Friday, September 07, 2012

"Claudia" Movie Features Dorothy McGuire

Many young married woman including my mom during the war probably identified with the free spirit Claudia featured in books, movies and a play.  The 1943 Fox movie of the same name recently became available for the first time on DVD and may never have been seen on TV before.

Dorothy McGuire is outstanding as the vivacious, rambunctious Claudia.  Women’s movies seemed a lot more enticing in the 40s then they are now with characters that you knew.  “Claudia,” the movie, is much better than the book, thanks to McGuire and proceeds like a 40s radio soap opera from one event to the next.  There is an annoying bit about David misplacing his pipe cleaner and I can picture that little tool in my head because my dad had one.

Robert Young of “Father Knows Best” is David and not really the attractive character that Rose Franken wrote about in the book.  Cary Grant was the studio's first choice for David but was otherwise engaged.  Reginald Gardner is miscast as the visiting writer who steals a kiss from Claudia.  Alfred Newman’s background music is a bit overpowering in spots.  Otherwise, this is worth a view from Fox Archives.

A more contemporary telling of a similar story is the 60s “Barefoot in the Park” with Jane Fonda in a very “Claudia” kind of role.

1 comment:

hobopals said...

I read "Claudia" in my teens. My Mother suggested it. There was more than one if I remember correctly. I believe another was "Claudia and David". I've never seen the movie--didn't know there was one. I'll have to watch for it.

Someone mentioned Claudia in a blog about a year ago. Other than that, I hadn't thought of the series for years, but never forgot the books. I think I searched for my husband with David as a model in my mind. :)