Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Turth (for Truth)

In the 1957 British comedy The Truth About Women, directed by Muriel Box and co-written with her producer husband Sydney, the simple truth is that there is no single truth when it comes to women. Laurence Harvey plays Sir Humphrey Tavistock, a long in the tooth man of the world (a baronet in the diplomatic corps) who's seemingly seen it all: from a financially independent suffragette who wants to live together without benefit of marriage (Diane Cilento) to an oppressed but highly ranked harem girl (Jocelyn Lane); a modern-minded Paris matron looking to take a lover (Eva Gabor); an American heiress with an avaricious mother (Lisa Gastoni); a talented if timorous British painter (Julie Harris); and an utterly selfless Swedish nurse (Mai Zetterling). Tavistock's maritally maladroit son-in-law prompts him to recount, via flashbacks and philosophy, his many and varied romances throughout the years. It's not a great movie, truthfully, but it is a nice premise, neatly done, and offers an interesting look at 20th-century sex roles and attitudes, especially if you enjoy British films from the 1950s—which, in truth, I do. Turth was unearthed five times in OhioLINK and 69 times in WorldCat. You can try truncating this typo as well, but as with love, be prepared for some false hits.

(Actress Diane Cilento, photographed 5 January, 1954, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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