Constant Nymph, The (1943)

A teenage girl (Joan Fontaine) battles her sophisticated, older cousin (Alexis Smith) for the love of a gifted composer (Charles Boyer).


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Constant Nymph, The (1943)
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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Constant Nymph, The (1943)
 
4.4

(based on 14 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

92%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Entertaining (9)
  • Engaging characters (6)
  • Classic style (4)
  • High production value (4)
  • Great cinematography (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • At home (5)
  • Adult viewers (4)
  • Entertainment (4)
  • Everyone (3)
  • Perfect gift (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Movie buff (12)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (7)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

A lovely surprise

Having grown up on Warner Bros. films on TV as a kid, this is one I only knew by the gorgeous Korngold score. With its enigmatic history and belief it was lost, I...Read complete review

Having grown up on Warner Bros. films on TV as a kid, this is one I only knew by the gorgeous Korngold score. With its enigmatic history and belief it was lost, I chanced this purchase without knowing the story. A lucky thing too. A marvelous DVD that shows off the classic B & W photography as well as the classic score (look for Die Tote Stadt/Korngold poster on the wall behind the piano early on)- and such unexpected NATURALISTIC acting for the time! Other than the always gorgeous Alexis Smith eating the furniture, everyone else portrayed their character with little melodrama. A magical story, sweetly acted by a child-like Joan Fontaine, filled with music & heart. Much as the haunting Portrait of Jennie they just don't make films like this anymore... no one is shot, butchered or takes indulgences to the extreme. Although this does have its moments of suggested 'naughtiness' that are expertly handled via clever dialogue. A must have.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Okay, But No Classic

I know that this film was considered a "Holy Grail" for film buffs, since it was out of release for 60 years.

However, there are some...Read complete review

I know that this film was considered a "Holy Grail" for film buffs, since it was out of release for 60 years.

However, there are some "lost" or "hidden" or "out-of-release" pictures that garner a revered reputation that they don't really deserve, then when they are finally shown to the public again, they disappoint.

This is one of those movies.

THE CONSTANT NYMPH is not a bad film. The actors are good, though it is sometimes difficult to understand Boyer, and the story holds your interest.

But, frankly, it's also a very talky movie and I was never able to get that involved with the characters. Perhaps I was expecting too much, or maybe the picture was just not my cup of tea.

Reviewed by 14 customers

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5.0

The Korngold Score Trumps All

By AndrewCF

from Brockton, MA

About Me Movie Buff

Pros

  • Entertaining
  • Fine Score
  • Old Fashioned Tear-jerker

Cons

  • Not remastered
  • Weak Characters

Best Uses

  • Adult Viewers
  • At Home

Comments about Constant Nymph, The (1943):

If it weren't for Korngold's magnificent score, this film would be a rather ordinary melodrama. One cannot help noticing similarities to such films as "Camille" and "Dark Victory." Unfortunately, the dying character played by Joan Fontaine never matures in this scenario; she is a rather annoying child, and in attempting to convince the audience of her profound love for Charles Boyer, the viewer gets something akin to puppy love. Alexis Smith's character is much more complex in that she does not play the typically scorned woman. There is a sexuality about her that is unexpected. So often, Smith was little more than a beautiful set decoration; here she underplays to great impact. Another untrue to form character (the fault is really in the writing) is Boyer's composer; he is not transformative the way Gaston transforms Gigi from girl to woman. One can forgive many of the gaffes: the stage bound Swiss chalet, the terrible accents, the mediocre photography. What transcends the melodrama is Korngold's score, unabashedly romantic and plastering all the gaping holes in the scenario. Although Tomorrow is not long enough to be called a "tone poem," it is a piece that could stand up in a concert hall. If "Kings Row" and "Robin Hood" are his greatest scores, this score is equal to them.

 
5.0

A Romantic Masterpiece

By Klingel

from San Francisco

About Me Movie Buff

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Engaging Characters
  • Entertaining
  • Great Cinematography
  • High Production Value
  • Informative
  • Original

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Adult Viewers
    • At Home
    • In The Car
    • Perfect Gift
    • Special Needs
    • Travel
    • Younger Viewers

    Comments about Constant Nymph, The (1943):

    I discovered this by accident on TCM. I've never seen anything like Joan Fontaine's portrayal of a young girl and Charles Boyer is superb. The music by Korngold is magnificent and the song "Tomorrow" is performed beautifully in its small version for violin, piano, cello, and voice by Hollywood's top musicians of that time. A tug at the heart--it made me feel closer to the people I love.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Re-released at last!

    By BRENDAN Loves Movies

    from England, UK

    About Me Movie Buff

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Engaging Characters
    • Entertaining
    • Exceptional Cast
    • Fabulous Music Score
    • Great Cinematography
    • High Production Value
    • Literate Script
    • Original

    Cons

    • Poor Source Print

    Best Uses

    • At Home
    • Film Music Teaching
    • Perfect Gift
    • Younger Viewers

    Comments about Constant Nymph, The (1943):

    This was the third and best film version of Margaret Kennedy's novel (and the play based on it by Ms Kennedy and Basil Dean) and its complex literary copyright kept it in the vaults for 60 years. It's a curious tale and could have run into censor trouble with less sensitive handling. What carries the film is the remarkable score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, who relished the chance to showcase the battle between atonal, dissonant modernity in music and more traditional melodists - a battle he himself fought in his own career before coming to Hollywood. Unusually (for a composer before or since), Korngold had direct input to the story development,script and even wrote some of the dialogue where it concerned musical matters. In Kennedy's original, Lewis Dodd the composer is writing a symphony, whereas Korngold preferred to create a symphonic tone poem for solo contralto voice, women's chorus and large orchestra. He also persuaded the studio to incorporate the piece as a plot device beginning as a simple song with string trio and piano, then becoming a dissonant work for 2 piano before finally emerging as a tone poem. Korngold gave the work an opus number and published it in 1944, the first of his film compositions to be accorded this accolade. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this long awaited DVD released is the relatively poor quality of the image and sound, given it is claimed to be remastered. TCM actually screened a print from the Library of Congress a few months before this was released and it was in far better shape! I believe that Warner still has the original camera negative in pristine condition, so a full digital restoration was possible. Maybe they just wouldn't spend the money for a "Video on Demand"? A great pity, for this is a special, one-of-a-kind film and deserved better. The only extra is the Trailer. It would have been nice to have the Lux Radio presentation with Boyer and Fontaine, and the radio promo featuring Eileen Farrell singing the song version of Korngold's piece, both of which are extant. And surely Robert Osborne could have persuaded Joan Fontaine to record an interview style commentary? After all, this is her own favourite among her films. A missed opportunity - but it's still great to have it at long last! Thank you Warners.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great film !

    By J.Gabin

    from Pasadena, CA

    About Me Movie Buff

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Engaging Characters
    • Entertaining

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Adult Viewers
      • At Home
      • Perfect Gift
      • Younger Viewers

      Comments about Constant Nymph, The (1943):

      This film may have been remastered, still there are lots of white specks, a few bad frames, but average contrast, relatively sharp from time to time, and quite good audio also.
      So the quality was just "ok", still I enjoyed the film very much.
      Low quality for a good movie!
      the film source print is in need of restoration!.
      However RECOMMENDED!

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Korngold's music is worth the DVD $ !

      By Bernard

      from Monterey Park, CA

      About Me Movie Buff

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Engaging Characters
      • Entertaining
      • Great Cinematography
      • High Production Value

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Adult Viewers
        • At Home
        • In The Car
        • Special Needs
        • Travel

        Comments about Constant Nymph, The (1943):

        Great to see Alexis Smith playing such a hateful
        but sympathetic character, I guess the novel must
        have been a better read that this far too short
        film treatment. Joan Fontaine was a fine actress
        but just irritatingly mannered ! Overall, a
        VERY enjoyable classy soap opera !

         
        5.0

        Excellent product quality!

        By Ginger

        from Boston

        About Me Movie Buff

        Pros

        • Engaging Characters
        • Entertaining
        • High Production Value

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Constant Nymph, The (1943):

            I'll watch it over and over.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Joan Fontaine is wonderful

            By Chris in PDX

            from Portland, OR

            About Me Movie Buff

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Engaging Characters
            • Entertaining

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Constant Nymph, The (1943):

                Charles Boyer is his typical self, but this is really Joan's show.

                (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                I waited 69 yrs to see this movie again

                By Aurie

                from Chalfont, PA

                About Me Movie Buff, Music lover

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • A beautiful story
                • Classic
                • Entertaining

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Entertainment
                  • Everyone

                  Comments about Constant Nymph, The (1943):

                  A beautiful love story with great musical score.
                  Saw this when I was 11 yrs old and am now 80 yrs old. Never forgot the movie nor the music.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  wonderful love story

                  By n/a

                  from Skokie, Il.

                  About Me Movie Buff

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Classic
                  • Engaging
                  • Entertaining
                  • Superb perfprmances

                  Cons

                  • None

                  Best Uses

                  • Entertainment
                  • NA

                  Comments about Constant Nymph, The (1943):

                  this was the 3rd copy that was sent due to defects from the first two. It came out right.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  special film

                  By jane

                  from pittsburgh, pa

                  About Me Movie Buff

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Engaging

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Constant Nymph, The (1943):

                      i'd never seen this film but always wanted to, since Joan Fontaine was nominated for it, but it never came on TV or was available for sale. finally! and it was a charming, touching, very different kind of romance. i expected Joan to be delicate and intelligent, as she was in Rebecca and Suspicion, and Charles Boyer is always wonderful, but Alexis Smith was surprisingly good. she was usually just a pretty face, but had a juicy part in this film and did well with it. the story itself was rather odd, with an ending i didn't expect, but overall a very worthwhile film.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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