Tuesday, May 17, 2011

CMBA Blogathon Movies of 1939: We Are Not Alone (1939)


[The following is the Skeins' contribution to the Classic Movies Blog Association's Classic Films of 1939 Blogathon, which runs from May 15th to May 17th. The inspiration behind this blogathon came from ClassicBecky of ClassicBecky's Brain Food and Page of My Love of Old Hollywood. For a list of the participants and all the movies to be reviewed, the CMBA has a list available here.]

"We must love one another or die..." ~ September 1, 1939 by W.H. Auden

Seven decades since 1939, the glow from the films released that year still inspires admiration. As the world faced the advent of World War II in September, audiences flocked to see the Romances, Gangsters, Westerns, Adventures, Musicals and Comedies that dominated the screen in a series of imaginative and masterful movies such as Love Affair, Stagecoach, Gunga Din, The Wizard of Oz, and Ninotchka, among others. With such a surfeit of creativity to choose from in these beautifully crafted films, dominated by the overwhelming Gone With the Wind, how could a small movie about the events in one fictional family compete with all that glamour?

We Are Not Alone was a Warner Brothers film that slipped into theaters two days after Thanksgiving and just three weeks before the blockbuster GWTW opened in New York. Not surprisingly, it was lost in the shuffle, despite opening at the high profile Radio City Music Hall, though I'm not sure if that cavernous theater was the ideal locale for such an intimate story. Today this little-known, flawed, but engrossing movie still awaits re-discovery by audiences. Not available on VHS or DVD commercially, this film is occasionally broadcast on TCM. In order to examine We Are Not Alone, plot details will be discussed below, so please expect some spoilers.

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