27 September 2008 | blanche-2
Early King Vidor
King Vidor directed "Cynara," an early talkie starring Ronald Colman and Kay Francis, in 1932. The title is based on a poem by Ernest Dowson that contains the line: "I have been faithful to thee, Cynara, in my fashion." Colman plays a barrister who is faithful to his wife of 7 years, Clemency (Francis) but succumbs to the carnal temptation of a young girl (Phyllis Barry) while his wife and her sister are in Venice.
As others commented, there are some lovely effects, including the film within a film, and a piece of paper that Colman rips up that dissolves into flying pigeons in Venice. And there are very good performances by Colman, Francis and Barry, who has the difficult role of the young girl who, because of a mistake, is not considered quite respectable, and falls for Colman.
The problem I have with the story is that the Colman character is such a devoted husband in the beginning and so happy about being married 7 years. In practically the next scene, with the encouragement of his friend (Henry Stevenson) he has taken up with this girl. If some of that had been left out of the script, it would have been much more believable.
At any rate, well worth seeing for the director, the precode aspects, and the stars.