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William A. Seiter
It's the off-season at the lonely Beauregard Hotel in Bournemoth, and only the long-term tenants are still in residence. Life at the Beauregard is stirred up, however, when the beautiful Ann Shankland arrives to see her alcoholic ex-husband, John Malcolm, who is secretly engaged to Pat Cooper, the woman who runs the hotel. Meanwhile, snobbish Mrs Railton-Bell discovers that the kindly if rather doddering Major Pollock is not what he appears to be. The news is particularly shocking for her frail daughter, Sibyl, who is secretly in love with the Major. Written by
Shannon Patrick Sullivan <email@example.com>
Terence Rattigan's play was generally performed as two one-act plays separated by an intermission, with the same actor playing the Major and John, and the same actress portraying Ann and Sybil. See more »
When John takes Ann in his arms on the terrace, she drops her cigarette. As they go back inside, she still has the cigarette in her hand. See more »
Though Deborah Kerr and David Niven are often singled out for their performances, it's really the sensitive, restrained, and vulnerable performance by Rita Hayworth and her relationship with the intense Burt Lancaster that will make you want to come back to this film again and again.
Kerr is worlds away from her elegant performance in "An Affair to Remember." Her Sybil is dominated by her mother (excellently played by Gladys Cooper), repressed, plain, and rather odd. David Niven plays Major Pollock, a war-story windbag with some disturbing secrets. Niven won the best actor Oscar for his performance. However, on the second viewing of this film, his and Kerr's acting seemed showy and became a little irritating. I'm not so sure they stand the test of time.
The less shrill moments with Wendy Hiller (also excellent), Lancaster, and the lovely, involving Hayworth were a welcome respite. Hayworth, more than anyone else, will break your heart in this film. She makes you care about what happens with her character, Ann. Perhaps their roles weren't as tied to an era as Niven's and Kerr's, but Hiller's, Lancaster's, and Hayworth's acting styles certainly seem more natural and real.
Cathleen Nesbitt also turns in a warm and lovely performance as Lady Matheson.
I definitely recommend this movie!
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