The Enchanted Cottage (1945)

Genres - Drama, Fantasy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Romantic Fantasy  |   Release Date - Apr 28, 1945 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Those unwilling to give poetic romance its due should steer clear of The Enchanted Cottage, a fragile yet powerfully optimistic melodrama. But those who are willing to enter into Cottage's enchanted world will find themselves delighted and ultimately uplifted. It's all fantasy, of course, although not the "sprites in the wood" type that the title suggests. Rather, Cottage steadfastly promotes the theory that beauty really and truly is in the eye of the beholder. From its startlingly romantic score to its stunning cinematography, Cottage has been put together to create a dream world in which love truly can conquer all, while tugging more than a few heartstrings along the way. It's unabashed melodrama, yet a melodrama that often gets its way through gentle rather than blatant manipulation, and emerges all the more powerful for that. Director John Cromwell does a sterling job of keeping Cottage in line, keeping the tone properly balanced so that no false notes -- which would be fatal -- ever creep in. He's enormously helped by the sensitive and beguiling performances of Robert Young and Dorothy McGuire, and excellent supporting work from Mildred Natwick and Spring Byington. All the players, onscreen and off, create a delicate world that may not be real -- but that most viewers will fervently wish were.