6.0/10
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8 user 2 critic

Madness of the Heart (1949)

Lydia Garth meets Paul de Vandiere, a French nobleman, but their romance is plagued by Lydia's complaint of recurring spells of blurred vision. Paul leaves for France, promising to return ... See full summary »

Director:

Charles Bennett

Writers:

Flora Sandstrom (novel), Charles Bennett (adapted for the screen by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Margaret Lockwood ... Lydia Garth
Paul Dupuis ... Paul de Vandiere
Kathleen Byron ... Verite Faimont
Maxwell Reed ... Joseph Rondolet
Thora Hird ... Rosa
Raymond Lovell Raymond Lovell ... Comte de Vandiere
Maurice Denham Maurice Denham ... Dr. Simon Blake
David Hutcheson David Hutcheson ... Max Ffoliott
Cathleen Nesbitt ... Mother Superior
Peter Illing ... Dr. Matthieu
Jack McNaughton Jack McNaughton ... Attendant
Pamela Stirling Pamela Stirling ... Felicite
Marie Burke ... Comtesse de Vandiere
Marie Ault ... Nun
Joy Harington Joy Harington ... Sister Agnes (as Joy Harrington)
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Storyline

Lydia Garth meets Paul de Vandiere, a French nobleman, but their romance is plagued by Lydia's complaint of recurring spells of blurred vision. Paul leaves for France, promising to return and marry Lydia, but she loses her sight while he is gone. Given no hope of recovery, she enters a convent and quickly finds that she has no vocation for life in a nunnery. She finally marries Paul, but encounters strong opposition from Verite Faimont, a neighbor who is very fond of Paul. The latter constantly plots against Lydia and is successful in temporarily breaking up the marriage, but can a miracle of restored vision be seen? Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 September 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Rivalin See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Two Cities Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Opening credits: The events and characters portrayed in this film are fictitious and any similarity to any incident, name or individual is coincidental. See more »

Quotes

Lydia Garth: I found peace!
Mother Superior: There can be no peace in a heart that's divided.
See more »

Soundtracks

Ave Verum Corpus [K 618]
(uncredited)
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Arranged by Marcus Dods
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great sets, actors and cinematography let down by a lousy script.
20 February 2005 | by Translation-1See all my reviews

I hate to be critical of something into which a great many people invested a lot of time, money and effort but it has to be said that Madness of the Heart is far from being a classic.

Neither a superb cast, a substantial budget, exotic settings nor the presence of the sublimely gorgeous and extremely talented Margaret Lockwood in the leading role can save this film from its dire script.

The premise is promising enough; a lovely young Englishwoman (Lockwood) falls in love with an aristocratic Frenchman (played by Paul Dupuis) but is promptly struck blind. Despite this tragedy, the couple marry and move to Monsieur's stately pile in Provence where their happiness is sorely tested by his family's negative attitude toward disability and the murderous machinations of his psychopathic former intended (a scary turn from Kathleen Byron of Black Narcissus fame).

The camera work is great and the sets and the set pieces are fantastic (especially the evening ball) but the dialogue is risible in places and the film's ending frankly ludicrous! The actors do their best - Lockwood, in particular, shows her mettle and is very convincing as a blind woman - but it is clearly an uphill struggle. The writer apparently collaborated with Hitchcock on some of his early films but you would never have guessed!

I am, to put it mildly, a huge fan of Margaret Lockwood but I have to admit that this is not one of her better films. If you like her and you like vintage thrillers, then The Lady Vanishes, Night Train to Munich, Girl in the News or Cast a Dark Shadow (several of which are inexplicably unavailable in PAL format on either DVD or video) are far, far better; this one is for die-hard fans only.


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