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Saturday, December 17, 2011

5 Things I Loved: Madame Curie (1943)

So, because of my Four Sundays of Christmas blogathon, I haven't been able to do movie reviews for the movies I've been watching recently. One of these movies is "Madame Curie (1943)," with the Pidgeons (AKA, Greer and Walter) and I do want to talk about it. So I thought instead of doing a movie review like I usually do, I would take a little spin on "5 Things I Love," the segment I usually use for someone's birthday, and switch it around for a film. Therefore, I present to you five things I loved about "Madame Curie."

Over all, I give "Madame Curie," 4 out of 5 stars. Not an excellent film but I really did enjoy it all the while, and there were certainly points about it that I really loved, which I'll now point out to you!

Return to Main Page for Madame Curie Posters

5 Things I Loved: Madame Curie (1943)

Raising the biopic to new heights, director Mervyn LeRoy's Oscar-nominated drama stars Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon as the titular scientist and her French physicist husband. After young Polish student Marie and Dr. Pierre Curie fall in love and marry, the pair sets to work isolating a new element, radium. After years of painstaking research, their efforts pay off, but just as success comes calling, so does tragedy. [from Netflix]

#5: It made science come alive.
I'm really more of a English and history person than I am of a math/science person. I actually do make As in the two latter mentioned subjects, only they don't hold my attention or interest me as much as learning about the past or writing! However, this movie really made Madame Curie's story interesting to me. Now I'm really so impressed by what she did (and best of all - I understood how she did it!). And also, to do all she did in the early 20th century, which was a time where people expected women to sit back on their heels and let the men do everything - well, impressive is an understatement! For once, science was thrilling, and though a lot of it had to do with the fact it was Greer and Walter discovering radium, well, it was still exciting for once!


#4: "To catch a star..."
There's one line often used when Marie Curie's story is told, and that is this lovely lovely line: "To catch a star on your fingertips." Well, for the romanticizing writer that I am, that's one line that really sets me dreaming. Doesn't it? And add to that line Greer's expression, the dreaminess flitting across her pretty face, and all of that, and you can nearly feel the stardust on your fingertips. 

[via]

#3: The way nerdy scientists fall in love, and propose.
The one adorable scene in this movie is when Walter's character, Pierre Curie, decides all of a sudden to come out with and propose to Marie. It's the middle of the night and they're staying at his parents house in the French countryside, and he stomps up to her bedroom and bangs on the door, "Madame Skłodowska!" (her name before she was married). Then he goes in there, and she's sitting in the bed all confuzzled, and then in the most brilliant vocabulary, drawing comparisons to themselves and scientific compounds, he explains why the should get married (for it will be best for the world of science.). And then in the same, well, nerdy way Greer agrees - and happily Walter agrees to this, leaves the room, and then comes back, realizing he's forgotten something. He then plants a kiss on Greer's forehead. Here, watch for yourself (starts at 40 minutes and 55 seconds):


#2: The supporting cast.
This movie has a fantastic, fantastic support casting! Henry Travers, one of my favorite character actors and Clarence from "It's a Wonderful Life," plays Walter's father. Van Johnson, who was not yet a star (just three years earlier he'd played in his first movie role, a chorus boy in "Too Many Girls," the 1940 movie in which Lucy and Desi fell in love on the set of ;D), makes a really short appearance as a reporter (you can watch it here). And then there's Margaret O'Brian as their daughter. She's so adorable, really! And you know, Margaret was such a big star in her own right in the early 40's. I loved her in "Meet Me in St. Louis" - I think I like her much better than Shirley Temple. Here she is with Greer and Walter in a very sweet scene (the Curies have once more hit a glitch in their quest to discover radium): 


#1: It made me CRY.
Okay, so this is honestly a SPOILER, unless you know Marie Curie's life story, in which you might already know this was coming. Anyway, SPOILER. Now, let's get on with it - so after they discovered radium, the Pidgeons and the adorable Margaret O'Brian (and their new baby) go on a holiday for some much needed rest (they'd been working in a shed for five years, being exposed to radium constantly), and Greer and Walter have this short conversation about what would happen if one of them had to go on without the other. After this, and the movie continues, I just honestly knew in my heart that Walter was going to die. Thus comes a scene where Greer's getting all dressed up and looking gorgeous for a party, and Walter decides to go out and get her some earrings, and on his way back - he's walking in the street - and I just knew it was coming, I'd been saying it for ten minutes that he was going to die - well, he gets run over by a wagon and dies instantly. Then Greer discovers the news and has the most painful expression on her face and I just started crying! I think it's the first time I've cried over a human dying in a movie. There comes a certain part where Greer just clutches the earrings he'd bought for her before dying, and crumples to the floor sobbing, and I just cried harder and harder. So yes, it made me cry, that's simply how amazing Greer and Walter are.

Greer looking lovely, and Walter right before he sets out to purchase the earrings. You just know it's going to happen! :/

***
Well, there it is, five things I loved about "Madame Curie (1943)". And like I said, overall I really enjoyed this movie and I suggest you watch it. The full movie is on Youtube, and the link for it is up in #3.

Christmas vacation and the holidays are almost here! I can hardly wait! :)

2 comments:

Bette said...

Rianna, I just watched this thanks to your link to the youtube vid, and I cried too. It was amazing and when he said "We go together perfectly, like Sodium Chloride." I can't even... There are no words. Greer Garson always makes me cry when she goes into the grief stricken pained face... She's such a wonderful actress. Loved the review!

~Bette

Rianna said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who cried in this! The ending just tore me up. There really are no words - and when Greer just crumples to the floor as she did, (in the end) you just feel so sad for her! She and Walter really DID go together like sodium chloride! She's amazing. Thanks and I'm so glad you liked it! :)

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