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But the Flesh Is Weak

(1932 b 78')

En: 5 Ed: 5

Ivor Novell adapted his own play Truth Game in this comedy about a father and son trying to marry rich women.

Max Clement (Robert Montgomery) and his father Florian (C. Aubrey Smith) need money for the rent. Florian tells his son that love doesn't last but money does. Max meets rich Lady Joan (Heather Thatcher) at her theater box and admits he wants to marry a rich woman. She takes him home to a party, where he meets the widow Rosine (Nora Gregor). Max asks his father for the car and money to go to the races. There in Joan's box he flirts with Rosine. Sir George (Edward Everett Horton) becomes jealous and quarrels with Rosine. She leaves, followed by Max. Max takes Rosine home, but she won't let him in. On her doorstep he asks when she is going to marry him, as he believes she has money. Rosine sneaks into her house; but Max sings under her window and climbs the trellis. Rosine pours water on George by mistake. When Max is about to fall, she pulls him in through the window. Max tells George he got no results from Rosine. Rosine says yes to George, and he kisses her on the cheek. She tells Max she is poor and looking for a rich marriage. Max is willing to struggle and warns Rosine not to be hardened by money; but she believes comfort can help love survive. Max pretends to leave, returns, and kisses Rosine.

Max tells Florian he wants to work for Rosine. Rosine tells Florian she loves Max and will try marriage without money. Florian tries to win them a nest-egg gambling and ends up losing 4,500 pounds. He writes a check that will be cashed the next morning. Florian gives his trinkets to Max instead of making a will. Max takes a gun from him and tells his father he is going to marry Lady Joan. Joan asks Max if he is happy, and he meets her father, who gives a speech. Rosine drops her glass. At a dinner Rosine notes the rules of infidelity are different for men and women. She is wooed by a notorious prince. Max honestly tells Joan he loves Rosine, and she cancels the engagement by saying it was a joke. Rosine is upset and leaves, and Max follows her. Rosine says she is finished with Max and is leaving with the prince. Max slaps Rosine and explains he needed the money for his father. Florian arrives to stop Max's mistake, because he has married Lady Ridgway. Finally Rosine tells Max she loves him.

Although Max and Joan like and respect each other, Max feels that magical passion for Rosine that makes him willing to work hard for her. Father and son are both incurable romantics; yet both sacrifice romance to help each other. In the end the power of young love triumphs.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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