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Writer Georges Duroy (George Sanders) is one social-climbing S.O.B. who does most of his climbing over the warm (and cold) bodies of women. He begins with Rachel (Marie Wilson), a hanger-on in the cafes and Folies Bergere crowd, and then moves on to dally with Clotilde de Morelle (Angela Lansbury.) Always striving to move upward on the social scale, he ditches her to marry Madeleine Forestier (Ann Dvorak). Now he gets on the fast track. He persuades Madame Walter (Katherine Emery), the wife of his publisher, to fall in love with him, and then compromises Madeleine to frame a divorce, so he can pursue Madame Walter's daughter, Suzanne (Susan Douglas, before somebody decided her later-married name was her most-often used screen name.) He moves along so well that ere long he is in legal position to usurp the title of one of France's most noble houses. The moral, at the end, is it is okay to mess with French women, but triffling with French titles is going too far. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Although hard to get into this film, with a protagonist who is very unlikable and who, for all his scheming, seems to be falling upward in the social hiearchy more than effectively manipulating those he seeks to use, the movie is worth watching in order to contemplate the young and beautiful Angela Lansbury and the older, wiser, but still beautiful Ann Dvorak. And for the climactic duel.(And some might find the couture sufficiently haute to be worth watching.)
The score by the great French composer, one of Les Six, Darius Milhaud, is pedestrian. Milhaud is not responsible for the annoying song "Bel Ami" which recurs far too often during the seemingly interminable 112 minutes of the movie in the version I saw.
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