The Late George Apley Film Details
Overview: George and Catherine Apley of Boston lead a proper life in the proper social circle, as did the Apleys before them. When grown daughter Eleanor falls in love with Howard (from New York!), …
Tagline: Stop apologizing for sex, George Apley…you didn’t invent it!
Review: John Marquand is another of those authors who were once incredibly popular who now are barely recalled – and sometimes to our loss. If England gave us James Hilton and Joyce Carey, and France the Catholic novelist Georges Bernanos, the U.S. had (among others) John P. Marquand, who was a chronicler of the rich and powerful and prominent, particularly in his native New England (and especially Boston). His novels were frequently made into movies: B.F.’s DAUGHTER, H.M.PULHAM, ESQ., TOP SECRET AFFAIR. His best novel (which won the Pulitzer Prize) was THE LATE GEORGE APLEY. This lovely movie is based on part of the novel. As mentioned in other of the reviews here, George Apley (Ronald Colman) is a proper Boston Brahmin, home on Beacon Hill, conservative, polished, and gracious. He represents centuries of grand breeding by his Massachusetts ancestors. Occasionally a comment will break through the hard lacquered surface of the Apley household. When he has invited the father of a girl his son is infatuated with (but who lives…horror of horrors…in Worcester, Mass.)for lunch, the girl’s father (Paul Harvey) reveals that Apley’s great grandfather was involved in the notorious “triangle trade” (the subject of the song sung by John Cullum in 1776). Apley is a trifle thrown by that old fact being revealed (and by a social inferior at that!). It is 1912 or so, and there is (despite one’s inherent feelings that poor George is hopelessly reactionary) a lovely aged sheen of nostalgia on the film. We see people in a quieter and gentler America, having coming out parties and planning to eat a nice dinner at Delmonicos on a visit to New York City. There is also snowball fights near Boston Common. It would not be amiss to run this film with MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS and THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSOMS for an evening of good films dealing with the turn of the century (one can add HEAVEN CAN WAIT to the group too). But the winds of change are tearing at the fabric of the world of Mr. Apley. He has two children (Richard Ney and Peggy Cummings) who while brought up properly (we later learn that shortly after Ney was born, Colman and his brother-in-law Percy Waram went to sign up the baby for a future class at Groton, the posh private school that leads to Harvard) are now being rebellious. Cummings is romancing a young professor who is lecturing at Harvard (Charles Russell), and Ney (who is supposed to be engaged to his cousin (Vanessa Brown – her father is Richard Haydn) is running around with the girl in Worcester. Things get into a bad state, as Colman’s Apley tries to come to grips with the breaking up of his orderly world of clubs and superiority. I don’t think Colman ever played such a placid snob as well in any other film he made. To his credit Apley tries (at times) to meet his children half way, egged on by brother-in-law Ralph (Waram), but at other times he finds his efforts explode and sides with the more reactionary Horatio (Haydn). It becomes a fight to see whether the better side of Colman will triumph over his conservatism. But there is hope – he does find he likes to read Freud. Boston society is far from dead today. But 1912 was about the last year that the old comic song about “where the Lodges only speak to the Cabots, and the Cabots only speak to God!” was really true. At the time the Senator from Massachusetts was Henry Cabot Lodge Sr. (whose grandson would also be Senator one day). But it was slowly dissolving, first by the onslaughts of Irish into Boston (mentioned several times in the film), and then the other immigrant groups. In the 1920s the Sacco-Vanzetti Case would show the cleavages between the old social elite (represented by the bigoted trial judge and the President of Harvard) and the defendants (two Italian-born anarchists). By the 1930s we have entered the age of Mayor John Michael Curley (the model for Frank Skeffington in THE LAST HURRAH), and the grip of the old guard never totally recovered. It is no accident that the best known “wealthy/socially prominent” family in Massachusetts today are the Kennedys, who built their ways up from the teens of the last century: the date this movie is set in. Colman and his fellow players make us admire the form and position that old guard once controlled so well. But we welcome the fresh air that blew it all away.
Duration: 93 min
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Also known as: Minulla on oikeus rakastaa,Покойный Джордж Эпли,The Late George Apley,Un mariage à Boston,Asota hronia,Tenho Direito ao Amor,ボストン物語,Den charmerande mr Apley,Tengo derecho al amor,El mundo de George Apley,Spóźniony George Apley,Schiavo del passato