On 11.21 Kino Classics will release a Bluray of David O. Selznick and John Cromwell‘s Since You Went Away (’44), a domestic wartime drama that runs nearly three hours. The Bluray contains the 177minute roadshow version while Wikipedia lists a general release version running 172 minutes.

I can watch The Best Years of Our Lives over and over, but I can’t invest in watching a nearly-three-hour woman’s film starring Claudette Colbert. She was mildly alluring in the ’30s (Cleopatra, It Happened One Night, Midnight) but something intensely stodgy and conservative overtook her in the ’40s. Plus she was a Republican and a Reagan supporter, and she had a short neck.

Since You Went Away is famous for a sentimental railway station goodbye scene between costars Jennifer Jones and Robert Walker, who’d been married for four or five years at the time of filming. But Jones had been having an affair with Selznick since ’43, and the couple was going through a bitter divorce; they parted soon after Since You Went Away was completed. The farewell scene was parodied in Airplane! (’80 — clip after the jump)

The father of actor James Cromwell, the elder Cromwell was a kind of house director who churned out audience movies in the ’30s and ’40s (The Prisoner of Zenda, In Name only, Abe Lincoln in Illinois) before shifting into film noir (Dead Reckoning, The Racket). The poor guy was blacklisted from ’51 through ’58. His last significant film was The Goddess (’58), which was thought to be based on the unhappy personal life on Marilyn Monroe.