In one of the most unjustly overlooked fables from Hollywood’s golden age, Gary Cooper and Ann Harding play two separated childhood sweethearts miraculously reunited as adults, only to be divided again when Peter is imprisoned. Undeterred, the spiritually conjoined couple continue to commune in a dream world of their own making.
With its metaphysical (but avowedly non-religious) storyline and ingenious photographic effects by Charles Lang, Peter Ibbetson is one of the most daring and advanced Hollywood films of the 1930s.
Whether down its relatively mundane title, or its incongruity in the directorial career of war ‘n’ westerns specialist Henry Hathaway, the film has fallen between the cracks somewhat. But it’s without doubt an unheralded classic awaiting rediscovery.