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1889. An Irish lord marries a beautiful gypsy but falls off his horse and dies. His family, who hates the gypsy, chase her out of home and she takes refuge in Spain. 1937. Nearly half a century later, the gypsy, fleeing the Spanish Civil War, returns to Ireland in the company of Maria, her pretty granddaughter. Maria falls for handsome Kerry, a young horse trainer, but the trouble is that she was engaged to a man in Spain. One day, the Spanish fiancé reappears. Written by
A second try at watching this film was unsuccessful...
It's surprising to read everyone talking about the wonderful early British use of Technicolor for this film, when in fact the color photography (as seen in the print shown on TCM tonight) can best be described as murky, even in the close-ups.
Aside from the color, the script is a garbled hodge-podge of strangely related events, clumsily crafted and given stiff acting even by the lovely ANNABELLA. For a better view of this French actress, I suggest you watch one of her later U.S. films called 13 RUE MADELEINE, to fully appreciate her acting abilities.
The disjointed story, combined with the lackluster direction and the lame dialog, only undercuts whatever merits are in the film's script. ANNABELLA does nothing here to indicate that she's on the brink of better things in her future and her line readings are less than professional as delivered in her French accent.
Why Technicolor was wasted on this below average story is a mystery to me. Fans of Annabella and Henry Fonda are sure to be disappointed. Fox would have been more successful if they'd filmed this horse story here in the U.S. in sunny California for both the interior and exterior shots.
Surprised that this unrestored print was the best TCM could do.
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