The Clock (1945)

The Clock (1945)

Run time: Passed | 90 min | Drama, Romance
Rating: 7.5
Director: Vincente Minnelli, Fred Zinnemann
Writers: Robert Nathan, Joseph Schrank
Stars: Judy Garland, Robert Walker, James Gleason
Its wartime and young people are rushing into hasty – sometimes unwise marriages, but not pretty, level-headed Alice. Then she meets Joe, a G.I. on a two-day pass, and falls heart-over level-head in love. Garland and Walker are sweet hearts for the ages in this glowing valentine of a movie.
Box Office
Budget: $1,324,000 (estimated)
Gross: $2,783,000 (USA)

4 responses to “The Clock (1945)”

  1. tfsadmin says:

    It is, in a word, breathtaking. What I especially love is the duality of Robert Walker and Judy Garland: they are both simple, lonely souls who literally stumble over each other one day then get repeatedly teamed up in a series of seemingly innocent adventures (they ride a double decker bus; she shows him Central Park; he shows her an art museum)- each time attempting to part company but continuing to draw towards each other. When you analyze it, their courtship is almost fantastic, but the time of the film’s 1945 release more than allows for the magic of budding romance. It is not really a sugary film; all the while the two leads communicate, you can see the improbability of their situation on their faces. When a milkman rescues them from being stranded at the end of a long date- and they wind up doing his milk route- they burst out laughing at their situation. It makes a later scene of a subway separation particularly heartbreaking, and its later reunion at a train depot breathtaking (I guarantee tears in your eyes)- and that’s sort of what the movie’s all about. In retrospect, it’s a bit ironic to watch the young sweetness of Walker and Garland- two stars who had tragic, frequently unhappy existences. Their chemistry here as strangers who become friends who fall in love is mesmerizing. Ms. Garland does not sing, but her dark, exquisite eyes are music to the camera lens. Several bios have cited this film and MEET ME IN ST LOUIS as the two movies which captured Ms. Garland at her most beautiful, and I suspect that has something to do with the taste and artistry of the director- who was in love with (and would soon marry) his star. Grab immediately.

  2. IMDBReviewer says:

    This film gives Judy Garland a chance (her first, I think?) to appear in a non-singing role, as Alice Mayberry, a hopeless romantic who works in New York. When she meets soldier Joe Allen (Robert Walker) they fall deeply in love with each other and are soon beating a path to the altar.

    As a war-based romance, this story moves fast because it has to – in a matter of days Alice and Joe know they belong together, and we know it too, thanks to the scenes we see in the museum, in the park away from the bustling traffic, and within the railway station. Garland and Walker are both excellent, the perfect representations of dewy-eyed young lovers.

    We’re not disappointed by the little roles, either – James and Lucille Gleason play a friendly milkman and his wife, Keenan Wynn plays a drunk in a diner, Ruth Brady plays Alice’s housemate Ruth, and Marshall Thompson gathers many laughs all to himself as Ruth’s silent boyfriend Bill, never allowed to say anything in response to her constant questioning, gossiping, and nagging.

    Directed by Garland’s husband Vincente Minnelli, ‘The Clock’ is a quiet and lovely film, not often quoted as one of the greats, but a good example of the best entertainment MGM could offer in the 1940s.

  3. IMDBReviewer says:

    A simple little wartime love story about a boy and girl who fall in love during his 24-hour leave is what lies at the heart of "The Clock". Amazingly, considering how authentic all the New York scenes look, the entire film was done at MGM’s studio lot–even the scenes at Penn Station which was recreated by studio craftsmen with startling accuracy.

    But the most genuine moments in the film are the performances of the two stars–Judy Garland (in her first non-singing dramatic role) and Robert Walker. The freshness of their appeal is evident in every scene–whether it’s their first awkward meeting, the night they spend helping milkman James Gleason deliver his goods, or their last desperate moments together. Vincente Minnelli’s sensitive direction shows Garland at her most poignant and vulnerable. Robert Walker makes an excellent co-star.

    By all means, catch this little gem if you can. It’s one of the best wartime films, a simple romance, honest and warmly appealing. Should make servicemen recall the hectic moments some of them may have gone through themselves.

  4. tfsadmin says:

    This is a warm and fuzzy movie about life back home during World War II. Unlike Since You Went Away, which involved an entire family and community, The Clock is centered around a young couple and is set entirely on the home front.

    Robert Walker (Joe) and Judy Garland (Alice) are the romantic couple.

    But, first, Joe, a country boy arrives at Penn Station in New York, goes out on the sidewalk, and is awe-struck by the skyscrapers of the city. He sees a wonderful panorama of New York City as it was in the spring of 1945.

    Joe has no idea how he will spend his 48-hour leave. He is caught up in the crowd, pushed here and there, and finally, sits at the foot of the stair rail on the steps in front of Penn Station between the steps and an escalator.

    Alice stumbles on Joe’s gear, nearly falls, and gets her shoe heel caught in the escalator and broken off.

    She yells for somebody to retrieve her shoe heel and Joe is accommodating.

    From this point on in the movie, the couple are together almost constantly and visit various landmarks and attractions in New York.

    Alice finally goes back to her apartment and is quizzed about her long absence during the afternoon and told by her roommate not to fool with military guys. Alice’s response is half-hearted at first, but then she begins to think her roommate is right.

    Alice’s thoughts drift back to Joe, who is waiting at the clock of a prominent hotel, their meeting place at 7 p.m. Joe is in despair when Alice doesn’t show. Eventually, she arrives.

    As one would say, the plot thickens, and there are twists and turns, but most of all, accidental separations that are heartbreaking.

    The longer the couple is together they realize they love each other and should get married, which is a further complication in the plot.

    The previous reviewer threatened to turn this movie off from boredom? Why does this movie even around today and why is it highly rated? First, it was what the public wanted then. It is 1945 and people are war-weary. They wanted some about the war but from a different point of view.

    Also, up to this time Judy Garland was in musicals or sang in each movie in which she played. It shows what a dramatic actress she could be.

    Robert Walker is at his best even though he was recently divorced from Jennifer Jones.

    So, this is WWII without blood and guts, rationing, etc. It is a love story that filled a need at a previous time in our history. For those of us who saw it on its first run, it is a special joy to see it in our twilight years because of all of the wonderful memories it brings back.

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