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Based on Daniel Defoe's 1722 novel of the famed English adventuress Moll Flanders. Moll is first engaged as a maid by an eighteenth-century English family chiefly composed of sex-starved males. She marries the imbecilic second son, who prefers booze to copulation. Too embarrassed to speak the truth of him, she demurely tells friends, "Modesty forbids me to reveal the secrets of the marriage bed." She then meets a rich banker, becomes maid-companion to a count and his lady, and finally weds the banker, but leaves him on their first night together. She then joins a group of thieves, falls in love Jemmy, and becomes their number one asset before she is sent to prison. After she is released, she finds Jemmy, and, in the end, everyone is on an America-bound boat except the banker, who fortuitously dies of a heart attack before he has had an opportunity to alter his will. Written by
"There's the ruination of the finest pair of thieves in town!"
Watchable, faintly amusing adaptation of Daniel Defoe's novel "Moll Flanders", chronicling the sexual misadventures of an orphan-turned-servant girl in the 18th century who marries her employer's foolish son and quickly becomes a widow. Working as a maid to a titled lady, she is determined to find a wealthy husband, but instead finds herself attracted to a suave highway robber. Director Terence Young and a solid assemblage of talents can't quite breathe life into this British-made comedy, much of it seeming like a distaff "Tom Jones". There are lively moments along the way, although Kim Novak just squeaks by as Moll (a good sport rather than a star performer, she's upstaged by the randy supporting cast). The production is meant to be plush and the screenplay is meant to be bawdy, yet both are disappointing. Novak and Richard Johnson were briefly married in real life. ** from ****
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