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In 1909, the beautiful but amoral British belle Ivy Lexton meets older, rich Miles Rushworth; undeterred by the prior claims of her husband Jervis and lover Roger, she goes after Miles and has no trouble fascinating him, but oddly enough he has compunctions about making love to other men's wives. The means that Ivy reluctantly adopts to resolve the problem of too many men promise disaster for all concerned. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Joan Fontaine shines darkly as duplicitous killer in period melodrama
Poor Ivy: Though to the manner born, she had the bad luck to marry a charming wastrel (Richard Ney). As the movie is set in the 20s or 30s, when rigid Victorian ideas of class were starting to fray at the edges, this uncertain status vexes her unduly. The Gretorexes (for so they are called) don't know where their next shilling is coming from but there are yachting parties and fancy-dress balls in posh pleasaunces aplenty to tempt her. When Ivy (Joan Fontaine) makes the acquaintance of a wealthy older gent (Herbert Marshall, who must have been born middle-aged), she sets one of her extravant chapeaux for him. Luckily, one of the beaux she still strings along (Patric Knowles) is a physician whose consulting rooms provide a cache of poison, with which she bids her hubby farewell. The fact that it implicates Knowles doesn't phase her a bit, even as the hours trickle by until he should be hanged by the neck until dead. The turning of the plot depends on police inspector Sir Cedric Hardwicke; Knowles' mother (the redoubtable Lucile Watson); and Knowles' loyal housekeeper (Una O'Connor). Sam Wood adds some subtle touches to this well above average melodrama; Fontaine's luminous face supplies the rest.
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