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Cynara

Stage play [by H. M. Harwood and Robert Gore-Brown] has been put on the screen with beautiful balance of directness and simplicity. Treatment leans heavily to the British ideal of maintaining a calm and mannered surface that only sharpens the suggestion of emotional tumult beneath. Ordinarily the device weakens a tale but here the play makes its point in spite of it, largely because it has to do with gallant and likable people - Ronald Colman's very human husband, Kay Francis' glamorous wife, and the eager young London shop girl who stumbled into being the other woman without very well knowing what she was doing, and afterward paying bitterly for her wayward impulse.

With:
Ronald Colman Kay Francis Phyllis Barry Henry Stephenson Viva Tattersall

Stage play [by H. M. Harwood and Robert Gore-Brown] has been put on the screen with beautiful balance of directness and simplicity. Treatment leans heavily to the British ideal of maintaining a calm and mannered surface that only sharpens the suggestion of emotional tumult beneath. Ordinarily the device weakens a tale but here the play makes its point in spite of it, largely because it has to do with gallant and likable people – Ronald Colman’s very human husband, Kay Francis’ glamorous wife, and the eager young London shop girl who stumbled into being the other woman without very well knowing what she was doing, and afterward paying bitterly for her wayward impulse.

Story really is a romantic tragedy built out of a minor bit of philandering.

The coroner’s inquest sequence is a model of brevity in dialog, conveying a maximum of dramatic effect with the utmost economy of words and practically no action at all. Tenseness of the passage is strangely conveyed by the very terseness and immobility of the actors.

The family friend is played by Henry Stephenson, who had the same role in the stage play and came within a narrow margin of stealing the honors. Here he is excellent. A newcomer to the screen is Phyllis Barry an English girl from musical comedy. This story doesn’t bring out her best points. For one thing she looks and acts a good deal too refined for the role. Chances are she was cast for the satisfying picture she makes in a bathing suit.

Cynara

Production: Goldwyn/United Artists. Director King Vidor; Producer Samuel Goldwyn; Screenplay Frances Marion, Lynn Starling; Camera Ray June; Editor Hugh Bennett;; Art Director Richard Day

Crew: (B&W) Extract of a review from 1932. Running time: 78 MIN.

With: Ronald Colman Kay Francis Phyllis Barry Henry Stephenson Viva Tattersall

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