Cluny Brown  [DVD]
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Romantic comedy-cum-social satire, set in the pre-war 1930s, from legendary director Ernst Lubitsch. Cluny Brown (Jennifer Jones) is a young London lass who harbours dreams of becoming a plumber. When she takes on a plumbing job at a society home, she meets dashing Czech philosopher, Adam Belinski (Charles Boyer), a refugee from the Nazis. Hoping to climb the social ladder, Cluny accepts a position as maid in a fancy country home, where she once more meets Belinski, who happens to be a house guest, and they promptly fall in love with each other. Then the altogether more rich Mr Wilson (Richard Haydn) appears on the scene and the flighty Cluny must decide where her heart belongs...
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Top Customer Reviews
Jennifer Jones has a deep note to her voice which has reminded me in previous films of Marilyn Monroe; here, she is very Monroe-ish, and her character is quite similar to Marilyn's in The Seven Year Itch - though perhaps not so daffy, or overtly sexy. There is a scene in which she and Boyer are reminiscing about their first meeting, where she turned up in lieu of her uncle to mend a sink - the other servants are eavesdropping and plainly think the two of them are talking about sex. `I rolled up me sleeves,' says Jones, `and rolled down me stockings - and bang, bang! bang!' The way she says it is hilariously suggestive - how they got it past the censors beats me.
Anyway, a charming film - not very well known, I think - and definitely to be recommended.
The actors are all perfect in their parts: Cluny "who does not know her place", Belinsky who manages to con his way as a "great man" through insular British pre-war society, to the members of the "lower orders" who not only know their place but relish being in it. It is a finely chiselled cameo, with every scene just right.
Different from the book and much, much better - someting that can rarely be said of films based on books.
"Trouble in Paradise" from Eureka (Region 2), "The Shop Around the Corner" Korean Import (All Regions), "To Be or Not to Be" form Universal Studio Canal (Region 2) and "(El Pecado de) Cluny Brown" from Cinecom (All Regions).
I have not seen these DVD's on a large screen, only on a 15.6 laptop screen, so "technical review" means in this case how the movies work on my laptop, concerning picture and sound. I have seen the first two of the films in full lenght, and the last two only five minutes to check if they work. They do. All four movies have (at least for a laptop) fine picture and sound. All four are with original english soundtrack (with some subtitles on 2 and 3). No. 4 is dubbed in spanish, but easily changed to the original english soundtrack. Reviews on Lubitsch can be found elsewhere. He was a great director, and I think that "To Be or Not to Be" and "Cluny Brown" are masterpieces. Arne Sørensen
Lubtisch's last film encapsulates pretty much his entire career -effortlessly light,witty and sophisticated with a message(here it is the british class system) and beautifully played by another wonderful cast.Boyer,not given to comedy is rather good here and the erratic Miss Jones is lovely as well but everyone gets several moments to shine - the aforementioned Hadyn as Mr Wilson:"You might care to look at this picture.It was painted by hand" being one of many.
Adapted by Samuel Hoffenstein and Elizabeth Reinhardt from Margery Sharp's novel, Cluny Brown has - for want of something more intelligent to say - an air of sophistication while still being a little ribald - which could not be said of today's comedic output.I grew up on Airplane,Caddyshack,Meatballs and if you were looking for a little more subtlety Woody Allen and that compared to today's garbage makes people like for Lubtisch and Preston Sturges giants of film comedy from what was truly the Golden Age of Comedy.
Lubtisch made as well as Cluny Brown, Trouble in Pardise,To Be Or Not To Be,Heaven Can Wait,Design For Living and The Shop around The Corner.Delightful films all.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was very pleased to be able to come across this copy.The film seems to have been remastered and is therefore of a very good quality.Such a dligght to watch this superb comedy!Published on 21 Dec. 2013 by Lily
I new it was a spanish import but in the directions that came with it ,it said you could put it to the full English soundtrack and TURN OFF the subtitles but i had to put up with... Read morePublished on 2 Jan. 2013 by ron
Cluny Brown (Jennifer Jones) is sent to a country estate to act as a maid. However, she'd rather be a plumber. Read morePublished on 20 May 2010 by Alex da Silva
A nice love story with an excellent cast and plenty of humorous incidents. No overt sex, no violence, no nudity, no drugs, no foul language - just a goodhearted story and really... Read morePublished on 21 Feb. 2010 by Alexander Sd Spiers
A charming film in some ways, with some characteristic cameos & subordinate roles. But oh dear, what is the explanation of the heroine's American accent, when her uncle is a... Read morePublished on 11 Nov. 2009 by M. J. Walker