It's 1936 Paris and every femme with a de rigueur sense of high fashion wears the creations of Maison Picot, the design house that's so chic, so trendy... and so very much a house of cards. It's secretly used by financial flimflammer Stefan Orloff as entry to the highest level of society, a level from which he and elegant Nicole Picot are destined to take a very hard fall. As Picot, star Kay Francis finds a perfect role for her trademark blend of '30s sophistication and couture. And as Orloff, impeccable Claude Rains marks the first of his 10 feature films with legendary Warner director Michael Curtiz. To echo a line from the most famous Rains-Curtiz collaboration, Stolen Holiday is the beginning of a beautiful screen friendship.
The "Stavisky Affair," a high-level swindling scandal which all but destroyed the French government in the early 1930s, was the unofficial inspiration for STOLEN HOLIDAY. Claude Rains plays a suave confidence artist who has wormed his way into top European social and financial circles. When faced with exposure, Rains is protected by governmental and business higher-ups lest they be arrested for complicity in his crimes. Kay Francis plays an ambitious model who marries Rains, but regrets it when she falls in love with Ian Hunter. The real Alexander Stavisky ultimately avoided prosecution by committing suicide. The Hays Office wouldn't stand for that, so Claude Rains' character in STOLEN HOLIDAY is conveniently murdered.
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