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Sin of Esther Waters (1948)

Esther Waters (original title)
Esther goes into service in Victorian England, only to be seduced by the sweet talking groom William, who then takes off with his employer's daughter. Left alone to bring up the child, ... See full summary »

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, (novel) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kathleen Ryan ...
...
...
Ivor Barnard ...
Fay Compton ...
Margaret Diamond ...
George Hayes ...
Morland Graham ...
Ketley
Mary Clare ...
Pauline Jameson ...
Hospital Nurse
Shelagh Fraser ...
Margaret
Margaret Withers ...
Julian D'Albie ...
Squire Barfield
Nuna Davey ...
Matron
Beryl Measor ...
Mrs. Spires
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Storyline

Esther goes into service in Victorian England, only to be seduced by the sweet talking groom William, who then takes off with his employer's daughter. Left alone to bring up the child, Esther manages and after 7 years has a chance at happiness. Then William turns up again... Written by Gillian Richards <gillian.richards@tafensw.edu.au>

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Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

1 November 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Sin of Esther Waters  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Dirk Bogarde was first asked to play another role. See more »

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Not the best example of its type
28 January 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I have always been fond of the British costume dramas and melodramas of the immediate post-war period, but this is a decidedly lacklustre example of the breed. Rank had undertaken an ambitious production schedule but was sorely lacking in talented and experienced directors; nor did Dirk Bogarde have the experience to carry the male lead, a role crying out for the likes of Stewart Granger, who apparently turned it down.

Opportunities are missed in the early scenes in the Barfield country house, with those in the middle of the picture, depicting poor Esther having her child in the workhouse, her encounter with the sinister baby farmer, and the slave labour conditions of her work as a domestic servant, being considerably more resonant. Then, around the time of the introduction of Cyril Cusack as a rather wet lay preacher, it all starts to go down hill. Though evident that a great deal of time, expense, and attention to detail was expended on the racing scenes toward the end, the prolonged business with Bogarde's gambling cronies struck me as monumentally tedious. Kathleen Ryan as Esther is one of the few saving graces and, according to Bogarde, she gave him a silver brandy flask after shooting was over, engraved with 'To hell with Esther Waters!' I had a similar sentiment.


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