Apart from its whammo entertainment and box-office aspects Cluny Brown can be recorded as glamorizing the first of a clan. A lady plumber. And a looker, no less. The kind for whom stopped-up pipes are a pleasure.
Jennifer Jones is the girl, Charles Boyer her anti-Nazi refugee vis-a-vis, Ernst Lubitsch produced and directed. Cluny is in the best Lubitsch tradition of subtle, punchy comedy, and his two stars make the most of it. It is a satire on British manners, with bite and relish. The insipidity of a specific family is the mirror through which is reflected Margery Sharp’s novel of British pre-war aristocracy and the middle class. None of it is treated seriously of course.
When Cluny isn’t cleaning stopped-up pipes, she’s a maid in the home of the aforementioned aristocrats. The family’s bowing acquaintance with world events is confined, for example, to the knowledge that an Austrian named Hitler had written a book, or something.