Joan Fontaine

 

The Constant Nymph (1943) was taken from a novel by Margaret Kennedy and had been filmed previously with Brian Aherne in the lead. (Aherne was married to Joan Fontaine at the time she starred with Boyer in this remake.)

Joan Fontaine had just won the Oscar for Best Actress in Hitchcock's "Suspicion" and she would be nominated again for her performance as Tessa. 

 

Teenaged Tessa has been in love with Louis (Boyer), a composer friend of her father's, all her life. She dreams of the day when Louis will look at her as more than an intriguing child, and she forsees a rosy future.

But when Tessa's father dies, enter a rich uncle and cousin (Charles Coburn and Alexis Smith, respectively) who whisk Tessa and her younger sister off to boarding school in England.

A miserable Tessa is further plunged into despair when Louis marries Florence and begins a pampered life of wealth and luxury. All is not well with the marriage, however, as Louis soon feels trapped and restless - and then like a breath of spring young Tessa arrives to stay in the household, having run away from the hated school.

As Louis and Tessa grow closer and closer, Florence becomes increasingly jealous and distraught. Events draw to a head on the night of the gala concert hall performance of Louis' composition, a tone poem written for Tessa alone.

Compelling and romantic, "Nymph" boasts a sweeping, magnificent score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, always a plus for any movie.


Boyer and Joan Fontaine

Boyer and Alexis Smith

 

 

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