While Lady Christabel Beauclark, a bird fancier, is scurrying about demanding certain territorial rights for British birds from other countries, Her Ladyship's niece is falling in love with... See full summary »
Ivan Kouznetsoff, a Russian engineer, recounts during World War II his stay in England prior to the war working on a new propeller for ice-breaking ships. Naïve about British people and ... See full summary »
Vivian Kenway, a young Englishman from an aristocratic background, flunks out of Oxford, and decides to use his considerable charm to achieve his goal of, apparently, making dissipation his... See full summary »
Roger Quain, who escorts two zoo-bound black panthers on the train from Milan to Paris, agrees to help a Western agent, Catherine Ullven, by hiding a microfilm in the collar of one of the ... See full summary »
A ruthless businessman tries to steal his brother's successful shipping company. He hires a gifted mimic to date one of his brother's daughters to get some inside information about the ... See full summary »
The title, in British police parlance of the day, defines a petty crook whose criminal activities are minor and legal-borderline, but the title character in this film appears to stretch the... See full summary »
In 1940 Sally Maitland is forced to leave England, ostracised as a Nazi sympathiser by everyone including her well-to-do family. On the ship to Halifax, Canada, she is courted by Polish ... See full summary »
A young man makes his living in Paris in 1900 by fighting duels on behalf of other parties. He is hired to injure a leading politician and starts to get involved with a girl he uses to ... See full summary »
Washington DC in the war. The machinery of government is a hive of endless if not seamless activity. Arnament production is the name of the game, by fair means or foul. Ed Browne, more used... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland,
While Lady Christabel Beauclark, a bird fancier, is scurrying about demanding certain territorial rights for British birds from other countries, Her Ladyship's niece is falling in love with the family butler, Tom Gilbey. The birds are forgotten when war breaks out, and Gilbey now finds himself in love with the niece whose love was previously unrequited. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
... though somewhat confusing. I would have been the first to attempt a synopsis for this movie but the plot to me was a bit oblique. Not only do we have a romance across "class distinction" lines with the backdrop of a slightly daffy female aristocrat trying to protect English migratory birds, but there is something to do with an interpreter played by the beautiful Lilli Palmer who neither looks nor sounds like a Brigid Knudsen. And our heroine, Joan, played by Penelope Ward, getting all mad at the criss-cross of relationships the meaning of which people scope out on the basis of one remark or juxtaposition. At least Joan gets a bit of come-uppance when a foreign political cartoonist sketches her toothy upper class face a bit too faithfully; that funny showcase is never revisited so it's almost like a red herring, but never mind. The political cartoonist is one of the menage of trois or quatre or cinq that gets Joan and others upset; the other major player is a Frenchman who I kept expecting to get with Lilli/Brigid, especially as she looked and sounded so much more French herself.
But the priceless person in this little exhibition, aside from Margaret Rutherford as our dotty aristocrat, is Michael Wilding, who went on to fame as Elizabeth Taylor's second husband. He apparently never rated himself as a good actor but he is very effective here, and very funny in spots. And not bad-looking. Transparently an attempt to cash in on the success of My Man Godfrey about a romance with one's butler from across the pond, for my money this one was even better, which does happen occasionally with rip-offs. Notwithstanding that that sort of thing might never have happened -- my stepfather insisted that British aristocracy would never look beyond their class so Pygmalion/My Fair Lady was completely fraudulent, too, in his view. But despite some of the stumbles, it can be forgiven on the basis of sprightliness and maybe any awkwardness adds to the comedy.
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