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Affair in Monte Carlo (1952)

24 Hours of a Woman's Life (original title)
Approved | | Drama | 14 August 1953 (USA)
A writer tells a crowd in a café about a woman he knows, who once feel deeply in love with a desperate, compulsive gambler.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
The Young Man
...
Robert Sterling
Stephen Murray ...
Father Andre Benoit
Peter Reynolds ...
Peter
Joan Dowling ...
Mrs. Barry
June Clyde ...
Mrs. Roche
Peter Illing ...
M. Blanc
Jacques B. Brunius ...
Concierge, Pension Lisa (as Jacques Brunius)
Isabel Dean ...
Miss Johnson
Peter Jones ...
Bill
...
Henriette
Mara Lane ...
Alice Brown
Robert Ayres ...
Frank Brown
Cyril Smith ...
Harry
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Storyline

Writer Robert Sterling is visiting a café, when suddenly a scandal becomes known. To keep the others from overreacting, Sterling tells them about something similar that he saw happen years ago. He had been in Monte Carlo, and was playing host to a young widow whom he knew well. When he persuaded her to visit the casino one night, she became irresistibly attracted to a desperate young man who became suicidal after losing all his money at roulette. Sterling describes how they fell deeply in love, and how both of them then had to face difficult decisions about the future. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She knew the kind of man he was... but this was Monte Carlo... his arms were paradise... and nothing mattered but the chance that she could hold him! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Affair in Monte Carlo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

The Young Man: You've been talking all night to a gambler and a thief. I put the word 'thief' second, notice? All my life I've been a gambler. No, don't go... listen to me. I think you should hear what sort of a mudpie you've dipped your ladylike fingers into. I was born in Ireland where my father owned a racing stable. At the age of 6 I was saving pennies to back horses for the local bookmaker. Then when I came to England and school, I stopped backing horses and taught the other kids how to play poker. I ...
[...]
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Connections

Remake of 24 Stunden aus dem Leben einer Frau (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Prière
(uncredited)
published as "Hour of Meditation"
Music by Léon Boëllmann
Adapted by Philip Green
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User Reviews

Had Unfulfilled Potential
2 December 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This movie version of the Stefan Zweig story is worth seeing, but it has a lot of unfulfilled potential, and it could have been much more memorable. The story has been filmed several times, and indeed the novella seems ready-made for a movie. It combines an interesting setting, compulsive gambling, suicidal tendencies, a love affair, crime, and quite a bit more into a concise story that plays out in the space of just one day. At the same time, there are some challenges in making it into a movie, since much of the force of the story comes from the psychology of the characters, rather than from their actions.

The various movie versions have each chosen different ways of framing the main narrative. In this adaptation, the main story is told as a flashback by a writer played by Leo Genn, whose character also played a role in the main story itself. Genn's character is actually a little underused, and doesn't allow him to use some of his best strengths as an actor, but the character itself is a suitable choice for the narration.

The story takes place in Monte Carlo, and it includes a lot of location footage. But, at least in the public domain print (which could be the problem), the setting and scenery are never quite as striking as you would have expected them to be. Many other movies have used the same setting to more memorable effect.

The main story has Merle Oberon suitably cast as the young widow who becomes irresistibly attracted to a desperate gambler, and who tries to save him from his addiction to roulette. Oberon's rather ethereal, dreamy presence makes her character's actions seem believable. She is hindered, though, by some weak dialogue that sometimes reduces her deeper feelings to the level of clichés.

The gambler character is never fleshed out, and Richard Todd plays him in a one-dimensional fashion. To some degree, this is supposed to be the character's nature, but even a little more of a sympathetic side could have made the story more powerful. Todd, though, is also hindered by some stale dialogue, even more so than Oberon. The conversations between Oberon and Todd ought to have been the centerpiece of the movie, and with better dialogue they could easily have evoked more passion and tension.

The story itself focuses attention on the desire of a woman to change a man who really does not want to change all that much. As such, it is a thought-provoking character study, and it provides some useful ideas to think about. In this particular adaptation, the themes are all there on the surface, but they are never examined as deeply as they could have been. It is still adequate as a dramatic story, but it had the potential to be more than that.


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