The Rake's Progress (film)
|The Rake's Progress|
British trade ad
|Directed by||Sidney Gilliat|
|Produced by||Frank Launder|
|Written by||Frank Launder|
Val Valentine (story)
|Music by||William Alwyn|
|Edited by||Thelma Connell|
|Distributed by||Eagle-Lion Distributors|
|6 December 1945 (London premiere)|
|Box office||over $1 million (US rentals)|
The Rake's Progress is a 1945 British comedy-drama film. In the United States, the title was changed to Notorious Gentleman. The film caused controversy with U.S. censors of the time, who trimmed scenes for what was considered graphic amoral and sexual content.
The plot follows the career of upper-class cad Vivian Kenway (Rex Harrison). He is sent down from Oxford University for placing a chamber pot on the Martyrs' Memorial. Sent to South America, he rebels against plantation life, eventually becoming a racing driver. He descends to a life of womanising and inebriation, the shame of which causes the death of his father, Colonel Kenway (Godfrey Tearle). The plot diverges from the theme of the Rake's Progress paintings by having him redeem himself by a hero's death in World War II.
- Rex Harrison as Vivian Kenway
- Lilli Palmer as Rikki Krausner
- Godfrey Tearle as Colonel Kenway
- Griffith Jones as Sandy Duncan
- Margaret Johnston as Jennifer Calthrop
- Guy Middleton as Fogroy
- Jean Kent as Jill Duncan
- Patricia Laffan as Miss Fernandez
- Marie Lohr as Lady Parks
- Garry Marsh as Sir Hubert Parks
- David Horne as Sir John Brockley
- Alan Wheatley as Edwards
- Brefni O'Rorke as Bromhead
- John Salew as Burgess
- Charles Victor as Old Sweat
- Jack Melford as race team member (uncredited)
The New York Times described the film as "an oddly deceptive affair which taxes precise classification. It plays like a comedy-romance, but all the way through it keeps switching with brutal abruptness to the sharpest irony...As a consequence, a curious unevenness of emphasis and mood prevails, and initial sympathy with the hero is frequently and painfully upset"; while more recently, TV Guide wrote, "the film is filled with wit and style. It does not treat its unattractive subject with sympathy, yet remains sensitive and touching."
- Variety (1 September 2018). "Variety (November 1946)". New York, NY: Variety Publishing Company – via Internet Archive.
- "The Rake's Progress (1945) - BFI". BFI.
- Karl Williams. "Notorious Gentleman (1945) - Sidney Gilliat - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
- Crowther, Bosley. "THE SCREEN; 'Notorious Gentleman,' British Film in Which Rex Harrison Plays Deceptive Role, Opens Its Run at the Winter Garden".
- "Notorious Gentleman". TVGuide.com.
- The Rake's Progress on IMDb
- The Rake's Progress at AllMovie
- The Rake's Progress at the BFI's Screenonline
- Review of film at Variety
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