J.B. Ball, a rich financier, gets fed up with his free-spending family. He takes his wife's just-bought (very expensive) sable coat and throws it out the window, it lands on poor ... See full summary »
Tony (Charles Laughton), a successful but illiterate middle-aged grape farmer, sends the photograph of his handsome young foreman, Joe (William Gargan), instead of his own, hoping to woo ... See full summary »
The obsessive and jealous shipowner Bruce Vail does not accept the divorce his wife Irene Vail achieved in London, and he hires his driver Michael Browsky to forge adultery with Irene in Paris to make the decree null. However, she is rescued by the headwaiter Paul Dumond, who punches Michael and locks Bruce and his private eyes in a locker, and they spend a wonderful night together in the restaurant Chateau Bleu, where Paul and his best friend Chef Cesare work, and they fall in love for each other. Meanwhile, Bruce kills Michael and blackmails Irene, blaming Paul and forcing her to return with him to New York. But Paul does not give up on Irene, and moves to New York with Cesare trying to find her love. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 10, 1940 with Charles Boyer reprising his film role. See more »
[referring to a painting of Irene]
Well, what do you think of your portrait? I had it painted from a cherished photograph, and I'm going to hang it in the royal suite of The Princess Irene.
By the neck until it dies?
See more »
This mixture of suspense, comedy, and romance might seem unlikely to work, but it does, due to director Borzage's vision of a love that magically transcends even the most dire of obstacles. This movie is in love with love and the improbable, and in some ways is a Cinderella story almost in reverse (including the removal of a lady's slippers on two occasions). Arthur and Boyer are lovely together. Some of their scenes, luminously lit and heightened by Alfred Newman's lyrical score, are heartbreaking: their beautiful voices are almost like cellos. (Newman wrote a number of such tender and yearning scores in the thirties, including those for "Stella Dallas" and "These Three.") There's also an interesting paralleling of the love/passion that Arthur's husband has for her and that Boyer's friend has for him, although one is destructive and the other nurturing.
Years ago there was a local radio station in San Francisco that played short clips from films and invited listeners to identify the film and the actors and thereby win a prize. At that time I had never seen "History," but knew of it and its two stars, and was therefore able, on hearing the distinctive voices of Arthur and Boyer, to identify the film and be awarded a free fancy haircut.
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