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On a vacation in France from his nondescript job and life, John Barratt encounters a titled but impoverished French nobleman who looks exactly like him. The nobleman gets John drunk, and switches places with him to take a breather from his failing business and too-complicated life. John tries to convince everyone he is not who they think he is, but he begins to get more and more involved with the count's family, including an unhappy wife, domineering mother, lonely but talented young daughter, bitter spinster sister and the expected mistress. As John gets to know them he feels he can help them with their problems, but is also becoming used to his borrowed life, which has given him a purpose for the first time.Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
A rejected score consisting of classical selections plus original music by Douglas Gamley was recorded in England. See more »
When they first enter the hotel room the suitcase is placed at the foot of the right side bed. The next morning it is at the foot of the left bed. See more »
You have the intention of staying long in France, Mr. Barratt?
I don't know. That is to say that I didn't know there was any restriction apart from the question of money.
See more »
Cast listing 'custom's official' - should be customs official See more »
Alec Guinness once again plays a dual role. In this one, his two personas are that of a wicked French count and a benign Englishman. Despite some interesting supporting cast, including a very Baby Janeish Bette Davis, the story seems somehow only half told, and the two Guinness characters remain frustratingly underdeveloped. We sense a conflict between good and evil, but we are never made to understand why this is nor how it came about. The ending is frustrating in the extreme.
I decided to write this primarily to point out the appearance of Donald Pleasence as a desk clerk. Up till now, he remains uncredited.
All of this said, I would still recommend watching this oddity the next time it happens to come around. It is Alec Guinness, afterall.
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