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The Enchanted Cottage

The Enchanted Cottage(1945)

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The Enchanted Cottage A scarred veteran and a homely... MORE > $19.99 Regularly $19.99 Buy Now

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At a party, while waiting for the arrival of Laura and Oliver Bradford, blind pianist John Hillgrove plays a tone poem titled "The Enchanted Cottage," which he wrote in their honor, and relates their story to his assembled guests: In the nearby countryside, a great estate lies in ruins, the main house razed by a fire. Only one wing survived the flames, and legend has it that the original owner, an English nobleman, remodeled the wing and has begun to rent it out as a romantic hideaway for honeymooners. Intrigued by the legend, Hillgrove asks his young nephew Danny to guide him to the cottage. There he meets the current owner, an aloof widow named Abigail Minnett. The music of romance eludes Hillgrove, however, until one day, Laura Pennington, a homely young woman, arrives at the cottage to apply for a job as housekeeper. Lonely following the death of her mother and ostracized because of her appearance, Laura falls under the cottage's spell. Mrs. Minnett, devastated by the death of her husband during World War I, feels a kinship with the girl and hires her to work as a maid for the engaged couple who have just rented the cottage. Soon after, the couple, Oliver Bradford and his fiancée, Beatrice Alexander, arrive. Beatrice is disappointed by the cottage's simplicity, but Laura assures her that the place is enchanted and shows her the window on which lovers throughout the ages have etched their names. When Oliver starts to etch Beatrice's name using her engagement ring, the stone falls out of its setting, creating a sense of forboding. Oliver, a pilot, is called to war before he can be wed, and soon after, Beatrice cancels their lease. One year later, a telegram comes from Oliver, stating his intention to rent the cottage for an indefinite period of time. Expecting to greet the newlyweds, Laura is shocked when Oliver arrives alone, his face horribly disfigured and his arm disabled from an airplane crash. Soon after, Oliver's shallow mother, Violet Price, his stepfather Frederick and Beatrice come to visit, but Oliver refuses to see them. Angry and bitter, Oliver slowly becomes softened by Laura's compassion and common sense. One day, Hillgrove comes to meet Oliver and reveals that he lost his sight during World War I, but that his love of music offered him new vision. Sensing that Oliver is filled with self-pity, Hillgrove counsels him to accepts his disabilities. Three weeks later, Oliver receives an ultimatum from his mother: either come home or she will move in with him. To fend off his mother, Oliver proposes to Laura and she accepts. After their wedding, the newlyweds send for Hillgrove and avow that they have experienced a physical transformation. Laura explains that they both believed their marriage a farce until their wedding night when Laura tried to voice her devotion to Oliver and suddenly, the room became filled with enchanted music and she saw Oliver as he was before the accident. Now realizing that he is truly in love with Laura, Oliver sees his wife as a beautiful woman. Their illusion is shattered, however, by the intrusion of Oliver's mother and stepfather. Although Hillgrove tries to reassure them of their son's newfound peace and happiness, the Prices see only ugliness and imperfection and insult Laura's appearance, thus shattering the dream. Mrs. Minnett consoles them by stating that their love gives them a gift of sight unlike any other, and later that night, Oliver inscribes their names on the window. His thoughts returning to the present, Hillgrove continues to play the piano as Laura and Oliver approach the portal to his house and embrace, their beauty restored by love.