vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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An alternate "Vigil"

If fans of Carole Lombard were asked which one film of hers they would take to the proverbial desert island, one presumes "Vigil In The Night" would draw few votes, even though it's perhaps her best dramatic effort. But it's so intense, so downbeat, that it can make for difficult viewing at times. (Quite a few nurses admire the film and Lombard's workmanlike performance.)

But here's something not many fans know: "Vigil," released in February 1940, actually has two endings.

Director George Stevens added a few minutes to the close of the film for European audiences, recognizing the start of World War II on the continent. According to Wikipedia's account, "British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's voice is heard on the radio in Dr. Prescott's (Brian Aherne) office explaining that Hitler has refused to withdraw his troops from Poland and that, therefore, a state of war exists between Germany and Great Britain. The American version of the film contains no such radio message and a shot of Anne Lee (Lombard) and Dr. Prescott reacting to the news was deleted."

Here's a Spanish poster for "Vigil":

A few years ago, when Turner Classic Movies in the U.S. aired the film, it showed the European ending, explaining it was something few Americans had ever seen. It would make an ideal extra for a DVD release of "Vigil," something that unfortunately has yet to occur. For now, the best you can do is watch a trailer for the film online:



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