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British Agent

British Agent(1934)

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  • Exalting Leslie Howard (LH)

    • Will Fox
    • 6/4/15

    Born April 3, 1893, Leslie Howard Steiner was one of two sons of Hungarian immigrant to England, a London stockbroker married in 1892. Debonair Englishman LH excelled, playing disillusioned intellectuals and gallant gentlemen on stages and screens in Britain and America for about 30 years. Painfully shy as a child traumatized by World War I, LH turned to the theater for therapy. Acclaimed in London, then in America on Broadway in the 1920s, he debuted Hollywood in "Outward Bound" (1930, intriguing allegory of "crossing over" on oceanliner to Heaven or else, 3.5-stars). "The Animal Kingdom" (1933, 3.5 stars) followed with publisher LH besotted by free-spirited Ann Harding, while married to manipulative Myrna Loy. Ditto depressing Bette Davis in "Of Human Bondage" (1933). He is best remembered for four, 4-stars roles: 1) swashbuckling hero in "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (1934), 2) wandering wise writer meets dreamer Davis and escaping gangster Bogart in "Petrified Forrest" (1936), 3) witty egoist, Prof. Henry Higgins in "Pygmalion" (aka "My Fair Lady," 1938, 4 stars for director star LH), and 4) milquetoast Ashley Wilkes in "Gone With the Wind" (1939). Despite his success, Howard held Hollywood in contempt. "I haven't the slightest intentions of playing another weak, watery character. I've played enough ineffectual characters already." LH told "GWTW" producer David O. Sleznick before accepting his part. In 1940 LH returned to England to fight for freedom. Leslie Howard's airplane shot down by Nazis, June 1, 1943. Exalting Leslie Howard

  • Loyalty to Love and The Cause

    • J. R. Horne
    • 2/2/11

    The Russian Revolution is quite an inconvenient problem for theinstantaneous love zonk received by British diplomat Leslie Howard and Lenin's secretary Kay Francis. The brutality of the Red Army seems to only fire the passions of the two as their impossible love ignites after a chance encounter when Francis who has taken a pot shot at a soldier is chased onto the groundsof the British Embassey in Petrograd. Howard saves her life by simply demanding the soldier to scram by showing him the stiffest of upper lips. It all roils forward from there as the two are alternately snogging in gypsy cafes and plotting against each other's political positions when apart. To say the end of the filmhas justified the means of the plot is a great example of crazy movie logic that only Kay Francis, who never had trouble with ambiguous motivations, could pull off. Howard is at his natural, subtle best. Lots of fun.

  • Bravo for British Agent!

    • Emily
    • 10/9/06

    Leslie Howard was definitely in his most different role I've ever seen him in, a totally different and real hero in this picture. He wasn't a Scarlet Pimpernel but more of a normal person serving his country in a less patriotic way you might say compared to his role in The Scarlet Pimpernel. He was fantastic though! Kay Francis played beautifully the Russian spy who was also involved with Leslie's character in the film and so the two of them were both in love but had most different jobs. Kay fought for Russia and Leslie fought for England. The supporting cast was brilliant and the interesting directory of camera cuts and scenes taken were very different and fun to watch. This is definitely not your average film and whether you like the cast or not, I would recommend this film to anyone to remind them what their country means. I give this a grand round of applause!

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