity throughout the movie we’re treated to a lecture by Praetorius on how misdirected the contemporary science is now by forgetting the individual basis of medication and rather focusing on approaches, machines and measurements. His symbolic action of hammering a candy to the hands of everybody he meets is a visual reminder of the part of kindness, individual signature and plain “sweetness” perform in his way of treating others. He’s the sort of handsome and optimistic physician that many patients fall in love with, a few, such as Higgins, actually.

Following Praetorius and Higgins wed, she finds that she’s carrying a kid that predates their union. So did Praetorius wed her from love or shame? Is he using union as yet another instrument to assist one of his patients – Higgins would like to understand. Praetorius assures her that it’s genuine love rather than a feeling of charity that drove him for their union… but as audiences we aren’t completely convinced.

The final long sequence of this film (Act Three) is dedicated to the trial of Praetorius with a college committee to find out if the rumors are accurate and when he’s violated any academic principles by concealing any sordid details of the past. The subject committee hearing occurs while the college orchestra is waiting at the jam-packed concert hall for Praetorius to appear in the podium and pick up his baton.

It turns out he’s spent 15 years in prison to be falsely accused of murdering his very best friend that, while he had been in jail, had a fantastic time together with Shunderson’s girlfriend.

When Shunderson matches his old friend at a restaurant once he gets out of jail, he actually kills him believing he’s already paid his dues for this particular offense.

After visiting the gallows and perishing in the end of a rope, then Shunderson’s corpse is given by the hangman into some youthful Praetorius who had been a medical student back then and relationship that the hangman’s daughter. Shunderson’s body has been given to him to further his body studies by experimentation on the corpse. Rather, Shunderson is restored by Praetorius Gradually and since then both never went anywhere without one another.

At that spectacle we now know the enormous devotion of Shunderson into Praetorius nevertheless we’re still somewhat puzzled by the authentic individuality of Praetorius. Who’s this guy who appreciates a Jesus-like capability to bring back the dead to life and yet shrugs away it in intense modesty whenever his pops are said?

In the very final scene, we observe an over-the-top Shunderson running a Brahms symphony to its triumphant conclusion when smiling ear to ear to Deborah who’s marveling him by the very first row sitting directly alongside her daddy.

An odd film with various creative however somewhat unconnected subplots and regular monologues on serious themes. However you wind up seeing it with attention partially because of Cary Grant’s perfect performance in a strange function and partially just from sheer curiosity to see “where will all this lead”.

A 7 out of 10 because of its guts to undertake some heavy duty matters back in 1951. Such lecturing wouldn’t fly today but back in 1951 it clearly did.



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