The Films of Petula Clark
The Romantic Age
(Naughty Arlette)

Released December 1949 (UK}
Comedy - 86 minutes

Naughty Arlette is an spoiled, overly-sophisticated French schoolgirl who uses her feminine wiles to seduce every man gullible enough to respond to her flirtations. On a dare, she sets her cap for the art professor (Hugh Williams) finally getting him to agree to run off to Paris with her. Fortunately, his daughter (Petula) orchestrates a scheme that helps him put the affair into perspective.

Arnold Dixon.....

Mai Zetterling
Hugh Williams
Margot Grahame
Petula Clark
Carol Marsh
Margaret Barton
Raymond Lovell

Petula and Carol Marsh

  • Directed by Edmond T. Grenville
  • Produced by Eric L'Epine Smith
  • Based on the novel Lycee de Jeunes Filles by Serge Weber
  • Pinnacle Productions
  • Made at Denham Studios
  •      We are not sure of the type of patron for which this rather dull story of a minx and a master was designed , for although the story has been conscientiously treated it lacks the sparkle and fun that would have widened its appeal. there is a certain amount of comedy in the earlier sequences but the more serious note of the climax throws it out of balance. There is always something a little unpleasant about scenes in which youngsters attempt to treat parents as moral delinquents and, despite the charm of Petula Clark, one remains conscious of the fact. The director does not seem altogether at ease with his subject, although he has succeeded in showing schoolgirsls as they really are--all that is except Mai Zetterling who plays Arlette, a sophisticate who accepts the presence of any man as a direct challenge. The school sequences are not without comedy appeal and the settings effective.
         Mai Zetterling is too mature for the role of Arlette for her mannerisms become irritating and her attitude quite absurd. Petula Clark is much more successful as the master's charming daughter Julie for she has been given a role suited to her age and experience. Hugh Williams plays the master with the necessary mutton-headedness and Margot Grahame essays the role of the sensible wife. The schoolgirls are agreeably played by decorative maidens, and the mistresses on severe lines. Supporting players are more than equal to the demands made upon them. The musical accompaniment is undistinguished but the camerawork sound. "The Romantic Age" should amuse adolescents who may be more able to appreciate its point but it is unlikely to be equally entertaining to adults.
    Today's Cinema - 29 November, 1949

    [American poster]

    [Mexican poster]

  • Flimsy, but in parts not unamusing trifle about a teacher of English literature at a girls' finishing school who is vamped by a French pupil, who feels he has slighted her. Thing sare complicated by the fact that the teacher has a wife and a devoted daughter, who is at the school. It's very theatrical. It's the daughter who eventually sees to it that her father returns to the "straight and narrow" after his amorous adventures. Characterisation is good, but continuity rather ragged. Mai Zetterling has an unsitable role for her as a French girl and Hugh Williams is suitably stodgy as the master. His wife is well characterised by Margot Grahame and Petula Clark is charming and ingenuous as his daughter.
    Picturegoer - 31 December, 1949
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  • [American lobby card]

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