Movie Mirrors Index


(1941 b 99')

En: 6 Ed: 6

Directed by Julien Duvivier and based on his film Un Carnet du Bal, a woman meets and recalls her four suitors of forty years ago.

Lydia MacMillen (Merle Oberon) donates an orphanage, and Michael Fitzpatrick (Joseph Cotton) goes to see her. He takes her to see her old beaux Bob Willard (George Reeves) and Frank Andre (Hans Jaray). Lydia says she did not marry them, because she loved Richard. They recall the past forty years before.

Lydia shows her Granny (Edna May Oliver) her new dress, but Granny says she is nude. Lydia sells Michael a ticket to a ball, where Bob dances with Lydia, who says she loves him. Lydia watches Bob play football in the rain. Granny tells drunk Bob to get out of her house. Lydia tells Michael she is going to elope with Bob and asks his help. He goes to tell Granny but helps Lydia. The minister can't come; but Bob and Lydia go to a hotel as a couple. When Bob gets drunk, Lydia changes her mind and runs out. Granny's butler James Fitzpatrick (John Halliday) tells Lydia that his son Michael is going to war. At a musical restaurant Michael asks Lydia to wait for him. Richard Mason (Alan Marshal) sees Lydia again and waves good-bye. Lydia helps a blind boy get home and provides a home for poor blind children. Blind musician Frank offers to help Lydia and plays piano for the children.

Michael returns to Lydia, who says she prefers her work to marriage. In the snow Lydia races her carriage against Richard, who dances with her. Lydia tells how she went sailing with Richard. By a fire he kisses her, and Lydia says she is happy. Richard goes out in his boat, and Lydia waits. She gets a letter with a ring from him, asking her to wait. Lydia goes to Frank's concert, and he asks to love her. Michael brings Lydia a letter with three rings from Richard, promising to marry her on New Year's Eve. Lydia tells Granny, who criticizes her past sin. Lydia waits, but Richard does not come. Frank leaves for Europe and says good-bye to Lydia. Michael asks Lydia to marry, and they tell Granny and James. Granny has James dine with them and then dies. Lydia goes to the house where she spent a month with Richard. Michael welcomes her back, but she says she wants real love or nothing.

So Lydia became a spinster. As they remember, Richard comes in at Michael's request; but he does not recognize Lydia. She tells Michael she has been a different person to each of them, but there is no real Lydia.

In this sad story a woman realizes that she gave up marriage because of her passion for a romantic man who loved others.

Copyright © 2002 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index