I am not referring to the song by Florence + the Machine (although I do like it). There is no comma in that song title. I am referring to the 1940’s film starring Bette Davis. Why am I watching old movies instead of listening to new music? Because I can. Because I have random movie channels that play random movies, both new and old. And because sometimes I have nothing better to do. And after all, this blog is called what are we watching, not what are we listening to.
In this movie, Bette Davis plays a governess for a family where she is loved by the children and their father, but despised by their mother. And due to no fault of her own, unfortunate circumstances and events seem to play out for her. She is more of a mother to the children than their own mother appears to be, although maybe that was the case in a rich family that had a governess. But the mother is cold and rude and doesn’t seem to care for the well being of her own children. She is also insanely jealous. I just kept thinking “wow, what a bitch.”At one point the governess tells her that the little boy is too sick to go out, but she forces him to accompany her, and as a result, he becomes very ill.
My favourite thing about this movie is the little boy. When he’s sick, you’re worried that he might die, and when he’s well, he’s just so cute. The way he talks to his father and says “pa paw” is adorable, but not as adorable as when he refers to the governess as mademoiselle, but pronounces it “mum-selle”. Richard Nichols, who played the boy is now 76 years old. I’m not sure if he went on to other roles as an adult. But either way, playing that four year old boy had to have been his best role.
The movie was a bit long, but I didn’t mind it. I found myself getting angry as I watched it. Which is good, because that meant that it was holding my attention. I was angry at the circumstances that Bette Davis’ character was faced with, and at how bitchy the mother was, and at how stupid the father was. Love grows between him and the governess but is never acted upon. But this movie seems to explore the idea that the love itself could be considered a crime. Well there is an actual crime committed as well, but I don’t want to spoil it in the off chance you might actually want to watch it. Although when I watched the movie, it was already spoiled, as it was stated in the movie description on my TV.
If you do happen to ever be in the mood for an old drama romance movie, this one isn’t bad. Though if you’re like me, certain things about it might make you angry. It bothers me that the governess has to suffer even though she is guilt free. But things work out for her in the end. And it was actually based on a book that was based on a true story. I’m not sure if that makes it better or not. But if nothing else, just watching the scenes with the little boy in them makes this movie worth it.