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Loss of Innocence

Loss of Innocence(1961)

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Loss of Innocence (1961)

Producer Victor Saville had wanted Cary Grant to play a bachelor jewel thief cooling his heels in France's champagne country and entering into an unexpected love affair with an English girl on the cusp of womanhood in Loss of Innocence (1961). An adaptation of the 1958 Rumer Godden novel The Greengage Summer (also the film's UK title), the film went into production without Grant's participation, his place occupied by British leading man Kenneth More. Charming to a fault and ten years younger than Grant but sturdily built and more accustomed to wearing military uniforms than open-necked shirts, More was instructed by director Lewis Gilbert to go on a crash diet to make him a more tenable potential lover for his 21 year-old costar, Susannah York (playing a 16 year-old). With the rise of the British New Wave and the vogue for working class film heroes such as Richard Harris and Albert Finney, the middle class and middle aged More's days were numbered as an A-list actor. While he contented himself with character parts, York enjoyed prominent casting in Freud (1962), Tom Jones (1963) and Superman (1978). By the end of the decade, she had earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) and would go on to claim the Best Actress award at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival for Images (1972).

By Richard Harland Smith

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