This is a little known movie but one undeserving of the obscurity into which it has fallen ,throwing,as it does , a sharp light on the narrow mindedness and pettiness of small ,enclosed and isolated communities .The opening sequence is especially gripping and commands attention from the word go.It takes place in a church in a small ,backwater Irish community where the local women break off from their gossip to eye with undisguised loathing a younger woman ,Emily Beaudine (Siobahn Mckenna).She has the reputation of being a siren ,a temptress able to turn the heads of the men of the village .In a scene between herself and the local priest it is hinted strongly that he too feels an attraction towards Emily .To add to the miasma of gloom and oppression ,she is a talented organist but one with a fondness for the tonally darker and more plangent aspects of the instrument's tonal pallete . She is isolated within her community and young girl's warned not to associate with her .When a fair visits the village she receives the unwanted attention of Dan ,a boxer employed by the fir ,and she wounds him in self defence .She is sent away to england where she ingratiates herself with the Talent family ,until the return of Dan and the suspicion of the eldest Talent sister Beth precipitates the final tragedy
Lance Comfort directs with fine use of light and shade and good use of some neat monochrome photography .The script leaves open the issue of Emily's true nature giving a pleasing ambiguity to proceedings and the fine ,intense performance of Siobahn Mckenna makes her relatively sparse engagement with the movies a matter to be regretted
This is no masterpiece but it is a subtle ,ambiguous picture that should be better known
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