Jul 26, 2008

It Had to be You

Ginger Rogers plays a wealthy girl who is afraid to commit to marriage. She leaves three men at the altar, and is engaged to a fourth. She dreams about an Indian, who advises her not to marry, because she is really in love with him. The Indian materializes, and hijinx ensue. She ultimately meets the real man, and marries him.

What is interesting here is that the contents of her psyche materialize as a man who can be seen, heard, and generally interacted with by other people. A similar concept is used in Forbidden Planet, in which the contents of the id materialize and destroy the Krell, and Dr. Morbius. The usage in Forbidden Planet assumes that Freudian psychology, with its division of the self into ego, super-ego, and id is universal, and transcends planetary bounds. It also assumes that the contents of the id are necessarily malignant, hostile, and destructive. I suppose that might be true if the benign, constructive impulses are somehow compartmentalized into the ego or super-ego, but whether human psychology, in any form, is applicable to ETs is something that I don’t know.

The end shows her riding off with the real man, but he has a pair of Indian moccasins. Does this symbolize the integration of her materialized dream man into the real man, or does it indicate something else?