Video Review

The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1991)

MPAA Rating: Unrated
EW's GRADE
B

Details Movie Rated: Unrated; Genres: Comedy, Drama; With: Geraldine Fitzgerald, Angela Lansbury and George Sanders; Distributor: Republic Home Video

The video release of this film is happy news for fans of George Sanders' particular brand of cinematic spleen. The Private Affairs of Bel Ami casts Sanders as a Parisian womanizer who uses marriage to advance his career while ignoring his one faithful lover (Angela Lansbury). Hollywood censors demanded a final comeuppance, but the star takes the full, decadent measure of his role when he eyes one middle-aged conquest and mutters, ''I have lighted a fire in an old, soot-filled chimney.'' At such moments Sanders makes stylish thoughtlessness totally compelling. B

Originally posted Aug 30, 1991 Published in issue #81 Aug 30, 1991 Order article reprints