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The Woman in White (1948)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 15 May 1948 (USA)
A young painter stumbles upon an assortment of odd characters at an English estate where he has been hired to give art lessons to beautiful Laura Fairlie. Among them are Anne Catherick, a ... See full summary »

Director:

Peter Godfrey

Writers:

Wilkie Collins (novel), Stephen Morehouse Avery (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alexis Smith ... Marian Halcombe
Eleanor Parker ... Laura Fairlie / Ann Catherick
Sydney Greenstreet ... Count Alesandro Fosco
Gig Young ... Walter Hartright
Agnes Moorehead ... Countess Fosco
John Abbott ... Frederick Fairlie
John Emery ... Sir Percival Glyde
Curt Bois ... Louis
Emma Dunn ... Mrs. Vesey
Matthew Boulton ... Dr. Nevin
Anita Sharp-Bolster ... Mrs. Todd
Clifford Brooke Clifford Brooke ... Jepson
Barry Bernard Barry Bernard ... Dimmock
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Storyline

A young painter stumbles upon an assortment of odd characters at an English estate where he has been hired to give art lessons to beautiful Laura Fairlie. Among them are Anne Catherick, a strange young woman dressed in white whom he meets in the forest and who bears a striking resemblance to Laura; cunning Count Fosco, who hopes to obtain an inheritance for nobleman Sir Percival Glyde, whom he plans to have Laura marry; Mr. Fairlie, a hypochondriac who can't stand to have anyone make the slightest noise; and eccentric Countess Fosco who has her own dark secret. The artist also finds himself drawn to Marion Halcomb, a distant relation to Laura whom the Count also has plans for. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She hid her black secret under a cloak of white! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 May 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Mulher de Branco See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in 1946, but not released until 1948. See more »

Goofs

The first time Ann visits Laura in her sick bed (a composite shot, since Eleanor Parker is playing both roles), her shadow is visible on the headboard. Her shadow is not synced with her head movements while talking, then rises and moves away moments before Ann herself does. Apparently they attempted to 'imitate' Ann's shadow on Laura's half of the shot and didn't quite get the timing right. See more »

Connections

Version of The Woman in White (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Greenstreet Showcase
7 January 2008 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Notice how fluidly the one-and-only Sydney Greenstreet moves his prodigious bulk across drawing-room floors, like a greedy shark among stumbling minnows. No movie with him can be ignored, especially one that showcases his heavyweight talent. Here, as Count Frasco, he schemes ruthlessly to cheat hapless Eleanor Parker (in a dual role) out of her family fortune. And he does it with such style and civilized malevolence. Without him, the film would amount to little more than a well-mounted and occasionally engaging Gothic mystery. With him, it appears better than it is.

Except for a few grotesque close-ups of Greenstreet, director Godfrey films the scenes in straightforward fashion, as though they come straight from the pages of the Collins book. Thanks, however, to Warner's art department and set designer, the visuals come across as generally atmospheric and evocative of the period. Nonetheless, someone should have told composer Max Steiner that not every scene needs scoring, especially when the notes sound as if they thunder from the bottom of a well. Then too, the script should have made better use of the great Agnes Moorehead (just count her lines), one of the few actresses with enough gravitas to go toe-to-toe with the formidable Greenstreet. You just know at first glance, she's no one to mess with.

Somehow, I kept wishing Val Lewton ("Cat People", "Seventh Victim") had gotten hold of the material first. This movie could have used his eye for combining the literary with the uncanny, which would go beyond atmosphere to cast a much-needed hypnotic spell, particularly in Anne's outdoor scenes (the actual woman in white). As things stand, the movie's an okay entertainment, with a chance to view some of Warner's leading contract players, circa 1948.


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