Love Is a Many Splendored Thing - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Love Is a Many Splendored Thing Reviews

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½ September 19, 2016
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing is a just a song, isn't it? Nope, it turns out it is also an Oscar-nominated film from 1955 as well. The movie is about a married man who falls in love with a "Eurasian" woman in Hong Kong. Their affair threatens to ruin their lives because their interracial relationship is frowned upon and his wife won't grant him a divorce either. I think the racial angle is why it drew the attention of the Oscars, but watching it now all I could think was how offensive her yellow face seems. Thankfully they made her character half European as well, so they didn't go overboard with the offensive makeup on All-American actress Jennifer Jones. I can easily forgive that kind of casting, because it was very much a product of its time, although it certainly stood out a lot when they constantly put her side-by-side with people who actually are of Asian decent. The story seemed to meander a lot and kept hitting the same points again and again, so I didn't have a great interest in it. The real problem with the movie, however, is that there is no chemistry at all between William Holden and Jennifer Jones. They look like they are trying so hard to make this love story convincing, but I just feel like they hate one another when the cameras stop rolling. If you take away the interracial aspect of their relationship, which must have had some significance at the time, the plot is very paint-by-numbers and uninteresting. It was a movie where I was actually happy when it ended despite the attempt at a sad ending.
½ August 25, 2016
They lived their relationship on the preface of something more. A preamble of a perfect life together. Maybe that's what makes it so beautiful. They never faced the enduring commitment of a couple who marries. By enduring I mean in sickness and in health. They were always on their own. The beginning of every relationship is always mystical and even magical. Waiting to take flight and see where it goes. These two never got that chance. A match light. A sparkle. Only she will have to re- build and start over. A tradgesty. Her trust in him is the key to the beauty of this story that the divorce would go through. But she waited to no avail. He is never questioned nor should he have been. In the end you know he wanted her as much as he promised. There are no guarantees in life. And this delivers as such.
½ February 21, 2016
I enjoyed this little romance story although the tragic ending was predictable. The love story could've been better developed and the film didn't have a whole lot going on so at times it was boring. I did like the musical score and loved the cultural references as the Chinese have an eye for beauty and a rich history and culture. I learned that Hong Kong isn't really part of China like I always had thought.
½ February 10, 2016
For one of AFI's best romances of all time, this movie certainly leaves something to be desired when it comes to its representation of love. The main couple share some charming moments before actually deciding that they're in love, but once they do, the rest of the story is essentially hellos, goodbyes, and fervent hugs and kisses. Whereas the couple once had interesting conversations about life and destiny, at a certain point they only speak of how much they love each other, and all of the substance of their relationship is gone. Finally, modern feminism must frown upon this movie; it's full of moments in which the woman concedes all decision-making power to the man, even saying things to the effect of "I'm weak" and "I'll do whatever you want me to do." In all, this story could be compelling if the relationship were more substantive and less cringe-worthy in terms of male-female equality.
January 26, 2016
The Lovely setting, and Good performances by the Great William Holden, and Lovely Jennifer Jones makes this film enjoyable for what it is, which is a standard romance film based on a Memoir, and popularized by a song. They must play the title song in some form, 20 times during the film!, so I hope you like the tune. Don't look for much of a plot, in this romance tale of a "Euroasian" Doctor played by Jones, and the Correspondant, played by the always Handsome Holden. This film hasn't aged well, especially the part of the lead Caucasian Actress playing an Asian. Enjoy the lovely scenes and appreciate the chemistsy between the likable stars!
May 30, 2015
Photographically beautiful ~ Hong Kong 1950s ~ Jennifer Jones! timely issues of race, class, political unrest in China ~ moon-watching & love...
January 20, 2015
Clasico! y la cancion una maravilla.
½ July 8, 2014
A beautifully photographed, but dramatically inert, romance with suitably good performances by William Holden and Jennifer Jones.
½ June 21, 2014
My father loved this film. I have enjoyed it. It is dated by the 1950's but the negative critics must consider history. It was not until 1965 that you could marry a Chinese woman in the U.S. This is based on a true story and romance. So it would be a more provocative film when it was released. The character that Jennifer Jones plays is a somewhat very traditional Chinese woman. Traits which the modern American would not understand.
June 14, 2014
While the script occasionally weighs down the romance, Love is a Many-Splendoured Thing has plenty of beautiful scenery and a pair of charming lead performances from Jones and Holden.
June 11, 2014
The romance was decent, but was severely outweighed by how racist it came across.
June 5, 2014
A simple but beautiful love story set in a fascinating time and place.
½ January 5, 2014
There is something about a classic piece of a film with a fabulous theme song. This is the closest I have ever gotten to Hong Kong or Macao (now or in the 50s!) and rather radical for the time and place, if you ask me. Sweetly sad story though, being based on a real story, which I did not know, only the song was familiar to me beforehand.
Super Reviewer
December 11, 2013
You may take offense to Jennifer Jones trying to pass off as an Asian lady but this is the type of romantic tale that you don't mind spending an afternoon with. You have to be in the right mood of course. William Holden remains the actor that doesn't get the full credit that he deserves.
½ October 5, 2013
TOHO CINEMAS Nagoya Baycity, 2013/10/5
½ July 26, 2013
...To say this is a classic is one thing, but the truth is, it holds up very well in the twenty-first- century. Of course, if they remade this movie, there would be a different approach--but then it wouldn't be true to the period. The performances are moving. The story is timeless and universal. Those of jaded mind should watch The Matrix, or Batman. Or something that takes them away from a story that forces us to bare our hearts to ourselves. That's hard, actually. Easier to lose oneself in car crashes, and whizzing bullets, and FX shots, mixed with cgi. There are nights when those modern flicks serve a great purpose. Other nights when it is time to turn back the clock and watch classic movie making.
July 20, 2013
Simple Story, but well starred and with a wonderful soundtrack.
May 19, 2013
This is a classic I have seen it but long time ago bit dramatic now
January 15, 2013
Seems that most reviewers of this film are "seeing" it through the lens of contemporary times, and have panned it based on their limited perception. Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing was a big hit at a time when romance and tragedy were more acceptable together (think of South Pacific, Roman Holiday, etc. with bittersweet endings). In the 1950's, this film was highly rated and the stars, both Jennifer Jones and William Holden, were sex symbols. Scoff if you like, yet people who don't have the perspective of past eras, cannot make fair assumptions and reviews of these older films. All the people I know who lived through WWII and the Korean War absolutely enjoy this film, tears, hankies and all.
December 13, 2012
The best thing about this 1950's love story is seeing William Holden, Jennifer Jones, Hong Kong in 1955. and hearing the lovely title song again. The story is sappy and in the world of 2012 hard to believe. And you end up not carrying about the characters.
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