In the early 1900's Tennessee, a loving family undergoes the shock of the father's sudden, accidental death. The widow and her young son must endure the heartache of life following the ... See full summary »
Returning to 1870's London after finishing at boarding school, Fanny witnesses the death of her father in a fight with Lord Manderstoke. She then finds that her family has for many years ... See full summary »
Jean Simmons (a school teacher) takes a secretarial job in a nightclub. The two club owners quibble about a lot, including her. Unfortunately, she develops an interest for the partner who disapproves of her employment at the club.
Caroline Ruthyn is the teen-aged niece of the her uncle Silas, a sickly and at one time unbalanced man who becomes her guardian on the death of her father. The fact that Silas is broke and greedy and young Caroline is the heir to her father's great fortune is reason enough for Caroline to be wary, but her fears escalate when she meets Silas's perverted son and when she discovers that her fearsome former governess, Madame de la Rougierre, is in league with her uncle.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I saw this film years ago as "The Inheritance," and I never forgot it. When I read the description of "Uncle Silas," I thought it sounded suspiciously like "The Inheritance" - after all, did Jean Simmons go around playing one young heir after another? After seeing it again, I'm not surprised I remembered it.
"Uncle Silas" is a Gothic thriller, based on a novel by Sheridan Le Fanu, and directed by Charles Frank, who also directed "So Long at the Fair," another wonderful film. "Uncle Silas" is the story of a young heiress, Caroline Ruthyn (Simmons) who is sent to live with her uncle (Derrick De Marney) in a dark, eerie mansion after her father's death. Her father adored his brother, who was once accused of murder, and has made Carolina a ward of Silas. However, as he's dying, he tries to change this provision, but dies before he can do it. Silas, with the help of Caroline's ex-governess (Katina Paxinou) plan to get rid of Caroline, since the inheritance then passes to him.
The acting of especially DeMarney and Paxinou is fairly over the top, but I believe this was intentional on the part of the director to give it that good old scary Gothic feel. Sinister characters often aren't very subtle in Gothic books. Jean Simmons is lovely as Catherine - vulnerable, sweet, and naive, making her a perfect target of danger.
This story was remade as "The Dark Angel" back in the '80s - I remember the sets being completely overdone, a kind of Gothic version of Liberace's house. I don't remember much else, but I'm sure O'Toole was marvelous as Silas.
As others have pointed out, the British version is recommended.
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