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Loosely inspired from Gauguin's life, the story of Charles Strickland, a middle-aged stockbrocker who abandons his middle-classed life, his family, his duties to start painting, what he has... See full summary »
Famed English painter Priam Farll has spent the last 25 years living in various remote locations with only his trusted manservant, Henry Leek, for company. While Farll is summoned to London to receive a knighthood, Leek falls ill and dies. Wishing to avoid the ostentation knighthood ceremony, the reclusive painter assumes his valet's identity. Farll, posing as Leek, soon receives a letter from Alice Chalice, a widow who has been corresponding with Leek through a marriage bureau and is expecting to finally meet her beloved in person... Written by
At approximately 1:05:54 into the film, the well-lit wall close behind the two main characters suddenly cuts to darkness, as though simulating a night scene, and after seven seconds returns to daylight brightness; all while the ongoing dialogue through the two cuts flows smoothly. See more »
Sheer delight - totally original film comedy, veddy English - a gem
This is one of those sheer delights that get overlooked and then rediscovered to one's great joy. It is charmingly written, directed and acted and So Veddy British in its outlook. A famous painter whom no one has ever seen due to his hatred of publicity returns to England from his jungle home to be knighted. His servant dies of pneumonia and the examining doctor mistakes him for the painter and the painter for the servant. This rather delights the painter, irascibly played by Monty Woolley. Complications arise when it seems his man did not tell him entirely about the life he has decided to subsume, including having arranged through a marriage brokerage to find a wife (no nonsense and take charge performance by Gracie Fields) as well as the fact that he is already married (Una O'Connor) with a bevy of grown sons. Suffice to say Woolley marries Fields and continues painting under his assumed identity, but complications arise when paintings being sold as originals are proved to have been painted after the supposed death of the artist and when former wife sues for bigamy. This screenplay adaptation deserved and earned an Oscar nom. The cinematography also deserved a nod. Seek it out if you can find it and prepare to be utterly charmed. Highly recommended.
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