|Dear Heart (1964)
Run time: Unrated | 114 min | Comedy
Director: Delbert Mann
Writers: Tad Mosel
Stars: Glenn Ford, Geraldine Page, Angela Lansbury
Ford is errant-but-earnest Harry, dutifully engaged to small-town matron Phyllis (Lansbury). Page shines as Evie, an out-of-towner in New York for a convention who embarks upon a momentous journey, following her wistful heart where it’s never gone before!
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This is a film about two middle aged people in search of their soul mates. It is a very adult film. Children under 35 usually don’t find it very rewarding unless they possess an unusual emotional maturity. I loved it the first time I saw it when I was about 22, but I didn’t understand its depths until I was about 38. It shows the despair of lonely singles. It shows the "innocence" of the never attached. A spinster (what an ageist and sexist term) and a not too old jaded and bored bachelor try to make relationships which don’t really fit work for them. The efforts they go through and the situations they find themselves in make for a lovely and sweet ride. The resolution is extremely gratifying and not so unrealistic. Its tone, mood and pacing as the two meet and learn about each other build beautifully. I don’t want a remake, but I miss movies of this maturity, thought and charm. No glamour, no glitz, no silly gags, no pretty young things, this film shows ordinary people with ordinary problems trying to find someone to love in a world that isn’t always kind to people past their "prime". Geraldine Page is revelatory as the slightly ridiculous woman who grows more lovely as the story progresses. Glenn Ford’s charms are used to their maximum effect and Angela Landsbury adds the right shrewish tone. This is a must see for people who love a good complicated normal romance.
This film is one of the best! Glen Ford and Geraldine Page are excellent. The story is believable, sentimental without being too predictable. Page, as Evie gives a marvelous performance as a single woman postmaster in her forties, living it up at a convention in the Big Apple; perhaps her best performance. At one point, she gives a monologue about what women “give up” as they grow older waiting to find a husband. The writing is touching without being saccharine. And the direction throughout this scene and others is subtle and play-like; simply superb. Films are just not shot in long takes as this one anymore. This film is an example of a little-known black and white film that gets overlooked, but is stellar in its own right!
Glenn Ford and Geraldine Page were never better than they are in the film "Dear Heart." It’s the story of how two people (who in all likelihood should never be together…or even meet) find each other and fall in love, despite the fact that their lives are heading in completely opposite directions. Geraldine Page is Evie, a small town Postmistress at a Postmaster’s convention. She’s outgoing, gregarious, and talks (and interacts) with everyone…wanting anyone she meets to feel her same joy of life and excitement in simple things. But despite her bubbly personality, she’s lonely, and can only affect superficial relationships with strangers. Glen Ford is a charming salesman who’s been a lady’s man always heading in a direction opposite of the altar. He finally decides to tie the knot with Angela Lansbury (at her controlling, oppressive best) when he meets Evie. She’s honest in the extreme, delightful in her no holds barred approach to life…and like nothing Glen’s ever met before. They shouldn’t have anything in common…but they do…it’s her approach to life, and through her he sees how he really wants to be…and she sees the real him. They know they can’t ask too much of each other…or can they? Surprizing and sparkling, this story set the standard for romances some 30 years later…like "Sleepless in Seattle." It shows no matter which way you’re heading…you only think you have life planned and real love…the right one…will always find a way to re-write your story. Simply said…the world needs truly wonderful movies like "Dear Heart" now, more than ever.
Geraldene Page was always one of my favorite actresses. She was exceptionally good as she posessed a broad spectrum of insight into the characters that she portrayed. She was one of the few actresses who could play almost any given part in any genre. Here she is teamed with the very talented Glenn Ford in a light-hearted romantic comedy where they play off of each other brilliantly. The directing is fabulous and so is the story, even though some may find it a bit slow. I think it is worth watching more than once. One of the most hilarious scenes in the film is when Miss Page and Mr. Ford are in one of the hotel hallways deciding exactly what the other guests are like and ‘supposedly how they live’ as well. I like this movie because it makes me feel good! Angela Lansbury is excellent also, in her ‘barely more than a cameo appearance’ as she ignites the fire that makes the story work! A definite 10 in my book. Watch this gem!