At a party for Bright Young Things, a "treasure hunt" for attractive yet virtuous people nets Sir Christopher Strong, M.P., and Lady Cynthia Darrington, dashing aviatrix. Their acquaintance is innocent at first; but after he sees her in a spectacular silver moth costume, virtue begins to wane. Against their wills, they are drawn into an affair whose consequences threaten Strong's happy marriage and both their careers. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Cynthia returns to San Francisco, while exhausted she telephones her lover Sir Christopher. This is very close to the real life events when Howard Hughes returned to New York from his around the world flight and was reunited with his lover, Kate Hepburn. See more »
Lady Cynthia Darrington:
I wouldn't have loved you if you'd been a usual man. And you wouldn't have loved me if I'd been a woman who didn't take this kind of thing seriously.
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I'm not quite sure why the title of this film is not Lady Cynthia Darrington since the film rises and falls on the action of Hepburn's character and not on Colin Clive's title role of Christopher Strong.
Clive is a most proper member of Parliament, probably a Tory, who through a treasure hunt, a la My Man Godfrey, he meets Hepburn who is a young titled woman who has an interest in aviation. In fact she's the British version of Amelia Earhart.
Clive and wife Billie Burke have a daughter, Helen Chandler, who is something of a wild child. She's having an affair with the unhappily married Ralph Forbes. But before long it's Clive and Hepburn who get involved.
Colin Clive gives us a perfect portrayal of a man going through midlife crisis when everything just seems to settle in a dull routine. He's so taken by Hepburn's vitality and independence that their affair has an inevitability about it.
Dorothy Arzner one of the few women directors around at that point also gives us one of Kate's very first feminist icon roles. Her first film, A Bill of Divorcement, had Kate as a dutiful daughter who gives up her man to care for an insane father. Kate has some critical choices to make in Christopher Strong as well.
What she does might not make sense to today's audience, but made perfectly good sense in post Victorian Great Britain. She and Clive make a wonderful pair of tragic lovers in a drama that while old fashioned still holds up.
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