Sommersby is a 1993 romantic drama film directed by Jon Amiel. It is a remake of the 1982 French Film Le retour de Martin Guerre (The return of Martin Guerre) by Daniel Vigne. Both of these stories center on a man who returns home after being away many years at war. Yet, the man who returns is an imposter, who appears to fool his family and the townspeople. It is not till near the end of each film, that you learn the truth.
Sommersby, is a story that draws in its audience with the American traits of idealism and romance. It is a story about Jack Sommersby returning to his wife Laurel after the civil war. But in reality it is Horace Townsend who returns, playing Jack. It ...view middle of the document...
Jack (Horace) also takes on the issue of rights for freed slaves (idealistic during the era, and even today). Although threatened for his actions in an attempt to make him not allow Black people to own his land, he does not back down from selling to Blacks, saying that the they can “own what they pay for.” How much more idealistic could Jack (Horace) be, but to take on the issue of human rights.
Sacrificing all for the better good is another part of the American ideal. Jack (Horace) is taken to court because of a murder that the real Jack committed. In an effort to save him, Laurel his wife, who believed all along that Horace was not the real Jack tells the Judge that he is an imposter. She does this because she has grown to love Horace. But then Horace convinces the Judge that he is Jack Sommersby, and as such gets punished to death. So again, you have the ideal of risking one’s own life for the greater good. His refusal to go back to being Horace, saved Laurel and the baby having nothing.
On the romantic side, American’s always like a good romance. In Sommersby, you have the romance between Jack (Horace) and Laurel. It shows the American desire that you can find true love. While Laurel knew deep down inside that the person returning from the war was not Jack, she fell in love with Horace for who he was. While the trial of Jack (Horace) was going on and Laurel was trying to get Jack (Horace) to save himself by declaring his true identity. Jack (Horace) asks Laurel why she does not believe him to be the real Jack. Her answer was “because I never loved him the way I love you!" After that Laurel declares that Jack (Horace) is...