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The Forgotten: Capriccio Espagnol

Certainly there are lots of books which have been filmed far more times than Pierre Louÿs' The Woman and the Puppet, but his book has the distinction of having formed the basis for four widely varying masterpieces, or so I'd argue.

The book, in which a poor factory girl drives a middle-aged nobleman to sexual distraction by incessantly leading him on, then spurning him, became Buñuel's final film, That Obscure Object of Desire (1977). Famously, Don Luis cast two actresses in the role of the schizoid heroine, but declined to follow standard logic by having one play consistently hot, the other cold.

Only slightly less celebrated is Josef von Sternberg's last Dietrich vehicle, The Devil is a Woman (1935), flaunting the Production Code by having Dietrich tease two men to the point of murder, and blithely get away with it. Her victims are Lionel Atwill and Cesar Romero (real-life

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