The Enchanted Cottage | Chicago Reader

The Enchanted Cottage

John Cromwell’s moving romantic fable (1945) celebrates the transforming power of love but also exposes the disfiguring force of pity. An army flyer (Robert Young), badly scarred in World War II, holes up in the quaint seaside cottage he once hoped to occupy with his new bride; the maid keeping up the place (Dorothy McGuire) is a homely young woman who’s given up on romance, but inside the walls of the cottage the two of them become beautiful to one another. Carefully guarding this delicate flower are two older characters marked by their own loss: the cottage’s superstitious owner (Mildred Natwick), whose fiance died in the previous war, and a blind pianist (Herbert Marshall) who understands the duplicity of sight. Though highly regarded, the movie is hard to find on video and rarely screened, so this 16-millimeter showing shouldn’t be missed.

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