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Josef von Sternberg,
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William A. Seiter
Christabel fools everyone with her sweet exterior including her cousin Donna and Donna's wealthy fiancée Curtis. The only one who sees through her facade is Nick, a rugged writer who loves her anyway. Christabel also loves Nick, but she loves Curtis' money more. After convincing Curtis that Donna is only interested in him for his money, she tricks Curtis into marrying her. Of course, she still dallies with Nick on the side. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
Nicholas Ray beautifully directs this well-cast drama of a scheming woman (Fontaine) hiding behind an innocent exterior. Fashionable Fontaine is savvy, well-versed, lovely and fascinating in the lead role, one of her best, in lust with the rugged Robert Ryan, but tempted by the millions of Howard Hughes-esquire Zachary Scott. Scott's engaged to Joan Leslie, while Mel Ferrer is amusing ("I have to convince husbands that I'm harmless to their wives") as a painter. Notice that when Fontaine begins to lie, she turns away from her "victim" while she states her untruths, nicely done. The jewelry shop scene is hilarious; musical score is also very effective. Great script: a woman party-goer says to Ferrer, "Do you think my husband would like to see a portrait of me hanging over the fireplace?" Ferrer: "I think your husband would like to see you hanging any place."
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