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At an estate auction in WWII England, two strangers meet and muse about their families' history and possible connections. Flashbacks reveal the story of the sweet, rich, and beautiful Clarissa Richmond and her friendship with bitter, impoverished Hesther Snow. Their fates are intertwined even as their paths diverge. Clarissa marries the handsome but cruel Marquis of Rohan while Hesther becomes an actress. Eventually, the two women meet again and Clarissa brings the scheming Hesther into her household. As Clarissa searches for true love, Hesther plots to take away everything that belongs to her. Written by
The trailer gave such purple descriptives as "James Mason as the Suspicious Husband", and "Stuart Granger as the Gay Adventurer". See more »
Toby does not age. He remains a young boy throughout the film. See more »
[Referring to her unfinished portraiture]
You paint me as a happy mother. I'm not very happy. I'm scarcely a mother... and yet I smile because I'm supposed to be happy.
No, Lady Rohan; you smile because you're fortunate.
Aren't they the same thing?
A dairy maid can be happy; but she's not obliged to smile when she's wretched. The fortunate must pay their debt. A great lady must never been seen without a smile.
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The Man in Grey was the first and probably the most successful of the Gainsborough melodramas. The lavish regency tale centres around the aristocratic Clarissa Richmond (Phyllis Calvert) who dutifully enters into an loveless arranged marriage with the cold hearted Lord Rohan (James Mason)- the Man in Grey of the title.
Love and intrigue are to enter Clarissa's life when a chance meeting with an old school friend, the scheming Hester (Margaret Lockwood), leads her to the dashing Rokeby (Stewart Granger).
The story reaches its dramatic conclusion through twists and turns of plot and excellent performances from who can be called the four cornerstones of the war time British cinema - Stewart Granger, James Mason, Phyllis Calvert and Margaret Lockwood.
The Man in Grey is my personal favorite of all the Gainsborough films, it is high drama and escapism. The Man in Grey is definitely worth another look.
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