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Monday, 1 October 2012

White Cliffs of Dover (1943) - Star of the month... Elizabeth Taylor

'White Cliffs of Dover' is a patriot 1943 war-drama directed by Clarence Brown and starring Irene Dunne with Alan Marshall, Frank Morgan, Gladys Cooper, Van Johnson, Dame May Whitty, Roddy McDowell, Peter Lawford, C. Aubrey Smith and Elizabeth Taylor.

The film's screenplay was written by Claudine West, Jan Lustig and George Froeschel, and his based on the Alice Duer Miller poem "The White Cliffs", with additional poetry by Robert Nathan.

Susan Dunn (played by Dunne) travels to England with her father (played by Morgan) for two weeks, however Susan decides to stay permanently after she meets and marries Englishman Sir. John Ashwood (played by Marshall).  

Narrative structure

The first act in the film is a delightful romance, with hints of comedy. The second act if the film is set with the break of World War I and becomes a little more serious. The third act is even more serious as World War II begins.

The White Cliffs of Dover...

The White Cliffs of Dover are cliffs which form part of the English coastline facing the Strait of Dover and France.The cliffs reach a height of 350 feet or 100 metres.

The white cliffs of dover

Award nominations

  • Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography - Black & white

Did you know...

  • Tom Drake appears in the film uncredited as a dying American soldier
  • Ronald Colman owned the rights to the Alice Duer Miller poem, but sold them to Clarence Brown, who then sold them to MGM in order to make this film

Closing remarks
A beautiful, tender and powerful film boasting a wonderful cast whom all deliver fantastic performances. As usual Frank Morgan is a delight, Gladys Cooper is perfectly cast, and Dame May Whitty steals every scene she is in. With the current war in Iraq still continuing, this film is still as relevant today as it was in 1944.

My three reasons for watching this film are all related to actors within the film:
  • Elizabeth Taylor in one of her first movie appearances
  • Supporting actors stealing the film (Frank Morgan, Gladys Cooper and Dame May Whitty) 
  • An amusing cameo appearance from Van Johnson

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