When lovely and virtuous governess Henriette Deluzy comes to educate the children of the debonair Duc de Praslin, a royal subject to King Louis-Philippe and the husband of the volatile and ... See full summary »
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Olivia de Havilland,
Renowned stage actors Basil Underwood and Joyce Arden are partners on and off the stage. An occupational hazard for Basil is that women often fall in love with what they see of him on the ... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland
When lovely and virtuous governess Henriette Deluzy comes to educate the children of the debonair Duc de Praslin, a royal subject to King Louis-Philippe and the husband of the volatile and obsessive Duchesse de Praslin, she instantly incurs the wrath of her mistress, who is insanely jealous of anyone who comes near her estranged husband. Though she saves the duchess's little son from a near-death illness and warms herself to all the children, she is nevertheless dismissed by the vengeful duchess. Meanwhile, the attraction between the duke and Henriette continues to grow, eventually leading to tragedy. Written by
As he lays sick, the governess has Raynald count the segments of tangerine. She starts out counting the first three with him. She interrupts her own count to speak with the Duke, but Raynald continues on. When the governess resumes the count with Raynald, the actual tangerine piece is segment number 7. She mistakenly calls it number 10 and continues with the count from there. See more »
There on the left, the lights in her rooms are burning, and there on the right, the lights in his room are burning and between them is that long passage where the lights never burn. Suppose some night you saw that passage lighted? Would you share your feeling then with all the world?
You'd better go now, Pierre.
I'll go. I'll go, because I see it's too late to give you any warning. Your caught in the net and you don't even wish to escape. Goodnight mademoiselle.
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Based upon the popular 1937 novel written by Henriette Duluzy Desporte's grandneice, one Rachel Field, this movie was a prime vehicle for Bette Davis. This was considered Warners big "prestige" picture for 194O, and it shows: no expense in the production costs were spared, it's an exceptionally finely crafted motion picture. Based upon factual incidents, the story tells of how the notorious 1847 murder of the Dutchess (played with venomous relish by the tall & stately Barbara O'Neil) made Henriette the most notoriously suspicious and despised woman in Europe for a time. Originally, O'Neil's interpretation of the horrendously neurotic Dutchess was played looking a disheveled, unkempt mess physically. The producers thought her appearance would be a bit too uncooth for viewers to endure, but that decision robbed O'Neil of a far more effective characterization. As Henriette, Davis is much more subdued than normal, and her performance is genuinely affecting: another victorious portrait added to her quickly growing gallery of unforgettable heroines and vixens. Charles Boyer is fine as the Duc; he and Davis have a most interesting, classy chemistry between them. The children include Richard Nichols (as the adorable Raynald), Virginia Weidler and June Lockhart. Anatole Litvak's direction keeps this 14O minute saga flowing: the result is a handsome period piece which is done in old Hollywood's best style.
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