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The Story

While this movie is not available on video, it has been shown from time to time on AMC or the Fox Movie Channel, so it could be run again. The movie might appear a bit "preachy" to some people of today. However, it is a beautifully made, very compelling love story that must be taken in the context of the time in which it was filmed - a day where patriotism ran high in a very scary time.

This Above All is a poignant love story, set during World War II's Battle of Britain. Joan Fontaine plays Prue Cathaway, daughter of a London doctor, raised in a home of wealth and privilege. She joins the ranks of the WAAFS (Women's Auxiliary Air Force), much to the surprise and chagrin of her family, especially her Aunt Iris. Her aunt feels that it is beneath Prue's position in society to enter as an enlisted woman and that, at the very least, she should have joined as a commissioned officer. Prue's patriotism runs high, however, and of utmost importance to her is that every person do his part to help England win the war, whether born to wealth or poverty.

Prue becomes friends with one of her fellow WAAFs, who arranges a blind date for her. In the dark, she meets Clive Briggs (Tyrone Power), a mysterious young man who is oddly not in uniform. She is immediately attracted to him, despite his obvious lower station in British society and the fact that he appears to be a troubled young man. Her reason tells her not to become involved with him, but her heart tells her otherwise.

She ends up spending a weekend with him at a seaside resort. There, she coaxes him into revealing the secret that he has been keeping from her, the reason for his moodiness. When one of his buddies shows up at the resort, she learns more about Clive from him.

Prue loves Clive deeply and wants only to help him with his inner struggles. Despite her talks with him and his love for her, he cannot go back to fight the war. Before leaving her, he writes her a letter, telling her his feelings.

He wanders the countryside, confused in his own mind. With her words in his head, though, and help from other people that he encounters, he does find some answers.

After he is counseled by a minister, Clive makes the decision to return to duty. He calls Prue and proposes over the phone. She accepts his proposal, and they agree to meet in London before he turns himself over to the military. She waits for him, but he never appears. He has been seriously injured in an air raid, while helping rescue a trapped woman and her child.

Knowing that something serious would have happened to keep Clive from her, Prue goes to her father for help. Clive is in a hospital, near death. Prue's father operates on him; Prue marries him; and the vigil over Clive's bedside begins. Clive improves, and the two of them resolve to first fight her war; then his.

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