Cinema: A Woman of Parts

Adorable Julia is a smooth and zesty little romantic comedy built on what seem like blueprints for a flop. To make a film of Somerset Maugham's 1937 novel Theatre was to risk anachronism, and to make it in French ought to have guaranteed disaster. What could be done to enhance the hackneyed backstage tale of a London actress who gambles her good name and marriage in an affair with a Casanova not much older than her teen-age son?

What could be done is what the producers did: they hired Lilli Palmer to play the actress, Jean Sorel to play her callow paramour,...

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