For Reel

Ever in My Heart (1933)
July 18, 2012, 9:59 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Archie Mayo

A well-crafted, sensitive weeper from director Archie Mayo, Ever in My Heart examines the prejudices faced by German-Americans during the first World War. Barbara Stanwyck stars as a Daughter of the American Revolution who marries a German-born college professor played by Otto Kruger. Once the war comes, the couple faces persecution by their community – Stanwyck’s brother, an American soldier, derogatorily calls her a “hyphenate”, scoffing at Kruger’s authentic claim of citizenship despite offering him sincere congratulations only years prior. The anti-German sentiment is mined more thoroughly than one might expect in the early-goings – the American cause is not portrayed sympathetically in the slightest, with the community being uniformly exclusionary and overly proud. Mayo, though having directed a number of quality pictures in his career, is not often regarded as an important artist of the period. Ever in My Heart provides a good case for his talents – in two pivotal moments, he maintains a lengthy close-up on Stanwyck’s face without cutting away for a devastating effect, achieving a tremendous poignancy in well-worn melodramatic territory.

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