None But the Lonely Heart (1944)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Drama  |   Release Date - Oct 17, 1944 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 113 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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None But the Lonely Heart would be a worthwhile film if for no other reason than the fact that it showcases a solid-gold dramatic performance from Cary Grant. Arguably the cinema's finest light comic actor (and criminally underestimated by the Academy), Grant easily sheds the sophistication and charm that are his usual hallmarks for this decidedly change-of-pace role and delivers a devastating performance that is rich, complex, and very real. Grant manages to be electrifying but understated; the viewer is compelled to watch, not because of showy fireworks but because of the fine nuances the actor brings to his work. He is matched by the glorious Ethel Barrymore in a beautifully controlled performance; the chemistry between Barrymore and Grant is palpable, making the audience understand the bonds of love and frustration that entangle these two. There's fine supporting work all around, especially from Barry Fitzgerald, George Coulouirs, and a sensitive Jane Wyatt. Clifford Odets' screenplay is carefully structured and features many examples of Odets' mournfully poetic dialogue. As a director, Odets does solid work here; if it could be a little more expansive or imaginative in places, it still works and definitely delivers the goods. Lonely is a "little" film, but it has a melancholy beauty that is haunting and lovely.