Review: ‘Cluny Brown’

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.

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.

Cluny Brown

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Ernst Lubitsch; Producer Ernst Lubitsch; Screenplay Samuel Hoffenstein, Elizabeth Reinhardt; Camera Joseph La Shelle; Editor Dorothy Spencer; Music Cyril Mockridge;; Art Director Lyle R. Wheeler, J. Russell Spencer

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1946. Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Jennifer Jones Charles Boyer Peter Lawford Helen Walker Reginald Gardiner Reginald Owen
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