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Film / Sylvia Scarlett

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Sweet Polly Oliver in full action.
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Sylvia Scarlett is a 1935 Romantic Comedy film directed by George Cukor and starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant.

Hepburn plays the title role of Sylvia Scarlett. When her father Henry (Edmund Gwenn), while employed as a bookkeeper for a lace factory, is discovered to be an embezzler, they flee from the police, with Sylvia masquerading as a boy, to live as con artists. While on the run, they meet a dashing rogue, Jimmy Monkley (Grant), who partners with them in their con games.

This film was the first pairing of Grant and Hepburn, who later starred together in Bringing Up Baby (1938), Holiday (1938), and The Philadelphia Story (1940).


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This film features examples of:

  • Con Man: Sylvia and Henry Scarlett are con artists, who are later joined by Jimmy Monkley.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: Cary Grant's performance as Jimmy Monkley sees him incorporate a (rather unconvincing) Cockney accent.
  • Missing Mom: Sylvia's mom dies at the beginning of the film.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Sylvia masquerades as a boy, "Sylvester Scarlett", to evade the police.

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