Why does it always take me so long to act on excellent suggestions?
Someone told me several years ago to walk, not run, to the rental store to get “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness.” Now that we have Netflix, the movie has been available at the tap of a screen for over a year.
It is everything a movie should be and more, all tied up in one neat package, with a pretty ribbon!
A biography (of Gladys Aylward, a British missionary to China).
A piece involving sweeping and exotic geography (China).
A historical piece, intersecting with World War II.
A faithfilled movie, exalting Christ.
An upbeat movie, with Miss Aylward and a band of refugee children never, ever giving up, despite weeks of little food and cold weather as they traversed the mountains in wartime.
An adventure (and not just the mountain journey, which is the last half hour of the movie).
A story of love, for a country, for a village, and for individuals within that village. The sort of love that led Miss Aylward to take Chinese citizenship and to never run away from her people during wartime dangers and discomfort.
And, best of all, an old-fashioned love story, with people willing to chastely wait for each other during the frequent movements and relocations required by the war. Both Miss Aylward and her beloved knew they had missions to perform and both bravely moved forward with them, believing they would be reunited after the war.
They don’t make movies like this anymore!!!
It was like “The Sound of Music” only the mountain journey was much longer and more intense.
It was like “Bridge on the River Kwai,” only the marchers were not men whistling the movie’s theme song, they were children singing “This Old Man.”
It seems that the number of stories produced by World War II is infinite, not only because so many millions of people were directly involved, but because, even if it were possible to tell every one of their stories, there are so many fictional accounts that could be spun off from them.
Truly I have spent a lifetime reading about (and watching movies about) World War II. It is my most fascinating period of history and I never grow tired of it.
But this movie is an utter triumph! Ingrid Bergman may have outdone her role in “Casablanca” with it. And that is saying a mouthful!!!