A short tribute to Edmund Gwenn

EdmundGwennPortraitShot  EdmundGwenn-Bigamist215

 He was the quintessential avuncular Englishman, poised and proper, but thoughtful and full of insights.  While he is most often known as Santa Claus in Miracle on 49th Street,

miracleon34thSt-764100

 

and who could make a better Santa Claus, my favorite Gwenn film is Apartment for Peggy, an uninspired title for a very fine and neglected film, also starring Jean Crain and William Holden.  It is the thoughtful journey of an elderly academic luminary who has decided to end his own life.  The lack of housing in Cambridge after the war forces him to rent his attic to the bustling and full of life Peggy (Jean Crain) while her husband (Holden) studies chemistry at Harvard.  The professor and Peggy are at two poles of experiencing life:  Peggy on the brink of having her first child and the professor feeling that, since his wife passed away, he no longer has a reason to live.  Peggy convinces him to hold seminars in philosophy for herself and other GI bill wives whose husbands have access to college while they do not—they work to support their families. In a pool hall they borrow for the class, there is a lively discussion of philosophy and ideas among the women assembled, a scene often lacking in the history of film.  And Gwenn is there, the Professor revitalized by new ways of thinking, a soul becoming recommitted to being.

 

EdmundGwenn

 

 

Advertisements

About D. L. Pughe

Freelance writer and artist. https://thedreamofknowledge.com/about/
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s