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 ...
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The story of three sisters who marry men of widely different character as their individual and widely-different married lives unfold. One sister (Phyllis Calvert) is happily married but ... See full summary »
A Royal navy Commander is tricked by a pretty girl who is working for the Nazis. She tricks him into revealing some military secrets and he is court-martialed. He vows to track her and her ... See full summary »
Dizzy society matron Emily Kilbourne has a habit of hiring ex-cons and hobos as servants. Her latest find is a handsome "tramp" who shows up at her doorstep and soon ends up in a ... See full summary »
Norman Z. McLeod
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 services of a genuine "hypnologist" [sic] were sought for the film. Sydney Box brought over the famous American hypnologist Victor Alheim to advise on the script. He had been attached to the US army in Britain and dealt with extreme cases of shell-shock. While visiting the Riverside Studios at Hammersmith he gave demonstrations of his hypnotic powers by inducing trance symptoms in the personnel there" (from: the Book of the Film- The Seventh Veil) See more »
Near the end, when the doctor and the portrait painter speak about Francesca getting married, the painter is told he needs Mason's permission. She was 17 when she moved in with Mason and it's now 10 years later. At 27, she no longer needs his permission since she is now of age. See more »
This is a great old film, with James Mason at his best as the brooding, aloof, complicated hero/villain. It contains a lot of cliches, not least of which is Hollywood's fervent faith in the almost occult power of hypnosis and psychiatry. But it also is full of great moments - the black and white photography seems to sing along with the glorious music. The scene where James Mason, from offstage, watches Ann Todd all alone at her piano, glowing in bright stage light against a blank background is superb. Sound and picture come together perfectly, and Mason's acting matches beautifully, as he expresses emotion struggling through layers of impassivity. The ending might seem a little dated to present-day audiences, with its implication that the heroine can be fully healed of her psychic wounds only by giving herself to one of her three suitors, but for those who like good old-fashioned happy endings, this is a fine one. Only one thing seemed rather obviously ridiculous: in the scene where the German psychiatrist is talking to the German painter who is in love with Francesca, they both carry on a long conversation in heavily-accented English, which becomes a bit comical once you realize how much more natural it would be for them just to speak German to each other.
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