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In late 18th century Italy, a beautiful young woman finds herself married to a rich but cruel older man. However, she is in love with another, younger man. When the husband finds out, he kills the lover in a swordfight, and takes his wife on a long trip throughout Europe. Months later, she dies giving birth to a son. The husband leaves the child at a convent, where he is raised until the age of 10; then he is apprenticed to a local merchant, who gives him the name "Anthony Adverse" because of the adversity in his life. But his adversity has only begun, as fate takes him to Cuba, Africa, and Paris. Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
Adventure and Romance in the 1930s' Hollywood Tradition!
Fredric March stars as the title character, an orphan boy discarded due to his illegitimacy, who overcomes much adversity throughout his life. He is raised in a convent and adopted by a wealthy merchant, Edmund Gwenn, at the age of ten. He learns the business, but is shipped to Havana around the time of the French Revolution. Before he departs, it is learned that he has married the daughter of a servant, Olivia DeHavilland. He is thought lost at sea by all, but is actually in Africa running a slave trade, with his heart blackening the whole time. From there, the tale takes many twists as Anthony must find goodness in his heart again, and DeHavilland may be the key. The drama is a bit heavy-handed and some overacting is present. Claude Rains and Gale Sondergaard make great antagonists, and Sondergaard won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance.
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