6.6/10
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9 user 4 critic

Notorious Gentleman (1945)

The Rake's Progress (original title)
Passed | | Drama, Romance | 1 November 1946 (USA)
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 »

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(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Godfrey Tearle ...
Colonel Robert Kenway
...
Sandy Duncan
...
Jennifer Calthorp
...
Fogroy
...
Jill Duncan
Marie Lohr ...
Garry Marsh ...
Sir Hubert Parks
David Horne ...
Sir John Brockley
Alan Wheatley ...
Edwards
Brefni O'Rorke ...
Bromhead
John Salew ...
Burgess
Charles Victor ...
Old Sweat
Jan Van Loewen ...
Soldier
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Storyline

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 career. His derelictions include seduction, betrayals of sweethearts, family and friends, and Marriage for money. All this with no signs of remorse or redemption, since his life as a completely unprincipled rake is quite enjoyable...for him, at least. Then, World War II breaks out and he is given a chance to die a heroic death for flag and country. Maybe. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The private life of a magnificent heel...who brought out the woman in women!

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Notorious Gentleman  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Hedda Hopper Show - This Is Hollywood" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 30, 1946 with Rex Harrison and Lilli Palmer reprising their film roles presented under the alternate title "Notorious Gentleman". See more »

Goofs

After sharing a taxi with Miss Calthorp, Vivian Kenway exits the cab. However, scenery seen through the cab's rear window indicates the cab is still underway at a fast clip See more »

Quotes

Vivian as a Boy: I'm going to Eton later on.
Coldstream Guardsman: Eton? Oh I say!
Old Sweat: Eton's no joking matter old cock. Half the war cabinet came from there.
Vivian as a Boy: Well they won the war for us, didn't they.
Old Sweat: No. I'll tell you who's done that for you, if you like. Me. And 'im. The common fighting man. The most long-suffering bloomin' animal in 'uman creation. Forgotten in peacetime. A 'uman target in wartime. And bewitched and bewildered all the time.
See more »

Soundtracks

Good Bye-ee
(uncredited)
Written by Bert Lee and R.P. Weston
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User Reviews

What a bounder!
17 December 1998 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

The Rake's Progress (as this film is known in England) tells the story of a spoiled, rich public school boy who cannot settle in peace time but finds his role during the war by sacrificing himself for the war effort. The name of the film was changed for US audiences, according to Director Gilliatt, because 'the distributors thought the original one might lead audiences to expect something about gardening'!!

Your enjoyment of this movie will depend on your reaction to Rex Harrison in the lead role of Vivian. If you see him as a fun loving bounder, you'll have fun. If, on the other hand you find him an annoying, faithless, womanising bastard then you'll find 124 minutes verrrrry long.

I started off in the first camp, particularly during the scenes when he is based in a coffee plantation in Latin America and the amusing conversations with his elderly aunt. However the charm soon wears off as he cuckolds an old university friend, uses a beautiful jewish refugee to pay off his debts and causes his own father's death in a drink driving accident.

Does he find redemption in the end? Well, this depends on your interpretation of the final scenes. If you buy the moral that he has now found his place then the film has some meaning. I found the redemptive ending tacked on - reminiscent of the way Hawkes was forced to insert the criticism of gangsters in Scarface.

There are some good performances, particularly from Godfrey Tearle as Vivian's father and Margaret Johnson as the Secretary. Rex acts as Rex just like in Blithe Spirit, Doctor Doolittle, My Fair Lady etc....

If you've nothing better to do on a wet Sunday afternoon, give this film a look and post your views.


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