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Derrick De Marney,
The father of a girl in an orphanage has been writing his daughter, who doesn't remember him, tales of his success in business. Actually, he is impersonating a friend, a handsome gambler. When the father dies, the gambler takes to girl from the orphanage and tells her the truth. But the girl is now a full-grown beauty and complications arise, including those provided by a black-sheep brother. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Stewart Granger was 16 years older than Jean Simmons when they married in 1950, so they had real life chemistry together in this 1949 film as mature man (Adam) having a relationship with a beautiful girl (Evelyne).The plot has already been outlined by other user comments so I will merely comment on the time and direction.
As someone who was born in 1946, 1949 was, for most of us, a year in Britain of food rationing, burdensome post war taxes and austerity.Shots of people drinking champagne, drinking and eating in nightclubs, buying expensive clothes and driving expensive cars were a million miles away from most Britons life experiences then.It is only in recent history that gambling has been legalised and it is worth reminding viewers that in 1949 this practise could be prosecuted hence the film's depiction of illicit gambling in private homes.
The relationships of ex-service personnel in the post war period could be strong if they had previously shared privation together during the war in a life inter depending culture.This fact is clearly shown by Adam's steadfast friendship with his Irish jockey comrade who has secretly sired a beautiful daughter (Evelyne) who now resides in an orphanage.Adam and his Irish war friend share a mutual love of horse racing (and gambling) which keeps their friendship current with a strong bond of loyalty between them.The morality of the 1940s meant people could not be seen to be escaping the consequences of the law and a racing scam cooked up between them goes tragically wrong and the Irish jockey loses his life while racing.With his last breath he asks Adam to look after his daughter.A previous reviewer predicted the film's outcome but it is still enjoyable seeing how the characters finish.The mature divorcée who wants to marry Adam (while using her flat for gambling) is in for a bitter disappointment but so is Adam when she tips off Adam's ne'er-do-well younger brother, out of female spite, when she realises she cannot compete in the emotional stakes with the beautiful 20 year old Jean Simmons, when they give the police a tip off about illegal gambling.
There is a nice cameo performance about morality from Wilfrid Hyde White who explains to Evelyne that heroes often come with clay feet.Enjoyable with competent direction in B&W. I rated it 6/10/
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