The Clock

The Clock ★★★★½

What do you get when you cast a romantic drama with two of the most weirdly intense actors of the 1940s, if not of all-time? A weirdly intense romantic drama.

"What if we'd never met?"
"We couldn't not have met."

An apocalyptic version of the city symphony romance (Lonesome) with Garland and Walker touring New York in all its beauty (the park, the museum) and ugliness (the drunken fights, the bureaucracy). The crowds separate them, repeatedly. Public transit separates them, repeatedly. Minnelli surrounds them with others (the guy sitting just off-center frame, watching their mournful post-wedding meal, minding his own business but observing all is my favorite). But ultimately they are saved by the people, individuals who give them a lift, offer them a meal, help them manipulate the system. The war explicitly hangs over it all; as soon as they meet, their time is running out.

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