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Christopher Strong

(1933 b 77')

En: 5 Ed: 5

Dorothy Azner directed and Zoe Akins adapted Gilbert Frankau's novel about a flier who falls in love with a member of Parliament.

In a treasure hunt for a faithful married man and an attractive woman over 21 who has never had an affair, Monica (Helen Chandler) brings in her father Christopher Strong (Colin Clive), and Harry (Ralph Forbes) finds Cynthia Darrington (Katharine Hepburn) racing on the road. Christopher knew Cynthia's father. On the way home she takes him up in her plane.

One month later Lady Strong (Billie Burke) tells her husband Christopher that Monica has been out all night again. He calls Cynthia, who has become their friend. Lady Strong tells Harry and Monica not to see each other again, and Harry leaves. Christopher asks Cynthia for help with Monica. Cynthia admits she is lonely. Monica wants to see Cynthia fly in Paris, and she persuades the flier to join the Strongs on their vacation. Monica misses Harry and after a party is driven home by Carlo. Lady Strong leaves the party with a headache. Christopher and Cynthia love each other. Cynthia wants to tell Lady Strong; but Christopher won't, because it would hurt her too much. Lady Strong sees them kiss and cries. Cynthia says good-bye to Christopher.

Cynthia and her mechanic plan to compete for a $100,000 prize for flying around the world from New York. Monica visits Cynthia and says Harry is divorced; but she lost him because of what Carlo did to her. Monica wants to kill herself, but Cynthia says she will explain to Harry. Christopher thanks Cynthia for saving Monica's life and asks her to give up the flight or let him follow her; but she says good-bye again. Cynthia takes off from New York. Christopher is sent to America by the foreign office. Cynthia is given a parade in New York and then spends the night with Christopher. Harry asks to marry Monica. Lady Strong resists the match, but Christopher approves.

Six months later Cynthia tells Christopher she wants to fly again, because he has his work, family, and her; but she has only him. Monica and Harry see Christopher and Cynthia together and criticize their hypocrisy. Yet Lady Strong is now thanking Cynthia for standing by Monica, who is having a child. Cynthia is also pregnant and asks Christopher what he would do if she were; he says he would marry her out of duty. Cynthia goes for the altitude record and remembers her life. After breaking the record, the plane goes into a dive, crashes, and burns. Cynthia fulfilled her motto, "Courage conquers death."

This feminist film explores the difficulty a career woman may have in finding personal romance. Cynthia is reckless, but the cautious Christopher manages to maintain his marriage and have the affair too. His wife suffers from the infidelity, but she learns to accept Harry.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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