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Ambitious poor relation Blanche Fullerton accepts a job as governess from her wealthy cousins who have adopted the name Fury since they acquired the ancestral home of the Fury family. Blanche plots to become the lady of the manor but her illicit passion for the vengeful, obsessed Philip Thorn sets off a string of tragic events, including murder. Written by
Though not cited in the opening credits, "Blanche Fury" is based on a 1939 novel of the same name by Marjorie Bowen (1885-1952) writing under the pseudonym Joseph Shearing. A prolific writer with a taste for the Gothic, Bowen also wrote "Moss Rose" which came to the screen in 1947 with Victor Mature and Peggy Cummins. See more »
Is Marc Allegret a director?Or does he simply(but smartly) use others' talents?His most memorable pre-war movies are not really his.For instance ,"Fanny" owes everything to its actor,Raimu,and its writer,Marcel Pagnol:it is actually a Pagnol movie.Ditto "Entrée des Artistes" which is remarkable by Henri Jeanson's lines ("I wear my Légion d'honneur to impress the fool" ) and Louis Jouvet's acting genius.
A short English period occurred just after the war -when he other French directors such as Renoir and Duvivier worked abroad during the war.Which leads us to "Blanche Fury".This movie is par excellence an effort in which Allégret uses the others' skills.Objections remain:an arguable editing ,too much ellipse (the relationship Lawrence/Blanche is botched,and the pace is often too fast and hasty :again the Blanche /Thorn love affair is believable only because of the actors' splendid performances).
And the screenplay,however ,is wonderful:snatches of lady Chatterley,Jane Eyre ,the turn of the screw,My cousin Rachel,Wuthering Heights and more come to mind.Even Vincente Minelli's "home from the hill"(1960)!This is a romantic story par excellence. Heredity and fatality play a prominent part is this story of silence and fury:Thorn (a great Stewart Granger) is a bastard,but Blanche( a majestic Valerie Hobson) is akin to him,because,at the beginning of the movie,she's a governess,and only marriage can provide her with a place in the sun;but her husband is probably impotent :here the writers use a metaphor.his father wants him to show his authority over their valuable property,that is to say to be a man.At the beginning of the movie,Blanche is a go-getter,but as soon as she meets Thorn,her fate is sealed,she reacts to events ,she no longer initiates them.Ultimately,she will try to stop the impending disaster ,but what she does finally backfires on herself and turns it into a final Thorn victory.Thorn is much more complex than he appears at first sight:actually he should own the property and he sees the Fury family as impostors;his attitude with animals makes us side with him for a while.Then,when he's about to win,he treats the servants as his predecessors used to do,and we discover his love for Blanche takes a back seat to his love for the domain.Then the lovers' fate is sealed.
Color treatments are visually astounding :when we go from Blanche's deathbed to a flashback at the beginning,then the final pictures,hellish glimmering red glow ;Blanche's arrival in the castle,in a snowed up,misty landscape;the barns fire ,which seems to set ablaze the darkest night.
Afterwards,Allégret's career straightly goes downhill."L'amant de Lady Chatterley" which I haven't seen but which he may have intended as "Blanche Fury II" ,poor Brigitte Bardot's vehicles ("en effeuillant la marguerite') or abysmal works(a segment of the horrible made up of sketches movie "les Parisiennes") .His brother Yves was much better ("Manèges" "Dédée d'Anvers" "une si jolie petite plage" "les Orgueilleux").
"Blanche Fury" deserves to be seen anyway.
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