I’LL NEVER FORGET YOU (1951)
(a.k.a. THE HOUSE IN THE SQUARE)
Article #433 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing day: 5-22-2002
Posting day: 10-15-2002
A man finds himself transported back in time to eighteenth century England.
I’ll come flat out and say I’m not a fan of photographed stage plays; much of the magic of a live drama is that the actors are right there in front of you, and this is what gives live drama its power and immediacy; photographed stage plays lose this vital element, and in order to compensate for their loss, they should have employed more cinematic techniques. This is why I have trouble enjoying BERKELEY SQUARE; it remains for all practical reasons a photographed stage play. This remake uses a more cinematic approach to the story, and I find it more enjoyable. The added subplot of the main character encountering some of the horrible conditions in England of that period and wanting to use his scientific knowledge to help improve things is a little on the trite side, but it does allow the movie to take the occasional break from what could easily be an endless succession of talky scenes. Tyrone Power is not quite the actor that Leslie Howard is, but Dennis Price easily steals the movie as Tom Pettigrew. There are problems; the opening scene in a nuclear research facility does establish the characters scientific background, but it goes on too long, though we still reach the time travel plot point much earlier in the proceedings. Also, the scene where our hero encounters Dr. Johnson and tries to impress him by quoting epigrams from Ben Franklin and Oscar Wilde verges on the embarassing, but this is fortunately a short moment. Michael Rennie is also on hand in a small role. Actually, it does make me want to go back and take another look at the original movie.