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The Sign of the Ram (1948)

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,... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

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Sherida Binyon
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Dr. Simon Crowdy
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Clara Brastock
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Catherine Woolton
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Storyline

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 frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Incredible evil!

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Drama

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Release Date:

3 March 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Destino Cruel  »

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(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Among the well-wishers who visited Susan Peters on the set were Glenn Ford, Evelyn Keyes, Larry Parks, Ginger Rogers and Cornel Wilde, all of whom were under contract to or working at Columbia at the time. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Susan Peters in her post-accident wheelchair film...
20 September 2007 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

SUSAN PETERS plays a wheelchair-bound woman who is the matriarch presiding over a household of ill-defined cast members--including RON RANDELL as a doctor in love with her sister Jane (ALLENE ROBERTS), an alliance she wants to destroy. She's equally manipulative with PHYLLIS THAXTER, DAME MAY Witty and hubby Alexander KNOX, but fools each of them with a demure surface performance that conceals her controlling nature.

Unfortunately, the recent TCM showing of the film features an audio track that makes some of the conversations inaudible and the soundtrack has a background score by Hans J. Salter that flares up with melodramatic excess at any of the more melodramatic moments--of which there are plenty.

There's a contrived, artificial air to the proceedings despite the competent cast. Peters does what she can with the role of the dominating woman, but none of the characters really come to life under John Sturges' leaden direction. Although based on a novel, it gives the impression of being based on an old-fashioned play with all the stock characters inhabiting a drawing room drama.

Considering that this was a tailor-made vehicle for Susan Peters' return to the screen after an unfortunate hunting accident left her paralyzed from the waist down, it's sad to report that it's not a worthy vehicle for her as the wicked step-mother. The final scene is an example of the worst sort of melodramatic excess of '40s-era weepies.


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