When a young man marries the bosses daughter, the young couple must now do the company entertaining. But it isn't easy getting good help, as they go through a procession of strange and stran... Read allWhen a young man marries the bosses daughter, the young couple must now do the company entertaining. But it isn't easy getting good help, as they go through a procession of strange and stranger servants.When a young man marries the bosses daughter, the young couple must now do the company entertaining. But it isn't easy getting good help, as they go through a procession of strange and stranger servants.
- (as Myléne Demongeot)
Formulaic until Mylene Demongeot subverts it
This is not by any means a very good film, but it is quite a good film. What almost ruined it for me was the class differences, and how basically the well-off couple played blandly by Michael Craig and Anne Heywood seem to think it is their 'due' to having servants to fulfill their basic needs. And of course the servants have to be either thieves, alcoholics or plain stupid. Downstairs quite literally is their home in every sense of the word. This fortunately was blown more or less out of the water in 1960 when the case for the prosecution depended on the premise of ' would you want your wife or servants to read this book? ' The book being the unexpurgated version of ' Lady Chatterley's Lover'. But in this film the D. H. Lawrence book even expurgated is nowhere in sight. The only time any sense of reality and a class threatening sexuality appears is when Mylene Demongeot enters the house, and sexual hypocrisy is totally thrown out of the window. All the well-off husbands with servants fall for her, take her out and then blame their wives for not understanding them. Demongeot is intelligent as well as being a fine actor, and gently demolishes them by reminding them of their double standards. It is only when Michael Craig has sex and maybe love on his mind as well that the film goes into some sort of genuine emotion and disquiet. No spoilers as what happens but all I can say is it holds up a harsh light on the morality, so called, of the time. After this French woman (although Demongeot is ridiculously supposed to be Swedish) takes over life is not quite the same, although to me a false ending calms England's murky sexual desires, and I did not believe in it. Claudia Cardinale delightfully plays the first sexual intruder and Demongeot continues where Cardinale left off, but Demongeot is more incisive. Daniel Massey and James Robertson Justice are also very good in their roles, but then there was an edge to their acting that the UK never properly explored.
- Jun 30, 2021
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By what name was Upstairs and Downstairs (1959) officially released in Canada in English?Answer