HEARTBEAT (director: Sam Wood; screenwriters: Morrie Ryskind/ Hans Wilhelm/Rowland Leigh/Max Kolpe; cinematographer: Joseph Valentine; editor: Roland Gross/J.R. Whittredge; music: Paul Misraki; cast: Ginger Rogers (Arlette Lafron), Adolphe Menjou (Ambassador), Jean Pierre Aumont (Pierre), Melville Cooper (Roland Latour), Mona Maris (Ambassador’s Wife), Basil Rathbone (Professor Aristide), Henry Stephenson (Minister), Mikhail Rasmuny (Yves Cadubert), Eduardo Ciannelli (Baron Dvorak); Runtime: 100; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Raymond and Robert Hakim; RKO; 1946)
“An unfunny remake of the 1939 French film Battement de Couer.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An unfunny remake of the 1939 French film Battement de Couer, that was directed by Henri Decoin and starred his then wife Danielle Darrieux. So-so director Sam Wood (“Kitty Foyle “/”A Night At The Opera”/”The Pride of the Yankees”), who can’t inject humor into this projected comedy, applies the Pygmalion theme in a strained way to its heroine, as scripted by Morrie Ryskind, Hans Wilhelm, Rowland Leigh and Max Kolpe. Though the dramedy suffers from an absurd storyline and poor production values, nevertheless the valiant efforts by its star Ginger Rogers and the talented supporting cast keep it almost watchable.
Arlette Lafron (Ginger Rogers) is a French gamine released from reform school and enrolls in a school for pickpockets run by the colorful Professor Aristide (Basil Rathbone). The gist of the story has the attractive Arlette robbing the purse of the charming young French diplomat Pierre (Jean Pierre Aumont) at an embassy ball and falling madly in love with him and we are left to wonder if she can reel in such a good catch.
The supporting cast of note include Mona Maris, whose character is married to the ambassador (Adolphe Menjou), and she is having an affair with the younger diplomat Pierre. Also Melville Cooper, another diplomat, who provides comic relief as the resident politico lush.
REVIEWED ON 8/13/2014 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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