The Rake's Progress (film)

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The Rake's Progress
Directed by Sidney Gilliat
Produced by Frank Launder
Sidney Gilliat
Written by Frank Launder
Sidney Gilliat
Val Valentine (story)
Starring Rex Harrison
Lilli Palmer
Music by William Alwyn
Cinematography Wilkie Cooper
Edited by Thelma Connell
Distributed by Rank Organisation
Release dates
29 December 1945
Running time
120 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Rake's Progress is a 1945 British comedy-drama film. In the United States, the title was changed to Notorious Gentleman.


The plot follows the career of upper-class cad Vivian Kenway (Rex Harrison). He is sent down from Oxford University for placing a chamber pot on the Martyrs' Memorial. Sent to South America, he rebels against plantation life, eventually becoming a car racing driver. He descends to a life of woman-chasing and drunkenness, which causes the death of his father, Colonel Kenway (Godfrey Tearle). The plot diverges from the theme of the Rake's Progress paintings by having him redeem himself by a hero's death in World War II.



  • Pym, John (2002). Time Out film guide. Harmondsworth [Eng.]: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-029395-7. 

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