After Larry Darrent accidentally kills his lover's blackmailing husband, someone else is arrested for the crime. Larry and Wanda have just three weeks together before the trial and if the ... See full summary »
During World War I, believing her fiance to be dead, a young ballerina loses her job and is forced to turn to prostitution. From there, things only get worse for her in this tragic, heart-wrenching, love story.
On the sidewalks of the London theater district the buskers (street performers) earn enough coins for a cheap room. Charles, who recites dramatic monologues, sees that a young pickpocket, ... See full summary »
Gutsy lass Gracie rallies fellow stall-holders at Birkenhead Market to prevent its takeover and demolition by a department store chain. She invokes the Market's foundation by Royal Charter ... See full summary »
In this very British feature, Vivien Leigh plays a titled Lady, the estranged wife of a benighted judge, come down in the world to live with her feckless lover, fly-by-night (no pun intended) test pilot Kenneth More, given to drinking and golfing in equal measures. The arresting opening scene shows her nosy neighbours, no doubt aware of the novelty of her status and circumstances, finding her unconscious in her and her lover's cheap flat, having attempted suicide with a combination of sleeping pills and gas.
The assistance of a neighbouring ex-doctor, played by Eric Portman, who walks around in shades and who we later learn was struck off a year ago for an undisclosed misdemeanour, brings her round. Soon on the scene too is her posh ex, (Emlyn Williams) obviously still in love with her and who obviously still cares for her and who tries to win her back. From there, in a series of flashbacks, we're brought up to date as we see how the triangular situation commenced, developed and led up to her course of action. How the three of them go on on from there informs the rest of the movie up to the emotional climax at the end.
This is very much the type of drama with characters using words like "Whizzo" "cad" and "good form" that the Angry Young Men of the British theatre world were rebelling against at around this time and not much further around the corner the new wave of realism in British cinema and the "Kitchen Sink Dramas" of the early 60's. Here then we have yet another examination of upper class mores and a familiar storyline of marital infidelity, with as usual as much left out as in, no doubt respecting the morals of the day, for example that the main catalyst for the affair between Leigh and More is physical attraction just as much as her rejection of the staid high society life she's endured more than enjoyed up until then.
With a screenplay adapted from his own play by Terence Rattigan, it does look at times like a museum piece with its cut-glass accents, genteel manners and stereotypical depiction of the working class landlady and out of work actress tenant. It's also difficult to warm to Leigh's poor little rich girl plight and even less so More's waster of a character. Some attempts are made to shed the piece's theatrical roots most obviously with an episode at a skiing resort which adds little to the plot, but by the end you can almost see the actors following their cues up until Miss Leigh's time of reckoning at the end.
Maybe I just like my porridge a bit thicker and saltier than this but even as it was possible to admire to some extent the stagecraft of the piece and the solidity of the direction and acting, ultimately the piece left me rather unsympathetic to the main characters and cold to the film as a whole.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this