Movie Mirrors Index

The Enchanted Cottage

(1945 b 92')

En: 5 Ed: 6

Based on the play by Arthur Wing Pinero, two people who feel rejected by others find love in marriage to each other in a romantic cottage.

The blind composer John Hillgrove (Herbert Marshall) plays piano and tells the story. John's nephew Danny (Alec Englander) tells Laura Pennington (Dorothy McGuire) that there is a witch in the house; but Abigail Minnett (Mildred Natwick) tells Laura that the cottage is enchanted. She hires Laura as a maid, and they are to serve Oliver Bradford (Robert Young) and Beatrice Alexander (Hillary Brooke). Laura tells Oliver that the cottage is enchanted because of the loving couples who have lived there. On December 7, 1941 Oliver and Beatrice plan to have their honeymoon there. He is in the air corps, and they put off the wedding. Oliver says goodbye to his mother Violet Price (Spring Byington) and her husband Freddy Price (Richard Gaines).

Abigail says that Laura can stay. Laura washes dishes at a canteen, and no one dances with her. Abigail consoles her. Oliver comes back alone and rents the cottage, but he refuses to see anyone. His mother persuades Beatrice to try. She apologizes for her earlier reaction and says she will marry him, but he does not answer. Laura says that she is not repulsed by Oliver's scars. She makes woodcuts and talks with Oliver. John calls on Oliver and tells how he developed other senses. He advises Oliver to trust himself. They walk to the shore, and Oliver enjoys being at the shore with Laura. When Oliver gets a letter from his mother, he becomes petulant. Laura finds him at the shore. He is upset because his mother wants him to live with her. Oliver asks Laura to marry him. She suspects it is for convenience, but she has dreams and says she cares.

John returns from a tour and is invited by Oliver. Laura and Oliver tell John that they have changed since their wedding. Laura says she played the piano and saw Oliver as he was before. Oliver says he realized how good and beautiful Laura is. She says it is the cottage. They turn away from Abigail. John says to accept the miracle. Laura and Oliver love each other and are happy.

When Oliver's mother and Freddy are coming, John says he will delay them while they change clothes. John tells the Prices that Oliver and Laura have changed and are happy and to go along with them. She fears her son is not well, and John suggests they leave. When Oliver and Laura express their happiness, Mrs. Price shows her pity, and Laura drops a cup. After the Prices leave, Oliver asks Abigail if they have changed, and she admits there is no physical change; but they love each other, and that is the secret enchantment. Oliver and Laura write their names on the window with the other couples.

This romantic drama portrays the psychological truth about the doubts and lack of self-esteem a person may have that can be erased in a truly loving relationship.

Copyright © 2005 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index