The Last Reunion (1955)

Article #969 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-9-2003
Posting Date: 4-7-2004
Directed by Leonard Brett
Featuring Eric Portman, Michael Gough, Basil Appleby

The survivors of the crew of a bomber raid get together yearly to reminisce about their commander, the only man to die in the raid. However, one of the members feels the ghostly presence of the commander during these reunions.

Basically, this plays like an episode of “The Twilight Zone,” and at 53 minutes, runs no longer than one of the hour-long episodes of the series. I suspect that if it had been done as an episode, it would have most likely been reduced to one of the shorter episodes, though; the first half of the movie is quite talky, with a great deal of speculation on the nature of death and the role of grieving. This talk can be quite fascinating in its way, and it allows us to get to know the various characters, so they have a certain dimension to them before we reach the central dramatic moment of the story where the characters recreate the mission; this sequence makes very effective use of sound and lighting to add to its drama. It’s all anchored by an excellent performance by Michael Gough; this movie demonstrates exactly how great an actor he is. The ending is effective and very sad indeed. It’s recommended for TZ fans with an interest in philosophy.

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