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Essentially a rerelease of Michael Powell's 'The Edge of the World' (1937), but with color book-ends in which director and actors revisit the island of Foula forty years later and talk about their experiences.
Hazel Woodus is a beautiful but innocent country girl who loves all the creatures around her, especially her pet fox cub. She is given a rough time by her father but can escape to run barefoot through the woods when her harsh life gets too much for her. It is there that she is found by the local squire, Jack Reddin, finds her and is struck by her beauty. The obvious conflict develops when the squire leads the local hunt and tries to kill Hazel's pet fox. The title "Gone to Earth" is taken from the huntsmans cry when the target is no longer obtainable. Written by
Steve Crook <email@example.com>
Somehow this film was made without the incessant tinkering for which David O. Selznick was notoriously famous, presumably because he had allowed his wife, Jennifer Jones, to travel to Great Britain and work her magic untrammelled by his day-to-day presence on the set and in the screening room as rushes were viewed. By all reports, however, he was so horrified by what Powell and Pressburger had wrought that what we on this side of the Atlantic were allowed to view bears only a faint resemblance to the intentions of those English artists,
It has been years since I saw, on a television broadcast, a no doubt truncated and heavily reedited version under its U.S. title, "The Wild Heart" but, as I had before, I was amazed at the "Archers" beautiful, almost florid, use of Technicolor and their apparently reckless disregard for the expectations of an audience weaned on American pablum and the more refined output of their English peers of the cinema.
Miss Jones is vibrantly beautiful and endlessly fascinating as she plays Hazel Woodus and it goes without saying that her support from a memorable cast of carefully chosen players, professional and, I would guess, amateur is of an order that one can always confidently expect from the British both on stage and on screen. It's wishful thinking, at this late date, I suppose but a VHS or DVD version, available to us here in the U.S., would be a remarkable addition to a movie-lover's library.
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