Live scenes of Paris and a continuity Narrator link together four dramatic re-enactments of original ballet creations by Roland Petit and his ensemble, Ballets de Paris: Carmen (1949), La croqueuse de diamants (1950), Deuil en 24 heures (1953), and Cyrano de Bergerac (1959).
Les Ballets de Paris,
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Based on Daniel Defoe's 1722 novel of the famed English adventuress Moll Flanders. Moll is first engaged as a maid by an eighteenth-century English family chiefly composed of sex-starved males. She marries the imbecilic second son, who prefers booze to copulation. Too embarrassed to speak the truth of him, she demurely tells friends, "Modesty forbids me to reveal the secrets of the marriage bed." She then meets a rich banker, becomes maid-companion to a count and his lady, and finally weds the banker, but leaves him on their first night together. She then joins a group of thieves, falls in love Jemmy, and becomes their number one asset before she is sent to prison. After she is released, she finds Jemmy, and, in the end, everyone is on an America-bound boat except the banker, who fortuitously dies of a heart attack before he has had an opportunity to alter his will.Written by
Kim Novak was at the height of her career fame and after filming Strangers When We Meet, The Notorious Landlady, Boys Night Out, Of Human Bondage, Kiss Me Stupid, Kim Novak starred and I mean starred in the film version of Defoe's class "Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders. Kim Novak -in red hair in this movie- is sensational, sexy, a great star turn in this movie filmed entirely in England. It was supposed to be a riff on "Tom Jones" but instead became a fine film on its own right.
Terence Young -whom I read Kim Novak enjoyed working with- is a fine director and paced this comedy well with great support from a cast of pro's Angela Lansbury, Vittorio De Sica, Daniel Massey and a man Kim would marry Richard Johnson. (The marriage was a quick one and now Kim Novak has been happily married for nearly 40 years to Dr. Robert Molloy). Novak remains friends with Richard Johnson.
Back to Terence Young, Ms. Novak who had a unfair reputation of being difficult to work with proved far from the truth as Directors such as Alfred Hitcock, Billy Wilder, Otto Preminger, Joshua Logan, George Sidney, Delbert Mann all had high praise for the sleek Kim Novak's acting ability. One of Novak's great directors Richard Quine fell deeply in love with the star and his films especially 'Strangers When We Meet' reflect the deep love Quine had for the star.
Kim Novak- A real Movie Star!- made her most famous film Hitchcok's Vertigo with James Stewart at Paramount on loan out from Columbia and also this is a Paramount film. Two of Kim Novak's finest performances were in Paramount movies!
Kim Novak to me is one of the more under-appreciated stars in Hollywood. With a body of work that includes Picnic, Man With The Golden Arm, Vertigo, Bell Book and Candle, Strangers When We Meet, Kiss Me Stupid, Of Human Bondage, Moll Flanders, and later on her wicked star turn in The Mirror Crack'd Novak worked with the greatest of Hollywood stars: Elizabeth Taylor, James Stewart, Rita Hayworth, Fred Astaire, Roz Russell, William Holden, Judy Holiday, Jack Lemmon, Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Frank Sinatra, Peter Finch, and all had positive things to say about working with this fine actress.
I recommend this delightful film.
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