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Saturday, May 24, 2008

MADAME PIMPERNEL/aka: PARIS UNDERGROUND (1945)

In a late example of a fading Hollywood contract star going to England for a career boost, delectable Constance Bennett plays a madcap, irresponsible Yankee stuck in occupied France. She’s uses her glam appeal to aid the resistance & help Allied troops escape with the help of co-hort Gracie Fields, the Brit Music Hall star in her final screen perf. The whole unlikely enterprise is done with reasonable flair with surprisingly lively direction from Gregory Ratoff and stellar lighting from lenser Lee Garmes. Too bad no one was able to turn the dramatic corner in the last act when the film tries for a darker, more serious tone, but it’s well worth a gander. As is the still jolie Mme Bennett.

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