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Beware Of Pity

Beware Of Pity(1946)

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teaser Beware Of Pity (1946)

Based on a novel written by Austrian author Stefan Zweig (whose work was also an inspiration for Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel [2014]), this unusual post-war film was directed by ultra-prolific British director Maurice Elvey. Edith (Lilli Palmer) may be regal-born, but her spine injury confines her to a wheelchair. When doctors dangle hope of a cure in front of her, she dares to allow herself to fall in love with an honorable lieutenant (Albert Lieven), but regrettably learns he will marry her out of duty, not love. This melancholy melodrama is interesting considering its place in British post-war film--England was still suffering from terrible war wounds, as well as the truncation of its empire, and the cautionary tale of the jilted, crippled bride can be seen as an allegory for Brittania to shrug off hurts and foreign aid and regain her self-respect. However, Brittania wasn't interested in hearing it. The film was a failure at the box office in England and stateside critics like Bosley Crowther described it as "tortured" and "tedious". The poor reception nearly permanently stalled Elvey's career: he didn't work again until The Third Visitor (1951)

By Violet LeVoit

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