5 November 2001 | Doylenf
The kind of costume drama that should have been in color...
Mitchell Leisen was at the top of his form as a director in the mid-'40s and KITTY is a high point in his career, as it is for Paulette Goddard. This is the tale of a sharp-tongued guttersnipe (Goddard) who rises to become a Duchess in society thanks to the manipulations of the scheming Ray Milland and Constance Collier. It's a variation of the Pygmalion tale, a 'My Fair Lady' without music, sumptuously photographed in glorious B&W photography, although it's one of those costume films that would have looked even more ravishing in technicolor.
As for any further comment on the film, here's what I wrote in a recent article on the career of PAULETTE GODDARD:
"When Paramount failed to make a successful bid for 'Forever Amber', they decided to make their own costume drama about a poor wench from 18th century London who rises from guttersnipe to society woman. Paulette gives undoubtedly one of her best performances in a lavish period film that should have been in color. The N.Y. Times noted: 'Paulette Goddard has worked up blazing temperament to go with her ravishing beauty in the title role. If she is less fetching as a late 18th century duchess, it is because the script runs thin on humor and drama. In any case, she gives the work the correct touch of wry romanticism.'"