6.4/10
126
8 user 3 critic

The Frightened Lady (1940)

The Case of the Frightened Lady (original title)
"Mark's Priory". the family seat of the Lebanons, is a house of terror to Ilsa Crane, secretary and niece of Lady Lebanon. The strange behavior of two sinister butlers, Gilder and Brooks, ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(play), (screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC

Videos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Occupants of a London boarding house become suspects as a string of murders are discovered.

Director: D. Ross Lederman
Stars: Frieda Inescort, Paul Cavanagh, Heather Angel
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Ten people are invited to an isolated island, only to find that an unseen person is killing them one by one. Could one of them be the killer?

Director: René Clair
Stars: Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, Louis Hayward
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A British brain surgeon punishes the murderess of his lover.

Director: Lawrence Huntington
Stars: James Mason, Rosamund John, Pamela Mason
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When heavy fog prevents all aircraft from leaving London airport, a group of passengers take an airline bus to get them to an alternative airport. However, one among their number is the ... See full summary »

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Marianne Stone, Lionel Murton, Lisa Gastoni
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Charlie as a boy on a trip to the local museum, falls in love with a green portland vase (wedgewood), and decides that this is his quest in life to find it. So as a grown up he is still ... See full summary »

Director: Cyril Frankel
Stars: Peter Finch, Adrienne Corri, Rosalie Crutchley
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Nurse Anne Graham is controversially - but rightly - acquitted of murder after her elderly patient dies in suspicious circumstances. Changing her name she gets a position nursing ... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Barry K. Barnes, Emlyn Williams
Hue and Cry (1947)
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A gang of street boys foil a master crook who sends commands for robberies by cunningly altering a comic strip's wording each week, unknown to writer and printer. The first of the Ealing ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Crichton
Stars: Alastair Sim, Frederick Piper, Harry Fowler
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

13 years before the movie opens, there was a dinner party, at which the 13th guest failed to show up. The master of the manner has died, and left the bulk of his estate to this 13th guest, ... See full summary »

Director: Albert Ray
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Lyle Talbot, J. Farrell MacDonald
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Gordon Parry
Stars: Stanley Holloway, Leslie Dwyer, Reginald Tate
Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

BBC Radio's 20 Questions receives anonymous clues that connect to a series of murders. Reporters try and break the code before more deaths come to pass.

Director: Paul L. Stein
Stars: Robert Beatty, Rona Anderson, Clifford Evans
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A blackmailer is murdered, and the police find that there is a long list of suspects who wanted to see him dead.

Director: Maurice Elvey
Stars: Mary Germaine, William Sylvester, Alexander Gauge
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Murder mystery, thriller with twists.

Stars: George Cross, Terence de Marney, Kenneth Eaves
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marius Goring ...
Penelope Dudley-Ward ...
Isla Crane (as Penelope Dudley Ward)
...
Felix Aylmer ...
George Merritt ...
Ronald Shiner ...
...
Roy Emerton ...
...
John Warwick ...
Edit

Storyline

"Mark's Priory". the family seat of the Lebanons, is a house of terror to Ilsa Crane, secretary and niece of Lady Lebanon. The strange behavior of two sinister butlers, Gilder and Brooks, adds greatly to her fear and her sole consolation lies in the sympathy extended her by young Lord William "Willie" Lebanon. A young architect, Richard Ferraby, arrives from London to inspect the ancient home in regards to renovations, and he and Isla are immediately attracted to each other. Lady Lebanon tells her son that he must marry Isla to carry on the family name but Lord Willie tells her he has no intentions of marrying. Later, the family physician, Dr. Amersham, arrives and it is evident he has some unrevealed hold over Lady Lebanon. The chauffeur, Studd, hints that he knew Aversham in India and that Aversham was discharged from the Indian Army under unsavory circumstances. Isla and Richard find the chauffeur murdered and the suspicion falls on the gamekeeper, Tilling, whose wife had been more... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 November 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Frightened Lady  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Lord Lebanon: How queer - well, we certainly do see life.
Isla Crane: And death!
See more »

Connections

Version of Il laccio rosso (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Portrait of Isla
(uncredited)
Music by Jack Beaver
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An excellent traditional British murder mystery
5 January 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film, based on a stage play by Edgar Wallace, is one of those traditional British murder mysteries set in an enormous aristocratic mansion with all kinds of supercilious people, suspicious servants, stupid detectives, and maidens in distress. But it is by no means as corny as it sounds. The film is dominated by the powerful presence of Helen Haye, an actress with the cutting edge of a diamond blade, who lashes everyone in sight with her reproving tongue. She is Lady Lebanon, the matriarch of the establishment, and don't you forget it! Her friend is Dr. Amersham, played by Felix Aylmer, and he even outdoes her in supercilious arrogance. What a pair! Between them, they so dominate the screen that there is barely space for the other players to make their presences known much of the time. The maiden in distress (the one who is 'frightened') is played by Penelope Dudley-Ward (1914-1982, sometimes credited only as Penelope Ward), who only appeared in 12 films between 1935 and 1944, retiring after that. From 1948 to 1976, she was married to Sir Carol Reed, and during the time that I knew him towards the end of his life, I met her, though I only ever exchanged a few polite words with her, as she never joined me and Carol for our chats over gin and tonic in their vast living room with the enormously high ceiling in their splendid house in Kings Road. (They had removed the floor above that room so that the room was two storeys high rather than one.) Alas, I retain little impression of her, so must make do with what I see in these old movies instead. Now they are all gone, even Tracy Reed, Lady Reed's daughter, who died in 2012. Sic transit gloria mundi, I suppose. Helen Haye is so outstanding in this film that it is worth recalling some of her other notable film performances, of which there were 60 altogether. One particularly remembers Hitchcock's THE 39 STEPS (1935), THE SPY IN BLACK (1939), THE REMARKABLE MR. KIPPS (1941), THE MAN IN GREY (1943), ANNA KARENINA (1948), and HOBSON'S CHOICE (1954). What a career! However, the truly inspired performance in this film is by Marius Goring as the young Lord Lebanon, Helen Haye's son. He really outdoes himself in this one. (He had already appeared with Helen Haye the year before this in THE SPY IN BLACK (1939, see my review).) The reasons why the Lebanon family are called Lebanon in this story is that they 'go back a thousand years' and were active in the Middle East at that time as crusaders. Helen Haye is determined to 'continue the line' and keeps urging her bachelor son, who is obsessed with composing music, to marry Penelope Dudley-Ward, which he, unlike Carol Reed in real life, is strangely loathe to do. George King does an excellent job of directing this tale, which could easily have been creaky, but does not creak. King never rose to be one of the famous British directors, despite directing 54 titles, retiring in 1949. Many or most of his films are unavailable and no one alive has seen them, which makes it rather difficult to evaluate his contribution to the cinema. Certainly this film has countless twists and turns and surprises and never drags. Considering that it started out framed by a proscenium (as a stage play), King got it moving and avoided the claustrophobic feeling we often get from stage plays adapted for the screen. When watching this, be careful not to become 'a frightened lady'!


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Frightened Lady (1940) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page