The wheelchair-bound matriarch of an English family uses her handicap to cynically manipulate all those around her. She coldly destroys a daughter's relationship with a man she truly loves,...
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The wheelchair-bound matriarch of an English family uses her handicap to cynically manipulate all those around her. She coldly destroys a daughter's relationship with a man she truly loves, and her machinations almost drive the son's fiance to suicide. As the family realizes what she is doing, she becomes even more calculating - and mentally unbalanced. Written by
Susan Peters was on a hunting trip when her rifle accidentally discharged and she was shot. The accident resulted in her being paralyzed from the waist down. This was the only film she made after the accident. See more »
Nice Cast Which Includes The Return Of Peters, But Story Is Nothing Special
Other than marking the brief return of actress Susan Peters to the screen, there's nothing much noteworthy about this film. It's pretty bland. I can see why audiences back in 1948 were not receptive to this film. It simply has a big "case of the blahs." Too bad, because it has a good cast, leading with Peters who was making a comeback after a horrendous accident three years earlier left her paralyzed from the waist down. If you want to read a sad biography, check out the one here on IMDb Peters and the tragic ending to her brief life.
Anyway, her character in this movie, was the wheelchair-bound "Leah St. Aubyn." Leah appears bright and optimistic despite her physical state but obviously, underneath, is the opposite and winds up a manipulative, selfish person who uses a teen girl to attempt a crime. Nothing against Miss Peters but I couldn't help think that someone more dynamic (i.e. Bette Davis) would have brought a much bigger edge to this story, an edge the film badly needed.
The young manipulated teen was "Christine," played by Peggy Ann Garner of "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" fame. Three or four years past the filming of ATGIB, Peggy Ann is no longer the little girl having grown up and filled out, but her role in here is that of an emotionally immature youngster whose whole world is in the house where this story takes place.
As a fan of Peggy's I was glad to see she had a fairly big role in this movie. She didn't have many opportunities after this movie, for various reasons none of which involved her fine acting talents.
I was also pleased to see Phyllis Thaxter in this film. She plays "Sherida," the hired secretary. Phyllis boasted a wholesomely-beautiful face, one of the better and underrated one of the 1940s glamor decade. Like the aforementioned women, she was never a star as an adult.
I particularly mention the women in this film because it's a woman's movie, a melodrama pure-and-simple. The men in the movie - Alexander Knox, Ron Randell, Ross Ford and a few others - are okay but nothing special.
That pretty much sums up this chick flick; nothing special. The film takes place in England and the actors didn't even bother to fake a British accent!
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