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 »
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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
According to James Mason's autobiography "Before I Forget", the original actor cast in the role of Nicholas was Francis L. Sullivan. See more »
Francesca is about to make her continental debut and her former school friend Susan visits before the concert. When Nicholas enters the dressing room, Susan is heard speaking while her reflection can be seen in a mirror behind Francesca (her spoken words aren't synchronized with her reflected image). See more »
Herbert Lom played the principal part as a psychiatrist, in a successful 1960s British TV series called "The Human Jungle".I feel sure he got this part from his resume in "The Seventh Veil"(1945) playing the role of Dr. Larsen the psychiatrist who unravels the mental problem which plagues a suicidal Ann Todd (Francesca Cunningham).I have a love of films which portray great dexterity at playing classical music.In my collection are Margaret Lockwood in "Love Story" (1944) and John Garfield in "Humoresque (1945), I even liked Cornel Wilde playing Frederic Chopin!Once again Eileen Joyce is called upon to provide the authentic classical piano music heard on the soundtrack.Featured pieces she plays include: the Grieg piano concerto in A, the Pathetique sonata, 2nd movement, by Beethoven, the Brahms lullaby and the Rachmaninov piano concerto no.2 in c minor which she also played as a backdrop to "Brief Encounter (1945).The music is under the expert direction of Muir Matheson with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Other reviewers have described the plot adequately so just a few additional notes on the acting.Psychiatry was a popular theme with film makers in the 1940s c.f."Spellbound" with Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman (1945) and it features as a means to rescue a suicidal Ann Todd.She plays the role with a rather expressionless demeanor throughout.Was this because she was directed to play it this way by her director as her character was being totally dominated by her guardian and 2nd cousin Nicholas, as played by a dark, brooding and menacing James Mason?She did however act playing the piano pieces effectively.Did Eileen Joyce give Ann some backstage tutoring to give authenticity to her "playing"?The denouement when Francesca is cured by Dr Larsen and has to choose one of her three male friends is, I agree with a previous reviewer, a bit "Mills & Boon".Overall I enjoyed this film and rated it 6/10 mainly because of the wonderful classical music played.
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