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Daughter of Darkness (1948)

Emily, a pretty young Irish girl, gets a job on an English farm owned by the Tallent family. The local men take to her but the women don't, objecting to her flirtatious nature with their ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Crawford ...
Maxwell Reed ...
Dan
George Thorpe ...
Mr. Tallent
...
...
Father Cocoran
Cyril Smith ...
Joe
...
Julie Tallent
Denis Goacher ...
Saul Trevethick (as Denis Gordon)
Grant Tyler ...
Larry Tallent
Norman Shelley ...
Smithers
George Merritt ...
Constable
Ann Clery ...
Miss Foley
Arthur Hambling ...
Jacob
...
David Price
Leslie Armstrong
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Storyline

Emily, a pretty young Irish girl, gets a job on an English farm owned by the Tallent family. The local men take to her but the women don't, objecting to her flirtatious nature with their men and one woman, Bess Stanforth, is especially disturbed by her. When Dan, a man from Emily's past, shows up and accuses her of having tried to kill him Beth's suspicions are further aroused, and they're confirmed when Dan is found murdered in a local barn. Beth sets out to find out exactly who Emily is and to prove that she murdered Dan. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Horror

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Release Date:

8 March 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Filha das Trevas  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Fascinating If A Bit Flawed Film
2 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am dismayed by just about all the reviews which precede mine, mainly due to the fact that they seem seriously involved with the film only when trying to psychoanalyze the title character, which simply cannot be done because the screenplay never really gets very involved in doing so; this actually makes the nuanced performances of all concerned that much more admirable and certainly does so with the direction of the film by Lance Comfort.

This may not be LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, but I think the dismissal of it as a quota quickie or a British B film is a bit much. The carnival scenes alone seem to demonstrate that some expense was gone to in the film's making and, in pure size at least, compare well with those in Hitchcock's STRANGERS ON A TRAIN. And while Comfort may not be David Lean, it is obnoxious to call him, as one commentator did, the English Ed Wood, as this bespeaks a total lack of knowledge of either man's work. Comfort achieves a tremendously atmospheric production throughout, and is hampered in suspense only by the holes in the screenplay, which simply do not give any indication of what forces drive the title character. (He does similar and excellent work in BEDELIA.)

As for the acting, which is excellent on everybody's part, someone complains about the 'posh' accents used in the farming family for whom the Irish girl goes to work, but he should be advised that not every farming family in England is the British equivalent of the Joads, especially in the post WW2 era. Many of those families were quite wealthy and educated - this particular family seems to have at least 15 or 20 farmhands working for them and are leaders in the community. Also, with the exception of some undeservedly nasty remarks about Maxwell Reed (who could hardly be better at playing a lowlife than what we see here), and a couple of mentions of this being Honor Blackman's first movie (actually, it was her second), the important considerations about most of the cast go unmentioned. The first may be that we get a look at a very young Barry Morse (later, of THE FUGITIVE TV fame), more importantly at the very stylish Anne Crawford, who was a fairly major English star of the day and who tragically died of leukemia at 36, and most particularly, at Siobhan McKenna, who was quite arguably the greatest Irish actress of the entire twentieth century (and certainly of the second half of it) and regarded so by critics and audiences alike, but who, with the exception of not more than a half-dozen times (mostly early on), eschewed film appearances almost entirely in favor of stage work on both sides of the Atlantic and a very occasional TV appearance. Do most of the correspondents here even know that? It would seem not. That all of this about her (and to some extent the others) goes unmentioned, while commentators waste their time with gratuitous attacks on even the unnamed wife of one of this film's stars, does not say a great deal of good about much of what appears in these reviews.

This is a rock-solid film made less than it might have been by an unclear screenplay; it might have been something of a masterpiece if made by an Alfred Hitchcock, but to blame Lance Comfort for not being Alfred Hitchcock is like blaming Cary Grant for not being John Gielgud

  • in other words, just plain silly.



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