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The Enchanted Cottage

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The Enchanted Cottage (1945) starring Dorothy McGuire, Robert Young, Herbert Marshall
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The Enchanted Cottage (1945) starring Dorothy McGuire, Robert Young, Herbert Marshall

In The Enchanted Cottage, after being scarred and disfigured during World War I, can a veteran find love and acceptance from a homely woman?

Review of The Enchanted Cottage

The Enchanted Cottage is a strangely enjoyable romance film. The basic premise has a scarred, bitter G.I. come home after the war. In fact, he comes to live in the cottage that was supposed to be for his honeymoon. But, being disfigured, he’s called off his marriage. If he can’t bear to look at his face, how could he ask a wife to?

Working at the cottage is a sad, homely woman. She is also lonely. But, she’s kind. And, over time, the two start spending time together. Each considers themselves ugly, and unlovable. But, the two marry for companionship — not love. And that’s when the modern fairy tale of The Enchanted Cottage takes place.

Slowly, he becomes handsome — to her. And she becomes beautiful — to him. No one else sees the change, of course. But through the eyes of love, they do. Because they have fallen truly, deeply in love with each other. And they see the true person.

It’s mushy and romantic. And sweet, end enjoyable. I hope you enjoy The Enchanted Cottage.

Cast of characters

  • Dorothy McGuire (Old Yeller) … Laura Pennington. A homely, lonely woman. She fears that she’ll spend her entire life alone and unloved. Until Oliver comes to stay in the cottage.
  • Robert Young (Lady Be Good) … Oliver Bradford. The scared, disfigured soldier. He can’t believe that his fiancee Beatrice could still love him. But, oddly, the homely Laura does.
  • Herbert Marshall (The Fly) … Major John Hillgrove
  • Mildred Natwick (The Quiet Man) … Mrs. Abigail Minnett
  • Spring Byington (In the Good Old Summertime) … Violet Price
  • Hillary Brooke (The Abbott and Costello Show) … Beatrice Alexander. She sees past Oliver’s scars, to the man underneath. But he can’t believe it.
  • Richard Gaines (Double Indemnity) … Frederick ‘Freddy’ Price
  • Alec Englander … Danny ‘Taxi’ Stanton
  • Robert Clarke (The Man from Planet X) … Marine Corporal

Editorial review of The Enchanted Cottage courtesy of

After a crash disfigures his face and maims his body, pilot Oliver Bradford (Robert Young) hides from family and friends in a seaside cottage. There he befriends homely, gentle Laura Pennington (Dorothy McGuire). The two marry for companionship – until some rare magic within the cottage transforms them into ardent and beautiful lovers.

Director John Cromwell’s delicate, achingly romantic film is based on Sir Arthur Wing Pinero’s play, written in a post-World War I era of broken men returning to families who could not recognize them. When history sadly repeated itself, World War II film audiences likewise embraced a story of the transcendent power of love. The film so moved Young that he named his own California home The Enchanted Cottage.

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