Monty Woolley and Gracie Fields in the film Holy Matrimony, 1943. - Reprint

Size: 21 x 29.7 cm
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Monty Woolley and Gracie Fields in the film Holy Matrimony, 1943. Holy Matrimony is a 1943 comedy film directed by John M. Stahl and released by 20th Century Fox. The screenplay was based on the novel Buried Alive by Arnold Bennett.[2] It stars Monty Woolley and Gracie Fields, with Laird Cregar, Una O'Connor, Alan Mowbray, Franklin Pangborn, Eric Blore, and George Zucco in supporting roles. Screenwriter Nunnally Johnson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay). Priam Farll (Monty Woolley) is a famous English painter and recluse who has been living in various isolated places around the world with only his valet of 25 years, Henry Leek (Eric Blore), for company. In 1905, Farll reluctantly travels to London to be knighted. Upon their arrival, however, Leek becomes very ill. Farll summons Dr. Caswell (Melville Cooper), but Leek succumbs to double pneumonia. The doctor mistakenly assumes it is Farll who has died, and the publicity-hating artist is only too glad to assume Leek's identity. When the King (an uncredited Edwin Maxwell) himself shows up to pay his respects, Farll learns that the body is to buried at Westminster Abbey. Trying to end the masquerade, he only manages to convince his sole relative (Franklin Pangborn), a cousin he has not seen since childhood, that he is a lunatic. Farll sneaks into the state funeral, but is ejected for weeping and is only saved from arrest by the arrival of Alice Chalice (Gracie Fields), a widow with whom Leek had been corresponding. It turns out that Alice had applied to a marriage bureau and had been put in touch with Leek. Since the photograph she was given shows both Leek and Farll, she too assumes that Farll is Leek. Impressed by her cheerful nature, combined with her practicality and quick thinking, he marries her and settles in Alice's comfortably large home in Putney. They are happy together. One day, Leek's wife, Sara (Una O'Connor), and three adult sons show up to reclaim their father. Farll is unable to convince her that he is not Henry Leek without giving away his true identity to his wife. Once more, Alice saves her husband through quick thinking, pointing out that the Leeks will be disgraced by having a bigamist as a father and husband. The Leeks hastily depart. Alice herself does not care that her husband may be a bigamist. When Alice's stock dividends are unexpectedly cut off, Farll tries to calm her worries about her mortgage by telling her that he can sell his paintings for thousands of pounds. When Alice remains unconvinced, he takes her to an art dealer to prove it, only to have the man offer him £15 for his work. Farll is outraged and leaves. Later, however, Alice reconsiders and starts selling his paintings without his knowledge. Clive Oxford (Laird Cregar), Farll's art dealer, recognizes Farll's work, buys the paintings cheaply, and resells them for an enormous profit. One frequent buyer, Lady Vale (Ethel Griffies), learns that her most recent purchase shows an omnibus that only went into service after Farll supposedly died, and takes Oxford to court for fraud. Oxford is certain Farll is still alive, tracks him down, and summons him to the trial. Farll loathes both parties and refuses to cooperate when he is on the stand. Oxford's solicitor, Mr. Pennington (Alan Mowbray), gets Farll's cousin to testify that he has two moles on his upper left chest. Farll refuses to open his shirt, but Alice does it for him, proving his true identity. Afterward, Farll and Alice move to where he can paint in blissful seclusion. Monty Woolley (August 17, 1888 – May 6, 1963) was an American stage, film, radio, and television actor.[1] At the age of 50, he achieved a measure of stardom for his best-known role in the stage play and 1942 film The Man Who Came to Dinner. His distinctive white beard was "his trademark"[2] and he was affectionately known as "The Beard."[3] Woolley was born Edgar Montillion Woolley[4] in Manhattan to a wealthy family (his father owned the Bristol Hotel) and grew up in the highest social circles. Woolley received a bachelor's degree at Yale University, where Cole Porter was an intimate friend and classmate, and master's degrees from Yale and Harvard University.[5] He eventually became an assistant professor of English and drama coach at Yale.[6] Thornton Wilder and Stephen Vincent Benét were among his students. He served in World War I in the United States Army as a first lieutenant assigned to the general staff in Paris.[5] Dame Gracie Fields, DBE (born Grace Stansfield, 9 January 1898 – 27 September 1979), was an English actress, singer and comedienne and star of both cinema and music hall. She spent the later part of her life on the isle of Capri, Italy. Fields was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for "services to entertainment" in 1938, and in 1979, seven months before her death, she was invested a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II.

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