Best of… Series – 1947 – Deep Valley

Deep Valley (Jean Negulesco, 1947)

The sun drenches a farmhouse, the woods and its wildlife, hills overlooking the Pacific, and two foolish lovers running away yet going in circles. Ida Lupino gives one of the best performances I’ve seen from the time period, playing a girl wounded by her parents’ hate for one another who finds comfort in the love of an escaped prisoner. Each one of their backdrops (outside of a scene during a nighttime storm – a beautiful scene in its own right) is warmed by the sunlight, whether it be engulfing the big open countrysides, or peeking through the leaves and branches of the tree covered areas.

The cinematography’s warmth and precision act as an interesting contrast to the young lovers and their situations. What starts as a clear and precise plan (the couple running away from cold situations) quickly veers in other directions, mostly as a result of the characters’ honest ignorance; they just don’t know how to cut loose and make things different. What results is an extremely flawed yet charming relationship and some very intriguing turns in circumstance. There’s a lot of sadness at times accompanied by hope, and Negulesco does a wonderful job presenting it.  9.5/10

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