London, 1783: Kitty, a saucy wench of the slums, meets the painter Gainsborough by stealing his shoes. He paints her as an "anonymous lady" who excites the interest of his noble friends, notably penniless Sir Hugh Marcy, who schemes to pass Kitty off as a genuine lady (a formidable task) and marry her off for financial gain. But Kitty has her own ideas about the uses of matrimony. Lots of decolletage. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The kind of costume drama that should have been in color...
Mitchell Leisen was at the top of his form as a director in the mid-'40s and KITTY is a high point in his career, as it is for Paulette Goddard. This is the tale of a sharp-tongued guttersnipe (Goddard) who rises to become a Duchess in society thanks to the manipulations of the scheming Ray Milland and Constance Collier. It's a variation of the Pygmalion tale, a 'My Fair Lady' without music, sumptuously photographed in glorious B&W photography, although it's one of those costume films that would have looked even more ravishing in technicolor.
As for any further comment on the film, here's what I wrote in a recent article on the career of PAULETTE GODDARD:
"When Paramount failed to make a successful bid for 'Forever Amber', they decided to make their own costume drama about a poor wench from 18th century London who rises from guttersnipe to society woman. Paulette gives undoubtedly one of her best performances in a lavish period film that should have been in color. The N.Y. Times noted: 'Paulette Goddard has worked up blazing temperament to go with her ravishing beauty in the title role. If she is less fetching as a late 18th century duchess, it is because the script runs thin on humor and drama. In any case, she gives the work the correct touch of wry romanticism.'"
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