The White Cliffs of Dover

The greatest love story of our time!

Drama War Romance
126 min     6.7     1944     USA


American Susan travels with her father to England for a vacation. Invited to a society ball, Susan meets Sir John Ashwood and marries him after a whirlwind romance. However, she never quite adjusts to life as a new member of the British gentry. At the outbreak of World War I, John is sent to the trenches and never returns. When her son goes off to fight in World War II, Susan fears the same tragic fate may befall him too.


CinemaSerf wrote:
Irene Dunne is superb here as a young American woman “Susan”, who travels to the UK with her grumpy, well meaning - indeed every inch his "Wizard of Oz" - father Frank Morgan (“Hiram") Once she arrives, she goes to a fancy ball where she meets and falls for the dashing "Sir John Ashwood" (Alan Marshal) and a whirlwind of a romance ensues. The rest of the story depicts her trials and tribulations as she tries to settle down with her new beau - and his rather cold, distant family whose views on Americans as loud, brash and all but uncivilised she finds alienating and difficult to adapt to. WWI intervenes, as does tragedy and the emphasis shifts to her bringing up their young son (briefly, an instantly recognisable 16 year-old Roddy McDowell) before he, too, has to go into service (by this time an equally dashing Peter Lawford) in WWII. There are far too many strong, decent supporting efforts to mention, but principally Dame May Whiity as the forceful, but ever so slightly slushy nanny; Sir C. Aubrey Smith as the hard as nails Colonel who melts like butter in the presence of Dunne and her child; Gladys Cooper as her mother-in-law and there is the tiniest of appearances from Elizabeth Taylor too. This is a story somewhat steeped in sentiment, but it isn't cloying - it depicts a changing world; not just wars and killing, but of fairly profound social change in Britain as the traditionally landed gentry see the gradual erosion of their wealth, rank and privilege. Tinged with frequent sorrow, this is an original, and poignant - occasionally humorous - coming of ages drama that has stood the test of time well.