Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge, and predictable complications result.
When lovely and virtuous governess Henriette Deluzy comes to educate the children of the debonair Duc de Praslin, a royal subject to King Louis-Philippe and the husband of the volatile and obsessive Duchesse de Praslin, she instantly incurs the wrath of her mistress, who is insanely jealous of anyone who comes near her estranged husband. Though she saves the duchess's little son from a near-death illness and warms herself to all the children, she is nevertheless dismissed by the vengeful duchess. Meanwhile, the attraction between the duke and Henriette continues to grow, eventually leading to tragedy.Written by
Sincere performances by Davis and Boyer in overlong soap opera...
Bette Davis drops her scenery-chewing manner and is absolutely docile and restrained throughout as a woman falsely accused of having a love affair with Charles Boyer. The real scene-stealer in this one is Barbara O'Neil (she was Scarlett O'Hara's demure mother). So much venom in her performance, she is a striking actress and was rightfully nominated for a Supporting Actress Oscar. All the period sets and costumes are magnificent, the supporting players are expert and, of course, Max Steiner contributes one of his most impressive background scores. Bette is the surprise here. It's nice to see her playing such a docile role with such skill and earnestness, getting full sympathy for her character. An absorbing, if overlong, period soap opera from the Rachel Field novel. Definitely worth seeing.
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