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PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

CLUNY BROWN

12:30   8:45

Saturday, June 10

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch

Starring Jennifer Jones and Charles Boyer

(1946) In 1938 England, Charles Boyer’s anti-Hitler Czech refugee Adam Belinski philosophizes on squirrel management, charmingly sponges off total strangers, and walks unbidden into the rooms of young women at night for the most innocent reasons – and then scandalizes his posh hosts by taking an interest in chambermaid and plumber’s daughter Jennifer Jones. One of Lubitsch’s wittiest, slyest, lightest, and most likeable comedies – the last he would complete. 35mm. Approx. 100 min.

Reviews

“An impeccable ensemble cast headed by the brilliant Charles Boyer and a breathtakingly sexy and funny Jennifer Jones.” 
– David Noh, Gay City News

“A DELIGHTFUL ROMANCE!”
– Film Journal

“A comedy of hindsight, with a melancholy sting to the characters’ squabbles about whether or not to discuss looming war at garden parties.”
– Farran Smith Nehme, The Village Voice

“Looks back to the prewar year of 1938 to take stock of the postwar world and to show how it got that way. Belinski’s story, in Lubitsch’s telling, reflects that of so many smart European refugees. Their cultured and freethinking ways inspired stopped-up England—and, as things turn out, the United States, too—to unblock itself and take up the fight against Hitler and for sex, not least by producing effervescently ribald entertainments, such as this one, for the benefit of spirited yet constrained young women.”
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“A lovely, easygoing comedy, full of small surprising touches… Jones gives her lightest, funniest performance!”
– Pauline Kael

“The most European, Renoiresque of Lubitsch’s American movies. His style is now simplicity itself, watching the characters in the frame with an accomplished ease… Boyer offers the polish and charm that never failed him, while Jones’ undertones of neurotic sexuality lend the character a needed subtext. Belinski is one of Lubitsch’s most endearing characters. He may be one of Hitler’s worst enemies, a great liberal, but he is not averse to enjoying life’s pleasures on someone else’s tab… As always, Lubitsch’s answer to the problems of a homicidal world lies in personal fulfillment – not on the world’s terms, but those of the individual.”
– Scott Eyman

“A satire of British manners that skitters along the border of complete absurdity… There’s a layer of erotic knowingness underneath the graceful shenanigans. The way Jones plays Cluny Brown, she’s a radiantly sexual woman who has never had sex. She’s naturally uninhibited, and she frightens the devil out of everyone but Boyer’s sophisticated European.”
– David Denby, The New Yorker

“If Hollywood has made another film with as detailed a depiction of class difference and class coexistence as Cluny Brown, I can’t think of it offhand… Presents the viewer with an unusual tone that hovers somewhere between romance and satire… For all its strangeness, Cluny achieves an extraordinary delicacy.”
– Dan Sallitt, MUBI

“A nice note for the ‘Lubitsch story’ to end upon – a high trill with bells and violins.”
– Herman G. Weinberg