A Woman Rebels

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Interesting proto-feminist movie, adapted from Netta Syrett's novel Portrait of a Rebel. Hepburn is the Victorian miss saddled with a stern father (Crisp), despite which she manages to get herself pregnant in a headily romantic affair with Van Heflin. A visit to a married sister in Italy enables her to pass the child off as her niece; after which, determined to stand on her own feet, she rejects an offer of marriage from an understanding diplomat (Marshall) and goes to work. Twenty years later, through journalism, she has become a leading campaigner for women's rights. The gradual growth of her militancy, fuelled by her own experience, is effectively detailed; but Hollywood crassness has to get its word in by way of one of those fatuous coincidences (the threat of incest rears its head when her daughter falls for a young man who happens to be her half-brother), and the inevitable happy ending (Marshall, still patient, faithful, and infinitely understanding, gets Hepburn in the end). With all faults, it's nevertheless held together by Hepburn's superb performance.

Release details

Duration: 88 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Mark Sandrich
Screenwriter: Anthony Veiller, Ernest Vajda
Cast: Katharine Hepburn
Herbert Marshall
Van Heflin
Elizabeth Allan
Donald Crisp
David Manners
D oris Dudley