Henry King – Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie (1952)
Ben Halper sets up his barber’s shop at the turn of the century in Sevillinois and watches the town grow around him. Thinking it is for the best, he tries to shield his wife Nellie from the worries of the world. She finally rebels while he is away at war and takes a fateful trip to Chicago. This turns out to be the first of a number of critical family crises for Ben.
A “virtually unknown minor masterpiece of nostalgia in all its aspects”, according to Clive Denton, chronicling nearly 50 years of life in the small town of Sevillinois, narrated in ﬂashback from the point of view of the town’s barber. One of the ﬁrst instances in King’s cinema of a fully matured portrayal of a marital relationship, the barber and his beautiful and troubled wife are early character sketches for King’s late-period CinemaScope melodramas, especially Tender Is the Night. Based on a novel that was originally optioned by Edward G. Robinson’s company, with the plan being for him to star (which, considering Robinson’s age, could have led to something closer to ﬁlm noir than melodrama), the ﬁlm is a subtle take on King’s recurring motif of the ﬁckleness of emotions. Here, King’s stoicism, his fascination with showing the process of building societies and his yearning look back at a lost America reach a climax that, in contrast with the alluring Technicolor cinematography, has a heavier heart and a darker mood than most of his other ﬁlms.
1.43GB | 1h 48m | 714×535 | mkv