This film comprises three separate and unrelated stories of varying interest and quality involving three passengers on an ocean liner. The first is "The Jealous Lover," with an original screenplay by ace short-story writer Collier and direction by Reinhardt. Mason is a brilliant ballet
impresario, not unlike the Anton Walbrook role in THE RED SHOES. He is traveling on an ocean liner, where two balletomanes ask why Mason staged his ballet "Astarte" only once, and then never again. This jogs him into a flashback in which he remembers how the sole performance came to be. Late one
night he walked into his theater and found Shearer on stage working out. (Shearer, you recall, was the ballerina in THE RED SHOES.) He stood in the shadows and watched for quite a while, and her elegance and beauty enraptured him. When she discovered he was there, she stopped, and he pleaded with
her to continue her improvisation because he wished to note her moves on his drawing pad so he could fully stage a ballet for her. Mason didn't know that Shearer had been forbidden to dance strenuously because of a heart condition. He prevailed upon her to return with him to his studio so he could
note her moves. With the music of Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini" in the background, she danced for him, and he feverishly marked down her actions. After she left Mason's studio, she went home and died. Mason explains that he presented the ballet only that one time so that
Shearer, wherever she was, would have an opportunity to see the creation she inspired. The "jealous lover" referred to in the title was based on Mason's misconception that Shearer did not want to dance any further in the theater because, he thought, she might have a lover who wished her to cease
her labors. The choreography is by Frederick Ashton of the Sadler's Wells ballet company.
The second segment was directed by Minnelli from a screenplay by Lustig and Froeschel, based on a story by Phillips. Caron is a devoted Gallic governess who is nanny to wealthy Nelson (who took some time out from the TV show with his family to make this film). Caron is lonely and finds her charge
to be a drag. Enter Barrymore, a witch. The 12-year-old Nelson wants to get out of strict Caron's clutches, and Barrymore grants his wish to become a full-grown man. Thus Nelson becomes Granger, and when Granger and Caron meet, the inevitable happens and they fall in love. But the wish is only
good for four hours, and the time flies by all too quickly. When the spell ends, Granger disappears, and Nelson is back in his pre-teen place. Caron is distraught, but Barrymore whimsically assures her that he will return. (Note Gabor as the woman at the ship's bar, one of the few acting jobs she
had in the movies. Gabor has become famous over the years for being famous, but that's about it.)
The third story, and perhaps the best, was again directed by Reinhardt and written by Collier from a story by Vajda and Maret. Also on this ship of fools is Douglas, a retired French circus performer who has come down to earth because his partner died in a trapeze accident that Douglas feels was
his fault. For a while, he did consider performing again--after he saved Angeli. She was drowning herself in the Seine out of guilt, since she thought she might have been responsible for sending her late husband to a Nazi concentration camp, where he died. Douglas took Angeli under his wing and
began to show her the tricks of his trade. Since she had already committed herself to death, she feared nothing, and Douglas thought that lack of fear would make her a perfect partner for his daring stunts. They rehearsed for weeks and did their highly dangerous act at an audition for a large
circus. The job was theirs if they wished, but Douglas, realizing that he had fallen in love with her, decided to quit the high life and marry her instead. This is the best realized of the trio and, with some fleshing out, could have been a movie by itself. Business was sparse at the box office.
Oscar nominated for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration.
Cast & Details See all »
- Rating: NR
- Review: This film comprises three separate and unrelated stories of varying interest and quality involving three passengers on an ocean liner. The first is "The Jealous Lover," with an original screenplay by ace short-story writer Collier and direction by Reinhard… (more)