THE PRIVATE AFFAIRS OF BEL AMI, 1947. Having seen the recent RPatz version a while back (review at 2000s label), I was looking forward to this, as directed by Albert Lewin whose DORIAN GRAY and PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN are favourites of mine. While this starts out well tedium soon sets in and we are begging for it to be over as the two hour mark approaches … Not having read the De Maupassant novel I am not sure how faithful this is, George Sanders is ideally cast of course as George Duroy, that SOB on the make in 19th Century Paris.
Angela Lansbury is a spirited Clothilde, Ann Dvorak is the married woman Madeleine Forestier, and John Carradine her ailing husband who sets events in motion … Frances Dee and Marie Wilson (Rachel, the prostitute) are also good but it all begins to drag, before that dawn duel with carriages and umbrellas in the rain – not quite how the recent version ends, interesting seeing '40s morality imposed on the material. There is one terrific scene of a frenetic can-can type dance Sanders and Lansbury engage in which leaves one as breathless as they are.