Young Sophia Dorothea (Joan Greenwood) marries Prince George Louis (Peter Bull), but it's far from a love match. Then she falls for Swedish Count Philip Christoph von Königsmark (Stewart Gra... Read allYoung Sophia Dorothea (Joan Greenwood) marries Prince George Louis (Peter Bull), but it's far from a love match. Then she falls for Swedish Count Philip Christoph von Königsmark (Stewart Granger).Young Sophia Dorothea (Joan Greenwood) marries Prince George Louis (Peter Bull), but it's far from a love match. Then she falls for Swedish Count Philip Christoph von Königsmark (Stewart Granger).
Actually, most of the reviewers here actually do ample justice to a production which excels in all departments, and succeeds in being a romantic film which balances passion with such intelligence that a powerful and moving tragic sense is conveyed of real people trapped in a world of inhuman artifice and formality. I think Dearden's work here has a powerful impact that is at least the equal of David Lean's later epics. It also often even reminded me of the sad fate of Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, like Koenigsmarck the commoner victim of a cruel aristocratic world, the reality of which is portrayed without illusions.
So why the poor overall rating? This really can't be justified, or tolerated, and I must be particularly lavish in my praise to help raise it up towards something nearer to it's true worth.
Once again, here in Britain, it was only thanks to the ever-excellent 'Talking Pictures TV' that we got a chance to see this neglected masterpiece at all. Really the general churlishness of modern neglect towards this utterly magnificent film is very hard to fathom.
Perhaps it is merely the jealousy of mediocrities who can never hope to grasp or emulate such an intelligent movie, in which the historical background is correctly but lightly established, or to command such a superbly well-constructed portrait of passion and intrigue in high places. In Britiain we seem to have developed an aversion to a past so often sweepingly dismissed as both hopelessly outmoded, as well as politically irredeemable, by an influential cultural cabal that wants to sweep away the inconveniently substantial achievements of earlier generations, which they find so uncongenial to their own doctrinaire, yet strangely insecure and intolerant ideals.
Objectively, the direction, screenplay, acting, costumes, set, camera-work and general mise-en-scene are of an uniformly high standard. Only a philistine, or a doctrinaire but shallow cineaste who feels threatened by having the grand achievements of his parent's and grandparent's generations, as it were, looking over his shoulder, could possibly dismiss such a magnificent and effective film. Some fellow-travellers of both regrettable tendencies seem to be sitting in judgement of this fine film here, but not enough of them to relegate it to a miserable 6.6, surely?
- Jun 30, 2020