Nancy Mitford (novel)
Director of Photography
George J. Folsey
Milton R. Krasner
Harold F. Kress
Karl Tunberg in association with Metro-Goldwyn Mayer (MGM)
“On paper, Nancy Mitford’s The Blessing must have seemed an ideal subject. The title was changed to Count Your Blessings, lest people associate it with Kerr’s nun image, and, as the movie was to be shot in Paris, who better to co-star than Maurice Chevalier, along with Italy’s current heart-throb, Rossano Brazzi? Not French? Well – at least Continental, and director Jean Negulesco could be counted on to disguise the difference.
With beautiful Metrocolor – sometimes a most unflattering process – photography by experts like Milton Krasner and George Folsey, and the wit of Nancy Mitford, how could it miss? But it did. As Deborah said: “A charming, funny, amusing book – somewhat castrated, because some of the funniest stuff, her beautifully observed sketches of American people in Paris, in government circles, was omitted from the script, because they didn’t want to offend the Americans – became just a charming travelogue. I had a lovely location in Paris and beautiful clothes, and Chevalier took me to visit his home, where everything, even the ashtrays, were in the shape of a straw hat – the ultimate example of an artist being true to his image for ever and ever.
Rossano Brazzi is a dear man who exudes charm, though he was too Italian really to suggest a French aristocrat.”
Writer John Douglas Eames summed it up: ‘Maurice Chevalier and Deborah Kerr were sparkling players in need of something sparkling to play.’ Producer Karl Tunberg was responsible for the screenplay, which dealt with the whirlwind wartime romance of Grace Allingham (Kerr) and Captain Charles-Edouard de Valhubert (Brazzi), and how it takes her nine years to discover his essential promiscuity, on their delayed honeymoon, by which time they have a seven-year-old son, Sigismund (Martin Stephens). Chevalier, as their worldly friend, the Duc de St Cloud, was one of the film’s positive assets, along with the character of Grace, so deftly sketched by the star, whose cool detachment, with its underlying sense of real affection, was just right. She had fine support from Ronald Squire as her father, Sir Edward, and Patricia Medina, exquisite to look at, as an old flame of Edouard’s, who needs minimal fanning to make her bum brightly again in his life, plus the inestimable Mona Washbourne as a nanny. This wound up Deborah’s three-picture deal with MGM.”
Deborah Kerr, by Eric Braun, © St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1978.
Unavailable at this time.
Jean Negulesco worked with Rossano on Three Coins in The Fountain and A Certain Smile.
Milton R. Krasner also worked on Three Coins in The Fountain.
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