Learn more Download now Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now

on 24 October 2008
A beguiling comedy, the last completed by Ernst Lubitsch as director, Cluny Brown is set in a never-never land England in 1938. Jennifer Jones plays the niece of a plumber, unsure of her place in the world, who takes a job as a maid at a country house, where she re-encounters intellectual Czech refuge and freeloader/free spirit Charles Boyer. This being a romantic comedy, the ending is not hard to guess; however, along the way there are a lot of good jokes, some startling double entendres, and some deft comic acting (Peter Lawford aside, who is a very dull stick).

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.
22 Comments| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 29 January 2014
Sweet and funny and not full of violence or sex and not hectic like most of today's movies. Whole family enjoyed them
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 30 April 2009
British characters as seen by a central European!
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.

Marta Gondos
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 2 July 2010
England in the late 1930's.Czech activist Adam Belinsky(Charles Boyer)fleeing from Nazi persecution finds comfort from an unlikely quarter when a chance meeting with a plumber's "daughter"Cluny Brown(Jennifer Jones)develops into a friendship with country lord's son Andrew Carmel(Peter Lawford).Complications of the heart and mind ensue as Cluny becomes second maid to the Carmels much to Belinsky's surprise and a possible wife to a self satisfied country pharmasist Mr Wilson(the superb Richard Hadyn).

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.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 7 April 2009
The BFI should be proud of their DVD release of Cluny Brown. Not only does it make this wonderful film available at last but the quality of both picture and sound are outstanding. Oddly, the film has yet to be released on DVD in the country of its origin. Thank goodness for multi regional players!
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 20 May 2010
Cluny Brown (Jennifer Jones) is sent to a country estate to act as a maid. However, she'd rather be a plumber. She strikes up an alliance with Adam Belinski (Charles Boyer) while finding love with shopkeeper Mr Wilson (Richard Haydn). Is this really the life for Cluny.....?

This film is funny. Charles Boyer and Jennifer Jones are two likable lead characters, but it is Richard Haydn who steals the comedy limelight. He is one of those characters that are so awful that they become fascinating. Watch how he proudly shows Jones a map of his life with his birthplace and his place of work heavily marked up, and the scene where he plays his harmonium with a sudden change of pace that is totally unsuitable for the moment. He also makes speeches in Latin. He is basically funny whenever he is on screen. Jones has funny moments as well - watch how she enthusiastically bashes various pipes with a hammer while continuing to make conversation. If there is a downside, it is in the character of Andrew (Peter Lawford) who seems to be unpleasant. Lawford doesn't seem to be able to do comedy. Betty (Helen Walker) is also unpleasant but she manages to portray a comical
character. Mrs Wilson (Una O'Connor) is just on the wrong side of annoying - she never speaks, she just clears her throat and it becomes tiresome. In contrast, the supporting characters of housekeeper Mrs Maille (Sara Allgood) and the butler Syrette (Ernest Cossart) are very funny in their desire to be nothing but servants.

It's a funny film that is worth keeping to watch again.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 22 November 2014
Mistake: Spanish version
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 18 June 2016
This is a technical review of four Ernst Lubitsch films on DVD bought from Amazon.co.uk
"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
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 26 October 2014
It was in German which was not clear when I bought it and I really should return it.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 2 January 2013
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 spanish subtitles all the way through the film there was no option to turn them off that spoilt the film for myself and wife
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)