Julia Misbehaves (1948)
1936. Julia Packett, a London chorus girl, is always in trouble financially, but she always seems to manage to land on her feet by using her feminine wiles to manipulate the men in her life with a smile on her and usually their faces. Much to her surprise, Julia receives an invitation to her now grown daughter Susan Packett’s wedding to upper crust Roderick Pennystone to be held in the Packett mansion outside of Paris. Julia being a wife and mother is something of which her current social circle had no idea. Julia and her equally upper crust husband William Packett met during the war when he was enlisted and she a bright eyed seventeen year old just starting out in the vaudeville business. They split – separated but never divorced – because of their fundamental class and thus attitudinal differences when Susan was just an infant. Julia knew that it made sense to leave Susan with William because Julia’s working life, which includes late nights and often being on the move to where the work is located, would be no way to raise Susan. However, William’s controlling mother, in the settlement, would not allow Julia any visitation rights, as such Susan has never known her mother. Despite having no money for the trip or appropriate wedding attire, Julia accepts the invitation, which Mrs. Packett, William and Susan are surprised to receive as no one admits to sending Julia an invitation, she not on the official invitation list. Julia’s presence adds a spark to the proceedings as she is reunited with William and as she gets to know Susan for the first time, all which is only complicated by her encounter with the Ghenoccio acrobatic troupe en route to Paris, strongman Fred Ghenoccio who has fallen in love with her, and the presence of William’s old friend, the wealthy Colonel Bruce Willowbrook, known to his friends as ‘Bunny’. But Julia hopes that, based on her history and current circumstance with William, she has some influence on Susan, who she feels is marrying the wrong man, she seeing Ritchie Lorgan, the Packett’s hired bohemian muralist, as the person Susan truly loves if she will only open her eyes to the fact.