At the beginning of the 20th century, a rich American boy touring Europe with his uncle stops at a trendy German resort and meets a pretty young girl who is there with her mother, a widow. ... See full summary »
At the beginning of the 20th century, a rich American boy touring Europe with his uncle stops at a trendy German resort and meets a pretty young girl who is there with her mother, a widow. The young couple fall for each other, until the young girl's mother's past begins to have an effect on their relationship. Written by
This episode of Screen Directors Playhouse is an adaptation of a short story by Henry James titled "Louisa Pallant". After watching the film, I sought out and read the story online out of curiosity, as I had never before read anything by James. The film varies considerably from the story, but maintains the basic premise.
The film introduces us to a gentleman and his nephew who meet in Europe where the uncle is escort the young man on a vacation. While there, the uncle (who narrates James' short story) meets a former flame who is accompanied by her daughter. The uncle (played ably by George Sanders) deals with his feelings for the mother (played by Constance Cummings), but the primary part of the story is about the feelings that might be developing between the younger pair (played by Robert Vaughn and Cynthia Baxter).
The mother has definite ideas about what she wants to happen with the young couple. Those ideas are revealed at the end of the film, which ends rather abruptly. Like James' original story, the narrative is more about motivations and intentions than actions. Some viewers may find the ending disappointing.
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