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John P. Marquand, the author of the source material for Mankiewicz’s third film, was born into the fading world of the New England elite (he was related to the transcendentalist Margaret Fuller and the theorist and architect Buckminster Fuller). His Mr. Moto detective novels made him famous before he switched literary gears with a series of sharp satires of the world he came from. The Late George Apley, the fictional biography of a Beacon Hill blue blood who tries and fails in small ways to revolt against the ironclad social restrictions of his little aristocratic universe, was one of his most popular and highly regarded novels, so accurately detailed that more than one Bostonian imagined Apley to be an actual person. Philip Dunne’s screenplay walks a fine line between the novel and the popular theatrical adaptation Marquand co-authored with George S. Kaufman. This is one of Mankiewicz’s most sheerly enjoyable movies, and Ronald Colman gives a delightful performance as George.