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A prominent politician is preparing to expose a financial scandal. But then a woman who has invested heavily in the shady venture threatens to uncover a damaging secret in the politician's past if he exposes the speculation as a fraud. His problem is compounded by his wife's intolerance of the slightest character flaws. Written by
This adaptation of the Oscar Wilde story "An Ideal Husband" works pretty well as light entertainment despite some shortcomings. It focuses on the dilemma of a prominent British politician, who wants to expose a financial fraud but who has been threatened with personal ruin if he does. The plot that follows does not really fulfill all of the potential of the situation, but that is probably a deliberate decision, as the story focuses more on the sights, atmosphere, and ways of upper-class society.
It often moves slowly in order to call attention to the sometimes extravagant habits of the characters; sometimes this is effective, sometimes less so. Once it gets going, the pace picks up a little. There are some moments of good subtle humor and commentary, with some of the funniest scenes perhaps being those with Michael Wilding as a wastrel son being confronted by father C. Aubrey Smith. Paulette Goddard is pretty good in an underplayed role as the villainness.
Overall, it scores higher on style than on substance, but perhaps that is exactly as intended, and it is entertaining enough to be worth seeing.
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