George Bryan Brummel, a British military officer, loves Lady Margery, the betrothed of Lord Alvanley. Despite her own desperate love for Brummel, she submits to family pressure and marries ... See full summary »
Fabien des Grieux, a divinity student, comes to the rescue of a beautiful girl, Manon Lescaut, when her brother tries to "sell" her to the lecherous Comte Guillot de Morfontaine. Fabien and Manon fall in love and he abandons his priestly ambitions. But de Morfontaine has no intention of giving up his desire to possess Manon. She again falls into his clutches. Fabien, borrowing on his father's wealth, transforms himself into a gentleman gambler and moves into court society. But there he discovers that Manon is endangered not only by the cruel de Morfontaine, but by the King of France himself. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
The story of Manon Lescaut has been retold several times since the good Abbé first wrote it. It's a tragedy with all sorts of moral overtones, what with the Chevalier besotted by his love for the gold digging Manon who nonetheless loves him back in her own way. This film version is somewhat faithful to the original albeit considerably cleaned up for us puritanical Americans. Already a shocker when it was first published in 1731 many of the sordid details, especially Manon's prostitution, was barely hinted at and the tragic ending completely left out. What's left is a period drama with considerable posturing and glaring, great costumes and great production values. The first half is rather slow and drawn out. With Manon's prostitution left out it's a little difficult to evoke the emotions needed to connect a viewer to a show. But once she's arrested and sentenced to the colonies the film takes off with a bang. From then on it's a roller-coaster ride, lots of action, pathos, drama. It never lets up. This part makes the whole thing worth seeing. One last thing: I'm a fan of Drew Barrymore and it was kind of fun to see her grandparents together on the screen. I sure hope she continues the dynasty.
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