Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
Noel Coward's attempt to show how the ordinary people lived between the wars. Just after WWI the Gibbons family moves to a nice house in the suburbs. An ordinary sort of life is led by the ... See full summary »
Henry Hobson is a successful bootmaker and tyrannical widower of three daughters. The girls each want to leave their father by getting married, but Henry refuses as marriage traditions require him to pay out settlements.
Brenda de Banzie
Ann Todd had portrayed the title character in theatrical productions of the play this film was based on, and had always wanted to play her in a film adaptation. Shortly after she married director David Lean, he agreed to make this film and cast her as the lead as a "wedding present" of sorts. See more »
When the prosecutor first walks away from addressing the jury the first time, the shadow of a boom can clearly be seen following after him across the jury. See more »
Familiar material given the David Lean touch but is emotionally cold...
It should come as no surprise that the trial of MADELEINE may well have been termed "the trial of the century" in 1857's Scotland. And from this true story, David Lean has made a period romance starring ANN TODD as the scheming woman from a wealthy background who feels compelled to hide her love affair with a commoner from her disapproving father.
Madeleine defies the conventions of her stiff upper-class household and, after receiving a proper gentleman caller with her family, retreats to her private room where she has an assignation with a lover who is not a man of means. The shadowy interiors suggest the menace to come, as her father urges her to take a suitable suitor in marriage as soon as possible.
What hurts the story is the familiarity of it all--a woman of substance wanting to break out of the social boundaries of convention. And unfortunately, there is nothing novel or different about this version of such a tale to make it of more than routine interest, despite the David Lean touch. What it really needed was Alfred Hitchcock's guiding hand.
All of the technical ingredients are fine but the script is ultimately a disappointment and tends to be dull in spots. Furthermore, Ann Todd's Madeleine is not a very arresting character. This has to be considered one of David Lean's less effective films. The story is as emotionally cold as Madeleine herself and her demure behavior with her father seems more like a pose than anything else, one that he should easily be able to see through. Her arrest for murder in the poisoning of her lover is handled with too many frigid close-ups of Todd's face and no real explanation of what happened.
It's certainly not a "must see" film by the renowned directed Lean.
Best performance in the entire film: ANDRE MORELL as the defense counselor who gives the most stirring and satisfying speech in the courtroom as to why Madeleine should be found innocent of the circumstantial evidence.
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