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 ...
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Barbara Bel Geddes,
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In a seaside village, a group of local young men mingle among the seasonal tourists in search of sexual conquests. Near the end of one summer, the leader of the group, Tinker, a strolling ... 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
Actor James Mason: "This was Sydney Box's and Ann Todd's film. But director Compton Bennett and I also profited from its success. 'Welcome' mats were spread out for us in Hollywood." 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 »
If you like melodrama, check this one out. It is well-made and is acted with sincerity by some fine British actors who achieve great dramatic effect.
Piano music is secondary to the story and only small snippets of music are played. You will barely notice the piano because this movie is overwhelmingly a psychological drama. So much so that the psychiatrist is given almost super-human insight and ability. This is not a negative because it is not crackpot or over the top.
James Mason is outstanding and very believable in a cerebral, complex role. Think of the best James Mason performance you ever saw. This equals it, I guarantee. Ann Todd is solid and believable, although somewhat coldly distant from the audience, but that was her style. She stays in character and keeps it interesting.
Herbert Lom must have made a zillion movies, many obscure or trifling. However, this film proves that he was a first-rate actor. His performance here as the psychiatrist is very straight, serious and effective. You won't believe it is the same actor who was in those "Pink Panther" movies.
Note how the cave-like home of the artist ("Leyden") appears claustrophobic in comparison to the spacious comfort of the main mansion set. This, and the deliberate posing of Todd to look uncomfortable in Leyden's home are subtle examples of the high standard of care and planning that must have gone into this production.
This is high-caliber melodrama, not overdone but just interesting and effective.
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