She Fell Among Thieves
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While on a Pyrenees vacation in 1922, upright English gentleman Richard Chandos (Malcolm McDowell, A Clockwork Orange, Heroes) encounters the villainous Vanity Fair (Eileen Atkins, Cold Mountain). Mistress of the turreted Chateau Jezreel and leader of a motley band of criminals, she will inherit millions if she can force her stepdaughter to marry. Pitting his wits against this formidable adversary, Chandos determines to rescue the beautiful young woman. But Vanity Fair keeps one step ahead of him, a trick forever up her sleeve and murder in her heart.
Based on the novel by Dornford Yates and adapted by Tom Sharpe (Wilt, Porterhouse Blue), the story unfolds in a series of twists and turns as sharp as the hairpin bends around which the protagonists hurl their luxury cars.
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After thirty years She Fell Among Thieves is once again available. Snap it up at once. If you remember its first showing you'll find it has aged remarkably well. If this is your first time to see it, you're in for an incredible treat.
The story is about a woman, Vanity Fair, who heads a small band of thieves and who controls them with her strong personality. She has a step daughter, who seems to be quite naïve and who is not a thief. The step daughter will inherit millions of dollars if she will marry, and the step mother, Vanity, can then take her money from her. This plot sounds good, but it is presented in a very campy manner. Camp is fun, but somehow I felt that while it was ok to watch it, it was not as funny as camp should be, the development of the plot was generally unreasonable and sometimes bordered on the ridiculous, and the company of thieves, all of whom were camp characters, including Vanity, were somewhat silly.
I usually love British period pieces. Just felt this one was trying too hard or not enough, I have not decided.
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