9 June 2015 | mcannady1
The Romantic Age '49 - The wrong girl described
Movie Girl -
I saw this film on TV in the early 60's as a kid on a station here that aired British films on Friday nights one summer. My older sister and I always loved this film.
In the second review here it says that Petula Clark was the petulant daughter of Arnold who was spanked at the end. No, it was Mai Zetterling, her provocative school friend.
When I saw the opening scene "Littleton School for Girls" I cheered, for I knew it was the beginning of the film. (Sadly, every time the film aired in the 70's the beginning was cut off and the same happened with Mad About Men!). In the early 90's I finally obtained a complete copy.
The adolescent girl who got spanked by the butler was not Petula Clark here, but Mai Zetterling (as Arlette, a spoiled student) who had had an affair with her friend's father. She had earlier made a bet with her friends that she could seduce the new art master who was the only male teacher and was very reserved. Hugh Williams played the part very authentically.
Petula is very good too as his daughter Julie, but Mai as Arlette Tereseau takes the cake! Raymond Lovell was his usual talented self as the butler. (At the end he reaches his limit of endurance when Arlette is repeatedly rude to him).
I well remember the scene where Petula (as Julie the daughter) goes to a nightclub and dances provocatively with Arlette's boyfriend, Henri Sinclair. When Hugh (as Arnold Dixon) as her dad drags her out of there it makes him realize how sordid Arlette and her friends were. I do remember the woman in the bar who laughed and laughed when this happened! I can still hear her laughter ring out. (Julie secretly restores her family, for her father comes home again after that).
Arnold parts in great sadness from Arlette, believing he has done her wrong. She secretly snickers at him. When Julie discovers the malicious plot hatched by her so-called school friend, she turns away in disdain, but keeps the girl's insults about her boring and stuffy father to herself.
One thing that got by the censors was the spanking by the butler at the end, but the key thing was the fact that she did actually seduce Arnold! The students were on a field trip and it was pouring rain. Arlette was "lost" and sought refuge in a deserted hut. Of course she knew he (as the only man on the trip) would be the one to come to her rescue. (They had spent several hours in the hut). Margot Grahame is great as Helen, his suffering wife. They had been a happy family until Arlette entered the picture.
I will always remember how fun it was to watch with my sister. A lot of things got by me at the time, but in viewing the film again it all fits into place.
Though the film had serious elements there are moments of humor as problems are resolved.