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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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
Barbara O'Neil was extremely unhappy with how her character was portrayed on screen; she felt that the Duchesse should be less glamorous and much older looking so that it would make more sense that her character would have more reason to be jealous of the much younger Henriette. See more »
The Duchess of Praslin is seen licking envelopes in which she has placed letters to her husband, the Duc de Praslin. This film is set in the 1840s; gummed envelopes would not be invented for another 100 years. Correspondence in the 1840s would not be placed in a #10 business envelope anyway as seen in the film. The letters would be be placed in another sheet of paper and then sealed over with a wax seal or simply folded over and sealed with a wax seal, sometimes a ribbon set in the wax as well. See more »
Bette Davis had so many memorial film performances that it's hard to rank them - but her role here is just superb, particularly because it shows how subtle and nuanced she could be. While "Now Voyager" and "All About Eve" may be more impressive (because she plays stronger characters) this is really a stunning, quiet, yet wonderful job.
You genuinely feel like these screen children love her. And, given the time period, you feel like Boyer does to.
This is a rather long film, but the direction is solid and it just keeps moving along.
The script is really solid as well. There is little wasted time. Everything clips along rather nicely and I was surprised at how I fell under the spell of this film...
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