One dark summer night, Francesca Cunningham, a once world famed pianist, escapes from her hospital room and tries to commit suicide by jumping off a local bridge. She is rescued and taken ... See full summary »
A prominent neurosurgeon relates to his students in medical school a story about an affair he had with a married woman and how, after the affair was over, the woman one day fell out a ... See full summary »
A Royal navy Commander is tricked by a pretty girl who is working for the Nazis. She tricks him into revealing some military secrets and he is court martial. He vows to track her and her ... See full summary »
Returning to 1870's London after finishing at boarding school, Fanny winesses the death of her father in a fight with Lord Manderstoke. She then finds that her family has for many years ... See full summary »
When John North, a budding author, pulls the communication cord of a late night train that is taking him away on a weekend with his publishers wife, he sets in motion a series of events ... See full summary »
The story of three sisters who marry men of widely different character as their individual and widely-different married lives unfold. One sister (Phyllis Calvert) is happily married but ... See full summary »
Two teachers, man-hungry Doris and restrained Marian, visit the Yorkshire moors a year after friend Evelyn disappeared there. On a stormy night, they take refuge in the isolated cottage of ... See full summary »
A former British Naval Officer now makes his living by smuggling goods around the Mediterranean. After being forced to dump his cargo after nearly being caught by the authorities in Malta, ... See full summary »
One dark summer night, Francesca Cunningham, a once world famed pianist, escapes from her hospital room and tries to commit suicide by jumping off a local bridge. She is rescued and taken back to the hospital and undergoes psychological treatment by Dr. Larsen. Larsen, desperately wants to know the events and persons who drove her to this state and help her. He makes Francesca talk about her past - a past with a controlling guardian, Nicholas, no friends, kept apart from the man she loved and forced to practice the piano 5-6 hours a day. Written by
Came 10th in the UK's Ultimate Film, in which films were placed in order of how many seats they sold at cinemas See more »
When Peter writes a note to Francesca in a nightclub, she turns it over and writes her reply on its back. But when Peter holds up the note to read her answer, its back is blank; his original note is missing. See more »
Excellent psychological thriller about a repressed pianist (Ann Todd) and her equally repressed cousin (James Mason) who is also her guardian.
Slow but compelling story about a young girl with musical talent who is sent to live with her odd cousin. They seem to despise one another and have only music in common. He tries to mold her into a concert pianist but she falls in love with an American band leader (Hugh McDermott). He whisks her off to Europe to continue her education. She becomes a famous pianist but is always under the Svengali-like spell of her lame cousin until she attempts suicide by jumping off a bride. Enter the doctor (Herbert Lom) who tries to unlock her secrets.
The music is glorious but it's the stunning Ann Todd who is mesmerizing here. A cool icy blonde with a Garbo mouth, Miss Todd (once married to David Lean) is one of the greatly underrated English actresses of the 40s. She is just superb here as Francesca (not Francis and she's NOT Ann Harding as mentioned in other reviews here). Todd has an uncanny ability to play repressed yet volcanic women. She was equally excellent in films like SO EVIL MY LOVE, MADELEINE, TIME WITHOUT PITY, and THE PASSIONATE FRIENDS. She also got to work for Hitchcock in the US in THE PARADINE CASE.
As Todd and Mason play cat and mouse, the viewer is left to guess what their secrets are and how the men in her life fit in. Todd's story is basically told in flashback while she;s under hypnosis. We never learn Mason's story.
Handsome film and well worth sticking with. Also a word must be said for Todd's amazing piano-playing scenes. She displays about the best keyboard work in any film I can think of. Her scenes as the pianist as excellent; my guess is she could also play in real life.
While Deborah Kerr, Greer Garson, and even Margaret Lockwood became major stars and well-known in the US, Ann Todd remains virtually unknown. What a pity. She's superb.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?