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A party of yachting jet-setters visit French Saigon, where they meet lovely Manon deVargnes, a second-class citizen not allowed to leave the country due to her part-Oriental ancestry. When the others leave, playboy Bill Carey stays behind to woo Manon; but all his efforts to get her out of the country with him run into a brick wall. And Pierre Delaroch, her wealthy former admirer, waits for him to give up... Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Contemporary retelling of the Manon Lescaut narrative.
MGM figured Robert Taylor had scored such a hit in CAMILLE, it would take another warhorse of a novel/play/opera story (Manon Lescaut) and refab it for him and co-star Hedy Lamarr. The result is glossy and sultry (Oscar nom for Cinematography), although slow moving. Lamarr is perfect as the child-like Manon, adept at lying to string men along. Schildkraut in oriental make-up does well as her mentor. The story follows the plot of Manon Lescaut with Manon giving up her courtesan life for true love only to find it impossible to survive without bread. (For those who don't get it, her character is named Manon and she and Schildkraut attend a performance of Puccini's opera of the same name). What is interesting here is the racial intolerance of the expatriate European society (it is set in Saigon and Manon is a half-caste waif). And then the world was shocked at what Hitler did!!! The film thus subtly makes a point that all white society was guilty of at least "thinking" along the Hitlerian lines. For romantic film enthusiasts. Note: Adrian's outfits for Ms. Lamarr are varied and stunning.
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