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.
In an English boarding school, sweet, popular Clarissa befriends Hesther, the moody girl from the wrong side of the tracks, even though a creepy gypsy woman TOTALLY WARNS HER not to make friends with other women because bad things will happen. Anyway, after graduating from charm school Clarissa is debuted into society in the hopes that a rich gentleman will get all hot and bothered by her lady business and pop the question. Sure enough, one does, except he turns out to be a complete jerk who just wanted to knock someone up for an heir. Poor, unhappy Clarissa! She manages to make do for a while, but then, as fate would have it, she runs into a handsome rascal…
A bizarre costume melodrama, budget "Gone With the Wind" meets trashy "Vanity Fair", with a smouldering, intense and truly unlikeable performance from James Mason.
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?
Twenty years ago, British newspaper The Sunday Times ran a series over eight weeks to celebrate the 100th birthday of…
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…