Bedelia, a newly remarried beautiful widow, is on honeymoon in Monte Carlo. A painter approaches her inquiring about her past. When she and her husband go back to England the artist will soon be there. Danger, crime and truth will follow.
Barry K. Barnes
Julia Ross secures employment, through a rather nosy employment agency, with a wealthy widow, Mrs. Hughes, and goes to live at her house. 2 days later, she awakens - in a different house, ... See full summary »
A girl from an impoverished family is jilted by her rich fiance, whose father doesn't approve. She decides to take revenge against them, and determines to let nothing or no one stop her from getting to the top.
Super ambiance, dark and clever stuff, nothing brilliant beyond the visuals
The Madonna's Secret (1946)
A psycho-mystery that broods and clunks along pretty well but too much a twist on a twist kind of movie. In fact, it's so obvious that the main character, a tortured artist, is suspected from the first minute, you know something else is up. What you don't suspect is what, and so by the end there is that final twist. I suppose this should or could have been a Vincent Price Gothic chiller, but in the hands of the leading man, Francis Lederer, it's a dark and serious affair. No camp allowed.
This comes near the end of director William Thiele's B-movie career (followed by a slew of Lone Ranger t.v. episodes and then, a step sideways for 36 shows of Cavalcade of America, a staple of 1950s American middlebrow normalcy). So we might be glad the movie is as good as it is, and I think the main reason is ace cinematographer John Alton. There are subtle movements of the camera that make an ordinary conversation take on depth, at least in terms of mise-en-scene. And the truly dramatic lighting (including some obvious back projection stuff of Lederer speeding in a boat at night) is great just to watch.
The series of women who pose and/or get themselves killed is curious--they do all look the same at a glance--and might have been more fun if extended a bit more. That is, they are all relatively cardboard characters, including the main character, who can't get out of his angst filled cliché, and so we can't really get involved emotionally in their fates. We just watch. And so thank you Mr. Alton for making that watching worth the ride. If you don't give a hoot about lights and camera, give this a by.
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