A beautiful divorcee. An ardent young man. And a love thwarted by a rigid social code. Irene Dunne and John Boles, the stars of Back Street, share another illicit romance in this film version of Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize winner, a provocative novel that asserts women have a right to the same freedoms men take for granted. Set in 1870s Manhattan, The Age of Innocence follows a conventionally bred attorney who, although engaged, falls in love with a woman who shocks the upper crust by daring to escape a wretched marriage. The emotion inherent in the clash of personal happiness and social convention is timeless -- the story was filmed again almost sixty years later with Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer in the lead roles.
At his 1875 engagement party, Newland Archer (John Boles) is surprised to meet his childhood friend Ellen (Irene Dunne), now Countess Olenska; she's the cousin of his fiancee May (Julie Haydon). The strait-laced society of the time regards her as somewhat scandalous, but she's treated well by Newland and his family, so it's he whom she consults regarding a divorce. Although he talks her out of it at first, he reconsiders when he sees she's being pursued by philanderer Julius Beaufort (Lionel Atwill), but Ellen now realizes divorce would upset her family, especially her beloved grandmother (Helen Westley). Newland himself is strongly attracted to Ellen, and considers breaking his engagement to May, but he hasn't reckoned with the powerful rules of his society. The story is told by Newland to his grandson in flashback.
Love Triangle |
Love Triangles |
Period Piece |
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