In 1848, a young Frenchwoman, Madeline Minot, goes to New York City to see Thevenet, the grandfather of her fiance. Thevenet had been with Napoleon and may be sympathetic to the political ... See full summary »
Helen Ferguson, pregnant, penniless and dumped by her boyfriend Steve Morley, takes the identity of the pregnant Patrice Harkness, when she and her husband are killed in a train crash. The ... See full summary »
Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.
In a hypothetical country in South America, Jeff Dawson and his partner Dutch Peterson have invested all their savings in a lease contract to explore oil. However, their expectation ruins ... See full summary »
Thelma Jordon is in love with a jewel thief, Tony Laredo, and he persuades her to go live with her rich aunt, and steal her jewels. During the robbery, she shoots her formerly-rich aunt, ... See full summary »
In 1848, a young Frenchwoman, Madeline Minot, goes to New York City to see Thevenet, the grandfather of her fiance. Thevenet had been with Napoleon and may be sympathetic to the political aims of his grandson. She finds the old man in very bad spirits, living in a large house with a housekeeper and a butler who are just waiting for him to die (and perhaps helping him along a bit) so they can inherit his fortune. They see Madeline as a threat to their plans. She is aided in her dealings with these strange people by a mysterious man in a cloak. Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After the first meeting with Madeleine, Charles Theverner addresses his pet raven named Villon, after the French poet François Villon, and quotes from Villon's "Ballade des dames du temps jadis" ("Ballad of the Ladies of Times Past"): "Où sont les neiges d'antant?" ("Oh, where are the snows of yesteryear!"). Later, Dupin quotes the same Ballad in English. He also reads from the book a few lines of Edgar Poe's "The Raven." See more »
I suspect that this was thought of as a small production by MGM at the time, but it's got two of my favorites, both of whom were perhaps not quite as "big" as they had been a few years earlier: Stanwyck and Cotten (maybe the only time he was mustachioed on film?). This film has a lot going for it: wonderful score by David Raksin, the rich voices of the principals, Louis Calhern chewing up all of the period scenery, and strong black-and-white photography. It's a period thriller, but a leisurely one, with a nice sense of atmosphere. The script has some lively exchanges between characters, although the artifice shows a bit sometimes. Stanwyck's character is a little ambiguous, but that seems appropriate in a way. Always-reliable supporting players Joe DeSantis and Margaret Wycherly (the terrifying mum in "White Heat") are fine as the cohorts of Stanwyck's "Lorna Bounty"--what a great name! And there's a beautiful raven too. What more can you ask for?
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