The Romantic Age

The Romantic Age is a 1949 British drama film directed by Edmond T. Gréville. The screenplay by Peggy Barwell and Edward Dryhurst is based on the French novel Lycee des jeunes filles by Serge Véber. The film was retitled Naughty Arlette for the American release.

The Romantic Age
Directed byEdmond T. Gréville
Produced byEdward Dryhurst
Eric L'Epine Smith
Screenplay byPeggy Barwell
Edward Dryhurst
Based onSerge Véber (novel "Lycee des jeunes filles")
StarringHugh Williams
Betty Astell
Petula Clark
Music byCharles Williams
CinematographyHone Glendinning
Pinnacle Productions
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors
Eagle-Lion Classics(US)
Release date
29 November 1949 (UK)
1950 (US
Running time
80 min
CountryUnited Kingdom

The plot focuses on middle-aged Arnold Dickson, an art master who joins the staff of the girls' school in which his daughter Julie is enrolled. He soon finds himself the target of Arlette, a sophisticated French exchange student who has more than education on her mind. On a dare, she seduces the professor into running off to Paris with her, a plot derailed by Julie when she orchestrates a scheme designed to help him put the affair into perspective.

Production notes

In 1960, composer Charles Williams topped the American pop music charts with his theme for the film The Apartment. It originally had been written for and was heard in this film under the title "Jealous Lover".[2][3][4]

Principal cast

Critical reception

Picturegoer called the film a "flimsy, but in parts not unamusing trifle" that is "very theatrical" and added, "Mai Zetterling has an unsuitable 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."[5]

Today's Cimema described it as a "rather dull story" that "lacks the sparkle and fun that would have widened its appeal . . . 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 . . . 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."[6]

TV Guide rates the film two out of a possible four stars and comments, "It's not a particularly tasteful theme, nor is the comedy handled with the wit necessary to pull it off. The results are fairly pedestrian and lack any real style".[7]


  1. "THE STARRY WAY". The Courier-mail (4075). Queensland, Australia. 17 December 1949. p. 2. Retrieved 24 May 2016 via National Library of Australia.
  2. "5107 Charles Williams & The Queen's Hall Light Orchestra at". Archived from the original on 24 February 2008. Retrieved 24 February 2008.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). Archived from Charles Williams at
  3. Eldridge, Jeff. FSM: The Apartment
  4. Adoph Deutsch's "The Apartment" w/ Andre Previn's "The Fortune Cookie"
  5. Picturegoer, 31 December 1949
  6. Today's Cinema, 29 November 1949
  7. TV Guide review
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