The Rake's Progress

A memorable performance from Harrison as the quintessential upper class cad, scion of a family which traditionally breeds Tories for Westminster. Sent down from Oxford after crowning the Martyrs' Memorial with a chamberpot, he is packed off to a South American coffee plantation, rebels against the idiocies of the colonial way, and returns for a brief period of glory as a racing driver. From there on it's downhill, pursuing a shabby love 'em and leave 'em attitude to women, causing his father's death with his drunken driving, and drifting from selling used cars to selling himself as a professional dancing partner. Consistently enjoyable and often caustically witty; but the satirical overview of upper class decadence is rather undercut by the script's implication that all the boy needs is a good war to make him pull his socks up. With his sins already excused by his reckless courage and devilish charm, he naturally redeems himself by getting blown up in World War II.

Release details

Duration: 123 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Sidney Gilliat
Screenwriter: Frank Launder, Sidney Gilliat
Cast: Rex Harrison
Lilli Palmer
Griffith Jones
Margaret Johnston
Jean Kent
Godfrey Tearle
Guy Middleton
Marie Lohr
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