One dark summer night, Francesca Cunningham, a once world famed pianist, escapes from her hospital room and tries to commit suicide by jumping off a local bridge. She is rescued and taken back to the hospital and undergoes psychological treatment by Dr. Larsen. Larsen, desperately wants to know the events and persons who drove her to this state and help her. He makes Francesca talk about her past - a past with a controlling guardian, Nicholas, no friends, kept apart from the man she loved and forced to practice the piano 5-6 hours a day.Written by
The soft focus ending was due to a flaw spotted on the rushes and being unable to re shoot due to James Mason already on his way to America. See more »
Francesca is about to make her continental debut and her former school friend Susan visits before the concert. When Nicholas enters the dressing room, Susan is heard speaking while her reflection can be seen in a mirror behind Francesca (her spoken words aren't synchronized with her reflected image). See more »
Dr. Kendall, a surgeon doesn't operate without first taking off the patient's clothes, nor do we with the mind. You know what, uh, Staples says? The human mind is like Salome at the beginning of her dance, hidden from the outside world by seven veils: veils of reserve, shyness, fear. Now with friends, the average person will drop first one veil, then another, maybe three or four altogether. With a lover, she will take off five, or even six, but never the seventh. Never, you see the human mind ...
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Ann Todd ("Francesca") is a renowned concert pianist being treated by psychiatrist Herbert Lom ("Dr. Larsen") after she tried to commit suicide. To establish what has driven her to this, we delve back into her past as she goes to live with her rather austere, wealthy, distant cousin "Nicholas" (James Mason) who starts her off on her rather lonely path to success. Only when she falls in love with "Max" (Albert Lievin) does she start to confront her fears - and Mason - and try to break free from his control. Aside from some wonderful classical accompaniments as she plays the concert halls of Europe; the acting is stylish - Mason exudes a sophisticated, nuanced degree of menace and Lom a caring determination to help his patient as the drama builds to it's climax. Tod I found, was the weak link. She didn't quite reach the heights of her co-stars, and her performance here is just a little stilted and lacklustre; but as en ensemble piece the film delivers well.
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