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The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947)

Approved | | Drama | 25 April 1947 (USA)
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... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Suzanne Walter (as Susan Douglas)
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Monsieur Walter
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Jacques Rival
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Katherine Emery ...
Richard Fraser ...
Philippe de Cantel
John Good ...
Paul de Cazolles
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Norbert de Varenne
...
Potin
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Storyline

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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WOMEN GROVELED AT HIS FEET... and whimpered when he paused to give them a smile!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

25 April 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bel Ami  »

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(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Warren William. See more »

Goofs

At 9', a piano player and a violin player are doing a number. We hear a vibrato on the violin, but the left fingers of the player are not moving at all. See more »

Quotes

Georges Duroy: [dying] I have been scratched by an old cat.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "This is the history of a scoundrel. The time is 1880 and the place is Paris." See more »

Connections

Version of Bel Ami (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

The Ruins of Athens
(uncredited)
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

 
One of the most adult and intelligent American films of the forties.
3 April 2016 | by See all my reviews

Albert Lewin's reputation rests almost entirely on two films, "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and "Pandora and the Flying Dutchman" but his masterpiece must surely be the little known and little seen "The Private Affairs of Bel Ami" from the novel by Guy De Maupassant. It is, of course, a very witty portrait of a cad, beautifully played by George Sanders, but it is also a film of considerable psychological depth and one of the most adult and intelligent American pictures of the forties with not a trace of the camp usually associated with the director.

Rather we get an incisive picture of a period and that rarefied milieu of high Parisian society, beautifully written by Lewin and superbly played by everyone. In particular Angela Lansbury is outstanding as the one woman Sanders might actually have feelings for. It's a great performance that should have made Lansbury a major Hollywood player rather than simply the great character actress she became. Even the usually wooden Warren William excels here. If any film cries out for a restoration it is this one.


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