For Reel

The Heavenly Body (1944)
January 5, 2012, 6:29 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Alexander Hall

In their second pairing (after 1942’s Crossroads), William Powell and Hedy Lamarr star as a married couple torn apart by, of all things, astrology in The Heavenly Body. Though Lamarr was serviceable in dramatic roles, she is a dreadful comedienne, straining hopelessly through every line. On the other hand, the always reliable Powell is committed and entertaining, even if director Alexander Hall is uncertain about whether to portray him as a tragic figure or a clown. The picture’s only real interest is as a piece of wartime history – in addition to the air raid warden whom Lamarr is smitten with and the astrologer’s collection of canned goods which she hides from the ration board, the film has a clear message directed to the wives of soldiers. In one of the final scenes, Powell’s colleague tells Lamarr that, though her husband is far away while at work, he watches her from his telescope and loves her all the same. Despite the historical interest, however, the film plays like a mediocre sitcom at best.

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