photoset: since you went away

Jennifer Jones reading Since You Went Away by Margaret Buell Wilder, 1944.

Jones played Jane Hilton in the movie, adapted from the book, in 1944. “As the mother and center of the family, Claudette Colbert gives an excellent show of gallantly self-contained emotion, and Jennifer Jones is surpassingly sweet as a well-bred American daughter in the first bloom of womanhood and love.” – New York Times 


“Working with Claudette was one of my most delightful experiences. Now there was a consummate professional! She gave 150 percent to every scene she did, yet there was always a beautiful restraint and control. I always felt Claudette, underneath her gaiety and charm and warmth, was an extremely tough woman. She knew how to roll with the punches and she was sensitive to the moods of the people around her and reacted accordingly, always positively! ”- Joseph Cotten

“What do you think about when someone says blue?”
I think of the night sky that summer where I met her.
I think of the color of my dress at the dance where I fell in love.
I think about rushing waterfalls. How I felt when I was with her.
Me and my girlfriend in baby blue T-shirts dancing around to our favorite top 40s song.
I think about the color of his eyes when I first met him.
I think about the color of her eyes when she told me she was moving.
Why do I fall for blue eyes?
I think about her laugh. So bright. So calm. Gone.
I think about his smile. So serene. Helpful.
I think about the ocean where he first said I love you.
I think about the Facebook messages we exchanged.
First mine and hers. Now mine and his.
I think about the color of her suitcase when she leaves, never coming back.
I think about how that wonderful blue sunset faded to gray.
I think about how the new sunrise is upon us.
Bringing us hues of pink and gold.
Soon to be blue again.
A new beginning.
A new home.
—  New Hues; L.L. in collaboration with T.H.: unknown source.

From the wartime film “Since You Went Away”, 1944. I felt this scene was important in light of what has been happening lately. 

But the whole movie is definitely worth a watch, plus an all-star cast including Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Shirley Temple, Joseph Cotten, Hattie McDaniel, Agnes Moorehead, Robert Walker, Alla Nazimova (the woman in this scene), and others.


If all the films that Claudette made in which she dealt with children - bathing them, tucking them into bed, reading to them, consoling them - were arranged in order of age, from infants to toddlers, pre-adolescents, teenagers, and adults, the image of a perfect mother would emerge. Perhaps Claudette was just a screen mother, but one would like to think that her films revealed the kind of mother Claudette might have been if she had children of her own. Even when she bathed her young son in Family Honeymoon, she did it with such naturalness that it seemed not only unrehearsed but also unfeigned. It was the same in The Egg and I, when she cupped the chicks in her hands as tenderly as she would hold an infant in her arms. Somehow one feels that changing diapers would have come as easily to Claudette as breezing down a staircase in a Travis Banton gown. 
- Claudette Colbert: She Walked in Beauty