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229 Ratings

Sylvia Scarlett

Directed by George Cukor
United States, 1935


Escaping to England from a French embezzlement charge, widower Henry Scarlett is accompanied by daughter Sylvia who, to avoid detection, “disguises” herself as a boy, “Sylvester.”

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Sylvia Scarlett Directed by George Cukor
The “theatrical line” and the “queer feeling,” all part of the artiste’s palette… Sudden shifts are the norm in this moonstruck realm (“Au Clair de la Lune” is a melodic leitmotif), champagne euphoria gives way to a plunge off the seaside cliff—“One sensation after another,” that’s the Cukor approach with its frisky tempo and its flavorful swaths of Shakespeare and Leoncavallo. No less the auteur, Hepburn keenly rides the continuous sense of play and confrontationally stretches her persona.
February 13, 2017
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It has a strange charm, a weird dark magic, and it’s one of those films I actually want to live in. I want to crawl into the celluloid and hang out with those people. I want to be in that caravan and put on a Pierrot costume, and drive around in the fresh salty air, having meals under the starry sky.
February 11, 2013
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Hepburn’s flirtations with the two male leads (including Cary Grant) yield unexpected and emotionally resonant complications. It should be noted, however, that Cukor was embarrassed of the film, considering its transgressions to be accidents, a result of nobody in the production knowing quite what they wanted. Regardless, it’s still one-of-a-kind, recklessly independent of Hollywood conventions in a way few other movies of the period are
August 10, 2007
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