All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
The Man in Grey
Melodrama about two girls whose fortunes run on very different paths.
Surprised to see that a British film from that period could be as racist as its American counterparts - perhaps even more so, this must be the worst of its kind.
The wicked melodrama I did like, though.
Holy racial awkwardness! Yeah, this is a decent melodrama, and the prototype for the Gainsborough brand. But I have to mention this: the movie features a child in blackface in a important role. Now, that's pretty awkward, especially considering the year. But it gets worse. In one scene, the child attends a performance of Othello! There's a white character, who's only wearing blackface for his performance. So there's "real" blackface, and "fake" blackface? It's the absolute fucking height of absurdity.
You are ice cold Margaret Lockwood. Ice cold.
Holy Blackface, Batman!
BTW, doesn't Phyllis Calvert look like Elizabeth Shue? Like, a lot?
Stiffly directed British costume melodrama, which really isn't my thing to begin with. This one features Stewart Granger playing an actor playing a character in blackface, which is fine, being historically accurate and all, but which only makes the big elephant in the room even more conspicuous and awkward (viz., there's an actual black character in the film played by a white boy in blackface). The only principal actor who really impressed me was the only one who was completely new to me (Phyllis Calvert, in case you're wondering) -- Margaret Lockwood and James Mason, the ostensible leads (though Calvert has the biggest role), play their respective characters with one note apiece (though Granger is allowed a bit more range).…
I certainly could have died without having seen this regency romance bodice ripper. See flickersintime.com for my complete review.
A Victorian period drama with Mason as a grumpy and relentless marquis who marries a lovely and goodhearted young woman for convenience. When an old school friend who has hit skid row and her companion in a traveling theater cross the young woman's path the intrigues thickens. I liked the relentless hopelessness and sense of evilness that the film spiraled towards.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
A deliciously nasty piece of work, setting the standard template for the Gainsborough melodrama, a subset of films wildly popular with British female audiences during WWII for their aggressively escapist lasciviousness. Trussed up trash if you will, a thing of glorious sinful abandon. Critically mauled and seen as cheap at the time of release, today the Gainsborough melodramas read as audaciousness in their censorship dodging escapades and wildly entertaining with their decorative cruelty. Let me be clear; a lot of the material here is far more than a Hollywood studio production could think of getting away with in 1943.
The Man in Grey made me realize something that I never fully articulated to myself, which is that I like my…
This was a very enjoyable film from the British Gainsborough studios. It is something of a Regency romance, but with enough bite that horror movie fans like myself can find something to appreciate.
Basically, Phyllis Calvert is the "good" girl, and Margaret Lockwood is the "bad" girl who ruins her life. What really made the movie for me was James Mason as a scandalous aristocrat. His anger when he gets aroused is still pretty frightening.
The story is cleverly told, opening in the present and introducing us to a series of artifacts that we encounter in the flashback that makes up the bulk of this movie.
Maybe "The Wicked Lady," which puts Lockwood and Mason front and center, is better, but "The Man in Grey" is a very enjoyable film.
The only good thing
Is that James Mason cannot
Be bad. But this is.
Unfortunate blackface and rooting for colonialism aside, this gothic melodrama largely stands the test of time. While stylistically it’s no Tess, director Arliss admirably juggles what must have been a difficult adaptation of a novel. The film moves efficiently throughout its heroine's life, covering her formative years at school before settling her into a loveless marriage. Here, James Mason is startlingly effective as an immoral Lord, making the most of his limited screen time and setting the stage for his later career, where he would get gloriously typecast in such roles. Things get unexpectedly wild in the last forty-five minutes, which turns the heat up on the simmering class conflict, resulting in betrayals, murders and gypsy prophecies come true. An awkward framing device attempts to shoehorn a happy ending onto this tale, but it's its inherent meanness that will likely stick with you.
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