Amber St Clair means to get on in life and despite a poor background knows she has the assets to do it. Husbands, lovers, prison and a liaison with King Charles II form a tapestry of apparently calculating ups and downs, although in fact her true love, Bruce Carlton, is never far from her thoughts.
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3,5 Amber is a whore except the professional spectrum for low condition women wasn't as broad as Larousse @the time + beauty's bad rap as lack of humility barred her from becoming a copybook parishioner. The film echoes with Angélique, another fictional adventuress from the 17th c. fabricated by Anne & Serge Golon, a novel series I gorged on as a kid mainly to survey the pulp mom tried (in vain) to tuck away from me.
I've always thought that the character of Amber was one of the most beautiful roles ever written for an actress. Amber is altogether a social climber, a lady adventurer, an heroine, an egocentric whore and a woman in love. She's the sunny center of the film and her red hair implacably colors the screen with fire or with bloody crosses painted on the houses of the plague-stricken inhabitants of London. Masterpiece.
"America... has always suffered from a certain weakness in historical imagination... which is perhaps why in American films both ancient Romans and astronauts from the year 3000 look and act like boys from Kentucky." - Czesław Miłosz...
Something of a high water mark of classic Hollywood vulgarity: those who value "camp" are sure to love it. But I am not among them.
Drame sentimental sur la vie mouvementée d'une jeune femme qui devient la favorite du roi Charles II auquel Preminger a su insuffler tout son talent et sa personnalité. Tout de même un peu ennuyeux ! www.cinefiches.com