All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
The Man in Grey
Melodrama about two girls whose fortunes run on very different paths.
The Man in Grey (Leslie Arliss, 1943) 9/10
The first Gainsborough melodrama with its familiar running theme of cruelty, lust, sex, betrayal and murder. A virtuous kind woman (Phyllis Calvert) falls in love with an adventurer (Stewart Granger) after her sadistic husband (James Mason) dallies with her best friend (Margaret Lockwood) who hopes to take her place. The film virtually typecast all four actors and made James Mason into a huge star. Superbly produced film with exceptional shadowy cinematography complimenting the lurid goings on. The story borders strictly on camp and follows the Mills & Boon school of literature but the high melodrama makes it compulsive viewing.
Far more style than substance, unless you count "blackface" as substance.
Two Regency-era women have their fortunes and fates head in very opposite directions. The film is the prototype for the famous Gainsborough period pics, and the lush, antiquated costumes and sets really aid in immersing the audience into this era. Unfortunately, every actor and actress plays their part like there is a stick up their asses; and, no, I will not accept "that's the way they were back then" as an excuse. This film is a melodrama which means all emotions are turned to 11, and this film fails to do that. I don't think it's an, "Oh, the British are always so subtle though" thing either. James Mason seems to be a zombie the whole film through puttering his way around his extensive manse telling women what to do.
Also, this film has the most awkward blackface I've ever seen.
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 list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
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