“Vacation From Marriage”
When I was in my impressionable mid-teen years I loved nothing more than going to the movies. One of my favorites was a World War II story set in London. I have tried everything, over the years, to recall the title and finally, with the help of the computer, I was able to do just that.
The film is “Vacation from Marriage” and features Robert Donat and Deborah Kerr. They are a young married couple living in London. The husband, Robert, is a lackluster accountant and his wife, Catherine, is a slovenly housekeeper with a constant cold. They have been married for 5 years and their lives are slowly sinking into nothingness.
With the advent of World War II, Robert is drafted into the Navy. Rather than stay at home Catherine decides to serve also and they spend the next 3 years apart.
I’m sure you can guess what happens. Robert is wounded and falls in love with his nurse and Catherine (who no longer suffers from a cold) has become very attractive and is being pursued by an admirer.
Three years pass before they are reunited at a London restaurant. They are surprised and pleased with the changes that they see in each other. However, it is in both their minds to dissolve the marriage.
The final scene is in their apartment. A bomb has taken out one wall and when Robert enters ...expecting to pick up some of his belongings ...he sees Catherine. She is gazing through the opening in the wall at the devastated city and they talk of the rebuilding of London and what a challenge it will be to bring it back to where it was before the war.
Of course this becomes a metaphor for their own lives and they decide to try to rebuild their life together as well.
OK, so it’s a “Chick-flick”...but it’s a very good one. It was produced and directed by Alexander Korda and written by Clemence Dane, who’s original story won an Academy Award.
(PS: I was disappointed to find that it is not on my Netflix list but I’ll keep trying to find it now that I know the name.)