The Constant Nymph (1943)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama  |   Release Date - Jun 23, 1943 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 112 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The Constant Nymph is a good, solid adaptation of the once-famous Margaret Kennedy novel. If it falls short of being a totally memorable film, it still casts enough of a spell to make it worthwhile to seek out this hard-to-find offering. This is especially true of fans for stars Charles Boyer and Joan Fontaine, but is perhaps most true of all for fans of composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold, whose score for Nymph is simply stunning. Korngold's work climaxes in a 6-minute tone poem that is simply beautiful; while it seems doubtful that the music Korngold has composed would be the kind of music Boyer's avant-garde composer would create, it is so good that one doesn't really mind. Boyer is in especially fine form. Often, Boyer let the strength of his personality carry him without concentrating too heavily on actual acting, but in Nymph he displays some impressive chops. Fontaine plays her fragile vulnerability to the hilt, with good results. Even better is Alexis Smith, who finds considerably complexity in what could have been a fairly one-dimensional portrayal. Add in fins support from Peter Lorre and Charles Coburn and sensitive direction from Edmund Goulding, and the result is a very engaging melodrama.