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At a time when Britain was supposed to be flat broke and ordinary people were seemingly as monochrome as the movies they watched, Ealing Studios was churning out classics of all kinds. It's all reversed nowadays. In this case a beautifully crafted and intelligent Mills & Boon in Technicolor and, with my thanks to the knowledgeable commentary of theowinthrop written earlier, the added frisson of apparently being (almost) perfectly true.
Amidst the political machinations of the House of Hanover in its striving for the throne of England 300 years ago, a young and beautiful woman forced to be the wife of the boorish future King falls for a young and dashing Swedish nobleman, and vice versa. While a powerful lady of the court is also passionately in love with the soldier. As always befits our Betters they all know their duty to power and money, much to the unhappiness of all those only in love. Although initially it may take a few minutes to get into the politics of another world, it's a mesmerizingly told tale with solid emotional acting moving through some colourful luxurious sets and alternating between intense romance and somber intrigue, even a little swash. Of the main stars Stewart Granger was seldom more er masculine and although Joan Greenwood was even more wishy washy than usual it was perfectly played and believable. One thing: did Sophia's letter to her son ever get delivered?
It might be more of a hit with the ladies, but gents too should enjoy it, with or without hankies.
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