Set against the background of the Battle of Waterloo, Becky Sharp is the story of Vanity Fair by Thackeray. Becky and Amelia are girls at school together, but Becky is from a "show biz" ...
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Mary Rutledge arrives from the east, finds her fiance dead, and goes to work at the roulette wheel of Louis Charnalis' Bella Donna, a rowdy gambling house in San Francisco in the 1850s. She... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
At breakfast, Jane announces that she and Ralph are getting married the next week. All Jane and Ralph want is a small wedding with the immediate family and no reception. This is because ... See full summary »
Brothers Monte and Ray leave Oxford to join the Royal Flying Corps. Ray loves Helen; Helen enjoys an affair with Monte; before they leave on their mission over Germany they find her in still another man's arms.
The small kingdom of Marshovia has a little problem. The main tax-payer, the wealthy widow Sonia (who pays 52 0f the taxes) has left for Paris So Count Danilo is sent to Paris, to stop her ... See full summary »
Edward Everett Horton
Ellen McNulty loses her hamburger joint and goes to see her son, who marries a socialite at the same time. Due to her modest background and a case of mistaken identity, Ellen poses as the newlyweds' cook.
Discovery by Flo Ziegfeld changes a girl's life but not necessarily for the better, as three beautiful women find out when they join the spectacle on Broadway: Susan, the singer who must ... See full summary »
Set against the background of the Battle of Waterloo, Becky Sharp is the story of Vanity Fair by Thackeray. Becky and Amelia are girls at school together, but Becky is from a "show biz" family, or in other words, very low class. Becky manages to insinuate herself in Amelia's family and gets to know all their friends. From this possibly auspicious- beginning, she manages to ruin her own life, becoming sick, broke, and lonely, and also ruins the lives of many other "loved ones". In the movie we get to see the class distinctions in England at the time, and get a sense of what it was like for the English military at the time of the Napoleonic wars. Written by
Pat Nixon (then Patricia Ryan), the future wife of Richard Nixon and the First Lady of the United States from 1969 to 1974, makes an uncredited appearance during the ballroom scene. See more »
In the final scenes, Becky is living in a drab furnished room that is clearly shown to be on the second floor. However, once in the room, a look through a window shows people walking on the street - at the same level as the room itself. See more »
The use of colour within Becky Sharp makes it worth viewing.
"Becky Sharp" seems to have consistently attracted unfair comments. Whilst it may not be as subtle as many of its contemporary counterparts, the story provides a fun basis for a glorious use of Technicolor. As the first feature length movie to be shot in full colour, the film is a wonderful example of cinema as spectacle. Though admittedly, at times, the viewer may almost be sent cross-eyed by the vibrancy of the colour, its use is interesting in so far as one can see the attempts made at one level to exhibit the colour, whilst also trying in vain not to distract from the narrative. Also, from the beginning of the opening sequence the status of the film as a stage adaptation is clear, and in this way the idea of the now overlooked tradition of cinema as spectacle is further enhanced.
The plot itself is slightly reminiscent of a Gainsborough melodrama (although it precedes them), and yet it is refreshing in many ways that Becky is not the subject of the traditional narrative retribution and resolution. The over-the-top nature of some of the narrative action does provide moments which may cause an audience member to cringe; however, if the film is not taken too seriously, it remains enjoyable.
"Becky Sharp" has too often been overlooked in the history of film. It may not have been widely popular at the time of its release, and it may not be seen within a high cinematic cannon, but it is definitely worth viewing, if only to appreciate the emergence of three colour film as the new advancement in film technology.
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