The Rake's Progress (film)
|The Rake's Progress|
British trade ad
|Directed by||Sidney Gilliat|
|Produced by||Frank Launder
|Written by||Frank Launder
Val Valentine (story)
|Music by||William Alwyn|
|Edited by||Thelma Connell|
|Distributed by||Rank Organisation|
|6 December 1945 (London premiere)|
|Box office||over $1 million (US rentals)|
The Rake's Progress is a 1945 British comedy-drama film. In the United States, the title was changed to Notorious Gentleman. The film caused controversy with U.S. censors of the time, who trimmed scenes for what was considered graphic amoral and sexual content.
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.
- Rex Harrison as Vivian Kenway
- Lilli Palmer as Rikki Krausner
- Godfrey Tearle as Colonel Kenway
- Griffith Jones as Sandy Duncan
- Margaret Johnston as Jennifer Calthrop
- Guy Middleton as Fogroy
- Jean Kent as Jill Duncan
- Patricia Laffan as Miss Fernandez
- Marie Lohr as Lady Parks
- Garry Marsh as Sir Hubert Parks
- David Horne as Sir John Brockley
- Alan Wheatley as Edwards
- Brefni O'Rorke as Bromhead
- John Salew as Burgess
- Charles Victor as Old Sweat
The New York Times described the film as "an oddly deceptive affair which taxes precise classification. It plays like a comedy-romance, but all the way through it keeps switching with brutal abruptness to the sharpest irony...As a consequence, a curious unevenness of emphasis and mood prevails, and initial sympathy with the hero is frequently and painfully upset" ;  while more recently, TV Guide wrote, "the film is filled with wit and style. It does not treat its unattractive subject with sympathy, yet remains sensitive and touching." 
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (April 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
- "The Rake's Progress (1945) - BFI". BFI.
- Karl Williams. "Notorious Gentleman (1945) - Sidney Gilliat - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
- "Notorious Gentleman". TVGuide.com.
- The Rake's Progress at the Internet Movie Database
- The Rake's Progress at AllMovie
- The Rake's Progress at the British Film Institute's Screenonline
- Review of film at Variety
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