Becky Sharp (1935)
Directed by Rouben Mamoulian
Cast: Miriam Hopkins, Frances Dee, Cedric Hardwicke and Nigel Bruce
Film / Drama
The 1935 film "Becky Sharp" remains important chiefly for being the first major movie shot in Technicolor. The story is an abridged version of William Makepeace Thackeray's 19th Century novel, " Vanity Fair ." Set against the background of the Battle of Waterloo, Becky and Amelia are girls at school together, but Becky is from a lower class family. Becky manages to insinuate herself in Amelia's family and gets to know all their friends. From this beginning, she manages to ruin her own life, becoming sick, broke, and lonely, and also ruins the lives of many of her loved ones. The story is a frame work for Thackeray's skewering of the class distinctions in England at the time. The production values give an excellent sense of what it was like for the English military at the time of the Napoleonic wars.