THE CLOCK (1945) B/W 90m dir: Vincente Minnelli
w/Judy Garland, Robert Walker, James Gleason, Keenan Wynn, Marshall Thompson, Lucille Gleason, Ruth Brady, Chester Clute, Dick Elliott
Glowing, loving film has a slight plot about a soldier (Walker) and a working girl (Garland) who meet and fall in love during his leave. Produced by Arthur Freed.
From The Movie Guide: "A small wartime gem featuring the luminous Garland, directed by her future husband, in a rare non-singing role. The story is deceptively simple; it is in the subtle touches that the genius of this film lies. Garland and Walker meet under the big clock at Pennsylvania Station in New York. They fall in love and marry within 48 hours. This kind of thing happened often in real life, and [Paul] Gallico's story feels authentic. So does the incredible rear-screen projection work and the huge sets that would cause any New Yorker to bet serious money that the film was done on location in the Big Apple. Not so. It was a back-lot job and a tribute to the talents of its technicians. Every single bit player is perfectly cast, and special plaudits go to Wynn, who plays a drunken patriot.
"This was Minnelli's first straight directing job and he went on to distinguish himself away from musicals with such giants as THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, FATHER OF THE BRIDE and many others. Looking at the two young, well-scrubbed stars, it's hard to believe that both their lives would end tragically. Walker, only 33 at the time of his death, had been married to Jennifer Jones and John Ford's daughter, Barbara. He'd been institutionalized for alcohol abuse almost a year before returning to work in Alfred Hitchcock's STRANGERS ON A TRAIN. While filming MY SON JOHN in 1951, he died from too many sedatives doctors had prescribed to calm his emotional instability. This is a rare tribute to the acting genius of Garland, who would still have had all the makings of a star, even if she had never sung a note."