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Loss of Innocence (1961)

directed by Lewis Gilbert
featuring Kenneth More, Danielle Darrieux, Susannah York, Jane Asher, Claude Nollier

About this title: A young Susannah York had her first lead role in this drama about a teenage girl on the cusp of womanhood. When her mother falls ill during a vacation in the French wine country, 16-year-old Joss Grey (York) is left to her own devices as she and her three younger siblings are left in the reluctant care of Madame Zisi (Danielle Darrieux), the proprietor of the hotel where they were staying. Eliot (Kenneth More), Zisi's strapping boyfriend, offers to show the youngsters some of the sights in the countryside, and Joss finds herself developing a strong infatuation with the older man. However, when she realizes that Eliot and Zisi are lovers, she becomes despondent and ends up getting drunk on wine with Paul (David Saire), a boy who works in the kitchen at Zisi's hotel. When Joss learns that Eliot is actually a jewel thief wanted by the law, she informs the police of his whereabouts. However, that same night, Paul's efforts to seduce Joss degenerate into a violent attempt at rape, but when Eliot hears her screams for help, he comes to Joss' rescue. Having spared her virtue and perhaps her life, Joss confesses to Eliot that she has turned him in to the police, and urges him to flee for his own safety. One of Joss' sisters is played by Jane Asher, a distinguished actress who was most famous in the United States not for her abilities as a performer, but for spending several years as Paul McCartney's girlfriend. Mark Deming, Rovi

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