Amber St Clair, orphaned during the English Civil War and raised by a family of farmers, aspires to be a lady of high society; when a group of cavaliers ride into town, she sneaks away with them to London to achieve her dreams.
Perhaps had Otto Preminger just been a bit more judicious with the razor blade in the edit, this rather over-long drama might have been more enjoyable. As it is, it takes far too long to establish the story of the disenfranchised "Amber" (Linda Darnell) whose family were on the wrong side at the end of the English Civil war. Upon the restoration of King Charles II (George Sanders) her prospects start to look better, and to that end she allies herself with "Lord Carlton" (Cornel Wilde) and his friend "Lord Almsbury" (Richard Greene) and a bumpy ride of men, prison and opportunity ensues. Not to put too fine a point on it, "Amber" is quite prepared to use all of her feminine wiles to achieve her goals, and as she moves onwards and upwards, she equally finds herself more and more alone - a position that becomes much clearer as the great fire of London changes everything. The drama depicts well the ambitious woman, and Darnell carries off the part quite successfully, but Wilde is well past his best here and Green doesn't really impose himself often enough to make much impact on rather plodding nature of the chronology. Sanders is adequate in a role he played more than once and the whole look of the film captures well the sense of optimism and opportunism that prevailed upon the return of the King. Keep an eye out for Jessica Tandy amongst a competent supporting cast that also features Richard Haydn in the rather implausible guise of her wealthy and jealous husband "Radcliffe". It's a largely forgotten film, this, and though I did quite enjoy watching it, I can understand why. I am fan of the genre, and Darnell does well here, but despite the lavishness of the costumes and the sets, it's all just a bit lacklustre.