Peter Ibbetson

Director: Henry Hathaway
Year Released: 1935
Rating: 1.5

Hammy romantic picture about architect Peter (Gary Cooper) and the Duchess of Towers (Ann Harding), their childhood together, their years apart and their doomed reunion: as an adult, he gets hired to redesign her horse stables, the fire between the two gets magically rekindled (whoosh!) but her husband frowns on the idea of being cuckolded. The sentiment is pure dime novel but kind of sweet - the notion that love can bind people in an almost spiritual way - but Henry Hathaway is not the ideal director and Cooper is not the ideal star: Hathaway's better suited to shooting Westerns and the Coop struggles to convey a sense of deep longing. It lacks poetry - the 'otherworldly' conclusion is merely smoke and lighting effects.